LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing | How Google understands whether you are looking for “Apple” the fruit or “Apple” the computer.
Google has always been improving the quality of their search results or in other words give you exactly what you were looking for.
Google has come a long way from doing that just by looking at your search term to be a word-to-word document matching.
It tries to understand the data of millions of webpages through a few ranking factors.
LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing is one such factor that’s playing a key role in giving you quality search results.
LSI is how search understands your terms contextually.
For example it used to be on keyword density, which basically means if you made a page about apple. Google understood the relevance of that webpage through keyword density or how many times the word “Apple” appears on your page.
But now Google understands you webpage contextually using LSI.
Though the equations are complex. The concept is pretty simple.
LSI looks at words which are frequently used together.
Seemingly simple this is extremely powerful and plays a crucial role in improving your search and results.
For example, this helps Google suggest “Apple the fruit”, “Apple images”, “Apple juice” and “Apple Inc.” when you simply type “Apple” even with spelling mistakes.
This also works on the page level to determine the context of your webpage.
For example, if your webpage has few words coming together like,
• “drink” and “apple” – increases the probability that your page talks about apple juice.
• “eat” and “apple” – could mean the page is about apple cakes.
• “phone” and “apple” – could mean your page is about a product from Apple Inc.
You get the idea.
Google has been continually been in the efforts to develop a page ranking system with least vulnerabilities as possible and LSI has proven to be a huge leap towards the right direction for Google.
However this does provide an unfair advantage to long tail keywords, although it seems like a small piece of the pie. Narrowing down a keyword to something very specific.
When done in large scale or volumes, it can be a big time money maker for internet businesses.
A living proof of this is Amazon, “with 57% of all its sales coming from long tail keywords.”
That’s a layman explanation for LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing, which will also be covered on our upcoming article on Thursday about other page ranking factors of Google.
Make sure you read that as well.