Latent Semantic Indexing, or LSI, is not a new concept. It has been around for decades, long before Google or even the Internet became a thing. It is, however, a relatively new method of categorizing your content, and showing relevant results in the search engines. LSI is something that every website owner, content writer, and SEO specialist needs to be aware of. Fortunately, it is done naturally when we speak.
Latent Semantic Indexing
Simply put, LSI is lumping similar words together. They are all words that closely relate to each other, and therefore often show up in search results even if they aren’t exactly what you searched for.
For instance, let’s suppose that I have a piece of technology that needs fixed. So I type into Google “device repair billings mt” looking for the nearest repair shop. The first result is for iDoctor. But you notice that the word “device” isn’t anywhere in the description of their website (it is ON the website though). Latent Semantic Indexing has allowed Google to know that cell phone repair (notice that it is in bold) is closely related to device repair, and thus has included iDoctor in the search results (by the way, if you need a computer repair tech, these guys are rockstars).
You can see this with just about any search that you do. If you look for “Accountant” Google will bring back results including keywords like “taxes” or “accounting” or “bookkeeping” because they are all similar. Chances are that you have seen this pop up in your searches, and maybe you have been annoyed by the results (if that’s the case, put your keyword in quotes to eliminate confusion).
Why Latent Semantic Indexing is Important
20 years ago, when the internet was first taking off in popularity, the easiest way to get ranked well on Google was to stuff your pages with keywords. For instance, if I had a page dedicated to all the best Easter Eggs you could find on the Nintendo 64 Game GoldenEye 007, then I would write all about the game and what you could find. At the end of the page I would simply repeat my keywords a hundred or two hundred times. The search engines would merely scan and count those keywords, and say “wow, this guy must have a page super dedicated to GoldenEye!” and rank my site at the top.
Alternatively, if you were a bit more tech savvy and you didn’t want your page to look stuffed, you could stuff your keywords into meta tags and meta descriptions. This would have the same effect as above, but the casual browser would never see the stuffing.
These methods of SEO have since been largely removed. Google’s algorithms penalize those who keyword stuff (generally by de-indexing the site completely), and for the last decade and a half (more or less) hardly anyone uses those techniques.
How does that relate to latent semantic indexing? It’s because it is incredibly hard to include keyword phrases that people actually use, without them sounding stuffed. For instance, when would anyone ever use the phrase, “roofer billings mt” in a sentence? You might use, “Find the best roofer in Billings, MT”, or perhaps you would say, “I am a roofer in Billings, MT”. They all mean the same thing, and anyone searching for that keyword string doesn’t want the guy that stuffed his keyword, they want the actual best roofer in Billings. Using LSI Google has been able to weed out the junk, and only include those with well written content.
Using Latent Semantic Indexing Normally
Fortunately for those writing web content, LSI comes as a natural part of speech. If Google was simply showing results with exact keyword matches, you (the writer) would have to drastically alter your writing style to include the keywords or phrases.
Latent semantic indexing allows you to write naturally, and Google will still see that you are including keywords, even if you’re not using those exact keywords.
Sery Content Development Writes Web Content
Despite the fact that you can just write naturally and not have to worry about including exact phrases, you probably still don’t have time to sit down and write. That’s ok. That is why I started Sery Content Development.
Sery Content Development is an SEO company in Billings, MT. We specialize in creating high quality, unique content that will drive you to the top of Google. We optimize every page of content we write, and through our social media management services, we help keep you at the top of your clients’ minds.