What is Google Semantic Search?
In March of 2009, Google rolled out semantic search. Google’s latent semantic indexing LSI is based on the principle that words that are used in the same contexts tend to have similar meanings.
Ori Allon, technical lead of Google’s Search Quality team, explained it the following way:
“For example, if you search for ‘principles of physics’, our algorithms understand that ‘angular momentum,’ ‘special relativity,’ ‘big bang’ and ‘quantum mechanic’ are related terms that could help you find what you need.”
What does LSI mean for SEO?
In order to take advantage of semantic search you need to dust off your thesaurus and use a mix of words to describe the same thing. Sites that solely focus only one keyword phrase will not rank as well as they once did. To boost rankings you need to do what good writers do, which is not overly repeat the same words. If you were targeting real estate, mention words like house, condo, townhouse, and realtor. Good SEOs should already have this in their practice because they will try to target all terms that could be sources of traffic. Remember Google is a link based search engine so when you build links make sure you also change up your anchor text. Google bombing still works but now you need to be more semantic about it.
So for example when I try targeting the keyword SEO guru I should also get links with phrases like: search engine guru, SEO gurus, search engine optimization guru, search engine expert, search engine specialist.
Ultimately latent search indexing is good for search because it means that Google is better able to understand the concept of what people searching for. For SEOs and people seeking improve ranking on search engines it means maybe taking some classes on creative writing and really taking advantage of targeting many terms within a single page.
Google Semantic Search Trick
Did you ever wonder what keywords or phrases Google thinks are semantically similar? Here is a simple trick to find out. Using Google’s keyword suggestion tool, do a search using your target keyword. You will notice it gives a long list “additional keywords to consider” those are the words Google sees as being semantically similar. Wasn’t that simple? So when you write your content use these additional keywords mixed in, Google will love you for it.
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