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Google Definitions SEO : Glossary & Patent

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Google Definitions SEO : Glossary & Patent

Google Definitions SEO : Glossary & Patent

A post at Threadwatch raised my attention the other day about Optimizing for Google Definitions. In the post, Graywolf introduced that when phasing a search query as a question on Google, Google now delivers the first ‘organic listing’ as a definition. Definition rankings above advertisements, News or Froogle results have led to some questions on how such important Definition placement can be achieved.

One example is a search for “Who is Paris Hilton” which delivers the Wikipedia description of America’s favorite heiress. In the definition result the word “Paris Hilton” is linked directly to the Wikipedia entry. Google has given the ball to trusted authority Wikipedia in this result.

However, when searching for a more niche targeted query like “What is a Reverse Mortgage?” Google serves up a different style result than the Hilton one. This time, the link says “Web definitions for Reverse mortgage”, click on it and the user is taken to a list of sites which offer definitions for the terms “Definitions of Reverse mortgage on the Web.”

All of the sites listed seem to have some sort of glossary or definitions page and in this case the Wikipedia entry for “reverse mortgage” is listed last.

Ironically, a rather odd Boise Idaho Remax Realtor site is listed first (kudos to Real Estate Webmasters for getting Jim Johnston the location, someone from Idaho somewhere must be looking for info on Reverse Mortgages), with a link to its Real Estate Glossary.

With Google serving such Definition results for natural language question queries, it’s safe to say that adding a niche glossary of target market terms to a site will become a trend in natural language SEO.

Speaking of which, try looking at the Google Definitions results for “search engine optimization“, again the results are pages with glossary listings, which is going to drive me to adding an original glossary to some of my sites, as making duplicate copies of Wikipedia definitions will probably not get a site anywhere.

If you’re interested in a much deeper look into Google Definitions, Bill Slawski has given the Google Definition patent application, System and method for providing definitions, a run through in his “Looking at Google Definitions” post.

In Bill’s easy to follow explanation of the Google Definitions patent, he reviews where Google Definitions come from and how Google Determines a document contains definitions:

Where definitions come from

* They can be found during web-crawling or spidering by the search engines. If it is determined that a page contains definitions, either the document or information about it may be indexed by the search engine, and stored.
* “Authoritative” sources for definitions could also be used, such as our WordNet Search or Wikipedia pages above.
* Alternatively, pages with definitions could be searched by querying the search engine in real time, instead of ahead of time.
* Or, a mix of both previously collected documents, and new ones identified during real time processing could be used to locate definitions, remove duplicates and clean up definitions in response to a query.

Determining that a document has definitions

* Terms on the page such as “glossary,” “definition,” “dictionary,” and other similar words including variants and canonicalizations of those.
* The search could look at the text of the whole document, or just in certain areas such as title field, meta data, or other places within the document.
* Use of HTML within a document may also be important and meaningful.
* One version of this method would look for terms like “glossary,” “definitions,” or “dictionary” in the titles of Web pages.

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Loren Baker

Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing ... [Read full bio]

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