Latent Semantic Indexing – The Future of SEO

    January 8, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The major search engine Google has now incorporated a new element into its search algorithms called Latent Semantic Indexing.

This element allows for better search results by comparing the search terms you enter into its engine to the content of the page in a whole new way. The designers of the Google search engine are trying to make it return search results that a human would return to the searcher. LSI was originally used as part of Google Adwords. It would tell Google what adverts to add to peoples pages depending on what the semantic content of the page was. How Does Latent Semantic Index Work?

Latent Semantic Indexing works by analysing the content of a page and determining if words on the page are often used in relation to the search term. When using word specific search results you may often be given results that do not relate to your search terms as in the example to follow. Latent Semantic Indexing finds terms that often relate to your search terms and returns results that are semantically related to your search terms. The page that is returned to you may not actually contain the words you searched for but the words on the page will be related to your terms in the pages that are indexed.

The search results, until the LSI was introduced where at best, slightly unreliable as they did not cross reference the words on the page that relate to your search terms. For instance if you where looking for lets say Golf Shoes and you simply typed in the phrase:

“Golf Shoes”

Would you have been given results that related to shoes you would wear to play golf or would you be returned results that related to Volkswagen Golf brake shoes?

Or if you where looking to buy a book about car engines and you simply typed in the phrase:

Books about car engines

Would you be given results relating to “Books about Search Engines” or “Car Engines” because the keywords words contained on the pages fitted the keyword algorithm in relation to your exact search terms rather than the combined content of the page.

Now with the introduction of Latent Semantic Indexing you will be returned more relevant results because the page content as a whole is considered.

A page related to Golf Shoes will also contain elements that are related to the subject of golf as a whole so in turn the underlying elements will be considered before search results are given to you by the search engine. This will make the search results more relevant.

Search Engines and bad linking strategies

The link campaign is DEAD long live LSI!!

In the past few years major changes have happened over the internet when it comes to getting a web site ranked well for high traffic search terms. It used to be inbound links that got your site shot to the top of the search engine rankings. All you had to do was get hundreds of other web sites pointing to your web site using your favourite search terms and you could watch your web site sore like an eagle to first position.

Then the search engines got wise to the “Black Hat” SEO companies who set up automated link sites that would give site owners thousands of instant links to their web sites for free. All the site owners had to do was add a snippet of code from the SEO company and the site instantly got thousands of links inbound from all over the net.

In the modern light of the search engines these links are now worthless to search engine rankings and can actually have an adverse effect on how your web site is ranked. Also a major disadvantage about these link exchange methods is the site being linked to has thousands of links using exactly the same text. It is highly unlikely that EVERY web site owner who linked to a web site they liked would use the same text to do so.


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