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January 24, 2011

What is Latent Semantic Indexing And How Can Webmasters Optimize With It

LSI, which stands for latent semantic indexing, is a part of the Google algorithm which aids the search engine in providing the best search results possible. When content writers understand what LSI is, they can take advantage of the process in order to rank their optimized pages better in the search results.

Latent Semantic Indexing allows Google to associate similar words which can be related to a specific topic. For example, if a page is about “dog arthritis” and optimized for that term, there may very well be other words on the page such as canine, joint disease, glucosamine, limping, osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, etc.

The search engine has seen this pattern on enough pages that they now know to connect those words with the overall topic of “dog arthritis”. Seeing those words on the page along with the primary keyword gives Google more confidence in ranking the page well for the optimized term.

When webmasters understand this connection the search algorithm is making with the related words and how much the associations mean, they can better create content which is deemed relevant to the engine.

But there is an added benefit in understanding LSI for those attempting to use search engine optimization for ranking pages high in the search results. Nowadays, the keyword densities allowed by Google are quite lower than what they used to be. In the past, 5 to 7 percent was quite the norm. However, today 1 to 2 percent is more expected by the Google search engine. Anything more will begin to border on appearing to be keyword spamming.

Therefore, when a writer does their research and assembles a list of all the related synonyms and other words that could be associated with the optimized term, they will better be able to write content which is not perceived as having too dense of keywords. Just a simple example, one could use the term feline in place of “cat” on a page being optimized for “cat flea collar”. There are countless other examples of such words which can be exchanged for one another without hurting the optimization or causing any red flags to be raised by Google for any possible resemblance of spamming.

Finding these related words which can be used to take advantage of Latent Semantic Indexing is quite easy. Simply go to the free Google keyword tool, often called the “external” tool, and search the preferred which will be optimized for. Do not check the box on the search page which limits the results to only those containing the primary keyword. In other words, you will want the keyword tool to show you all the related words the search engine finds relevant to the term.

Once that list is obtained, it makes writing the content much easier and also feeds the search algorithm with content which greatly aids in serving high quality search results.

Steve Weber, owner of Weber Internet Marketing, has provided help to beginning online marketers since 2006. His website contains many tutorials which aid those new to Internet marketing in the process of site optimization: