Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a system used by Google and other major search engines (Update: read here, thanks for the Tweets, guys) The contents of a webpage are crawled by a search engine and the most common words and phrases are collated and identified as the keywords for the page. LSI looks for synonyms related to the title of your page. For example, if the title of your page was “Classic Cars”, the search engine would expect to find words relating to that subject in the content of the page as well, i.e. “collectors”, “automobile”, “Bentley”, “Austin” and “car auctions”.
Do Not Underestimate Content
SEO strategy has always denoted that great importance is placed on the page title and words encased in heading tags, especially the H1 tag. Words and phrases within the content that are bolded or italicized are also given a greater importance. But you should be aware of the use of LSI, as it can affect what keywords your website is ranked for.
But if your page contains synonyms, the search engine recognizes that your page is actually about the subject title and will place greater importance on the page. You may well already use good keyword techniques and add a few secondary keywords into your content, but the rest of the content should also be littered with synonyms to convince search engine spiders.
A Response to Keyword-Stuffing
Latent Semantic Indexing came as a direct reaction to people trying to cheat search engines by cramming Meta keyword tags full of hundreds of keywords, Meta description full of more keywords, and page content full of nothing more than random keywords and no subject-related material or worthwhile content.
Search engines, like Google, appreciate good content, and encouraging people to add good content that helps keep the high-ranked listings relevant. Although producing good content will not guarantee you first page rankings, it could improve your quality score.
When LSI is Not Relevant
LSI will not affect a squeeze page that has no intention of achieving a search engine rank anyway, due to its minimalistic content. But for site owners or bloggers hoping to get on the search engines good side, pay attention to LSI.
Latent Semantic Indexing is a good thing. It keeps content relevant and rich and benefits not only visitors, but website owners that produce quality material.
How to Befriend LSI
Latent Semantic Indexing is not rocket science, it is simple common sense. Here are some simple guidelines:
- If your page title is Learn to Play Tennis, make sure your article is about tennis.
- Do not overuse your keywords in the content. It could look like keyword stuffing and the search engines may red flag you.
- Never use Article Spinning Software – it spits out unreadable garble.
- If you outsource your content, choose a quality source.
- Check Google Webmaster Tools and see what keywords your pages are ranking for.
Latent Semantic Indexing is not a trick. You should bear it in mind when adding content to a web page, but do not get paranoid about it. The chances are if you provide quality, relevant content you will never have to worry about falling foul of and LSI checks.