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Archive for May, 2007

Semantic search

Tuesday, May 1st, 2007

Semantic indexing is getting more and more important to search engines. What exactly is semantic indexing and how does it influence your search engine rankings?

What is semantic indexing?

    Semantic indexing means that search engines try to associate certain terms with concepts when indexing web pages. For example, Paris and Hilton are associated with a woman instead of a city and a hotel, Tiger and Woods are associated with golf.

How can search engines find the relation between words?

For example, Google has billions of web pages in its index. If Google finds that many web pages contain both the word Paris and the word Hilton then Google might assume that these keywords are related. The other words on these pages could give Google a hint that this special word combination is about a woman.

Words that frequently appear very close to each other could get a tighter connection. Google has a lot of algorithms that allow them to calculate the relation between different words.

How does this influence your search engine optimization activities?

If you want to succeed on Google then it is important that you show Google that your website is relevant to your topic. Here are some things that you can do to show search engines that your site is relevant:

  • Use a meaningful site architecture

    Use a logical system to organize your website content. Create content sections that deal with different parts of your main topic and make sure that everything that is related to your topic is mentioned on your web pages.Make sure that your web pages are put in the right categories on your website and that it’s easy to find the different categories.
  • Use web pages that use different relevant search terms

    If you’re targeting the search term “used cars” you should also create pages that are relevant to “auto”, “suv”, etc.
  • Get links from pages that are semantically relevant to yours If you’re selling cars then the “Cars” web page that links to your site should not be about the movie. Links from topically related pages will be semantically beneficial to your site.
  • Find out why other pages rank higher than yoursIf you ever asked yourself why another page has been ranked higher than yours although you perfectly optimized your pages for your search terms then you should analyze the inbound links of top pages.The number and the authority of inbound links are important. However, it’s also important that the links come from semantically and topically related pages.

Don’t focus on a single keyword when optimizing your pages. If you want to prepare your website for advanced search engine algorithms then you have to create a website that has been optimized for many different but related search terms. In addition, it’s important that the links to your website come from topically related pages so that search engines put your website in the right context.



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