Please read this. Trust me, it isn’t boring or geeky.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a technique Google uses to discover the meaning of your web pages without depending purely on the exact words on the pages. It all depends on the context of your text.

At it’s simplest, if I’m writing about “Windows,” Google is trying to discover if I mean double glazing or if I mean operating systems.

Let’s see what Google can show you in terms of how it indexes specific key phrases.

First, you need to be aware that Google highlights in bold the keyword you’re searching for when it gives the search engine results.

In this example, I’ve searched for greeting cards and you can Google has put it in bold in the search results:

Now the Cool Part

Google uses the Tilda symbol (~) to search for synonyms, which in terms of latent semantic indexing means finding related terms.

And Google uses the minus symbol (-) to exclude a phrase from a search.

So, if I want to ask Google to show me pages that are related to Greeting cards, but don’t have the word Greeting Cards in the page then I can use this search phrase:

~greeting cards -greeting cards
And this time Google highlights phrases like “Birthday” or “Virtual Cards” or “e-cards” which it believes (LSI) are all related to greeting cards:

What does this mean in terms of search engine optimisation?

It will be very beneficial for you to incorporate not only your precise key phrases, but also those closely related terms that will help to improve your overall Latent Semantic Indexing score. Of course, you are very likely to be using these synonyms and phrases naturally in your writing. But it would also be worth investigating these related terms both to have a better understanding of Google’s indexing, and to have a better understanding of your competitive marketplace.

Latent Semantic Indexing: not to painful, I hope!

0 responses to “What is Latent Semantic Indexing?”

  1. Mitch Ripke says:

    I must say that I find the changes in Google disturbing at some points, but when you take a look at the overall picture, one can see why. I personally believe that many of these changes are related to the abuse of keywords and such, that is occurring heavily these days.

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