Keyword Selection and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) has now become a part of Google’s algorithm and appears to be a permanent structure from here on out.  

What are keywords?

All of the popular and powerful search engines use algorithms, or in laymen terms a mathematical equation to measure the quality and importance of all Web sites Although there are various components/elements to a site, there is nothing more important than unique content. The infamous saying, “Content is King” still holds true to this day. If you did notice, we said “unique” content, meaning not copied and/or poorly structured content, basically, original content that has value to a reader. Why? Because content or text that is original, clear, and concise and is only found in one place means that that is fresh, new and valuable information that someone may be able to read or learn from. This is what the search engines, and quite frankly it is what people are looking for. No matter what the topic of this newly written content, there will always be keywords or keyword phrases that indentify the core and underlying subject within that body of text. These keywords are strategically placed within the code of the page and within the body content in a particular fashion to satisfy the search engines algorithm’s requirements and a reader’s answer,  in whichever manner that may be.

Identifying the right words

Before you ever select what these keywords might be, you must do comprehensive research of your industry or current subject matter. It is imperative to pinpoint exact keywords depending on your real goals. Selecting a term that is too broad may not get you going where you need to be.

For example, let’s say that you sell affordable basketball shoes for kids. If you chose the keyword, “shoes” for a target phrase of your site. Your site is trying to rank for the term, “shoes” and when you type in “shoes” in Google, there are 324,000,000 other sites all ranking for that term. Guess what, there are only 10 spots on the first page of Google. Why are there so many results? Because “shoes” is so broad. “Shoes” could mean, men’s women’s, tennis, running, golf, hiking, dress, cleats, bowling, etc…there are all kinds of “shoes”. So what kind of chance does your new site have in ranking for “shoes”….slim to none. But, if you type in “cheap children’s basketball shoes” there are only 752,000 other sites that come up for that. Now that is doable. Get it?

Long-tail vs. Short-tail terms

Our shoes scenario is a great example of short-tail versus long-tail keyword phrases. It represents the number of words used in the actual search term typed into Google. "Shoes" is an example of a short-tail phrase (using only one word), and "cheap children’s basketball shoes" is a long-tail phrase. As you can clearly see, long tail more precisely targets your market by slimming the search within Google down to a particular type of audience. This is also used to target a specific geographic market. Like if you were looking for kids basketball shoes in Stroudsburg, PA, then it will narrow it down to sites in that area. If your Web site is used to target this audience, your chances of placing high in the search engine results page is dramatically improved.

Latent Semantic Indexing

Latent semantic indexing (LSI) brings up a VERY important aspect  to the search engine indexing process. Not only does a search engine robot identify and keep a record of the keywords an actual Web page contains, LSI has to look at the content collection as a whole, to see what other pages contain these similar types of words. LSI considers other pages that have several similar words to be “semantically” close, and pages that have no words in common, “semantically” distant. The point of this is because of how actual humans (remember those things?) view content. Although the LSI robot doesn’t actually understand the words, it can for sure recognize patterns which will make it very intelligent.

When you do a search, the search engine robot looks at the similar values it has calculated for every word, and then gives back the pages that it thinks best fits your request. Where an ordinary keyword search might fail where there is no exact match, LSI will often return relevant pages that don't even contain the keyword at all. A simple example of LSI for the keyword "pasta" might include:

  • penne
  • spaghetti
  • sauce
  • angel hair
  • noodles
  • el dente

Looking at those bullet points the keyword "pasta" is not there. . However, the brilliance of LSI knows that pasta is implied as the subject matter for the inquiry. The reason we are telling you all this computer nerd garbage, is because we want you to see the importance of a good SEO copywriter. A good one knows how to employ LSI tactics into their writing. Contact Resolt Marketing today to see how our SEO copywriting service will get you where you need to be.


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