Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

Latent semantic indexing also referred to as LSI is a modern process of indexing web pages. Google focuses time and energy on improving the user experience by delivering the highest quality and most relevant content.


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A few years ago Google delivered results based on keyword density. While this worked, it soon became common knowledge that the more frequently you include your keywords, the higher your web page would rank within the search results pages. As a result Google had to adapt its algorithm and reduce the value of keyword density.

Excessive keyword use looks messy and produces copy which is not of interest. Below is an example of how you could have saturated a passage with keywords (in this case ‘web design company’ and ‘Colchester’):

Universal Web Design is a Colchester based web design company that specialises in web design and development. Our offices are based in the heart of Colchester and our design team works with business in and around Colchester and Essex. If you want to work with a Colchester based web design company, then be sure to contact Universal Web Design – Colchester’s leading design firm.

The keywords are included to the point of excess, which would have enhanced website ranking but makes the content look ridiculous. Keyword density was an integral part of the search ranking process, and they simply carried too much weight.

To combat this issue, Google introduced Latent Semantic Indexing. This way web pages could be optimised for search results without looking like spam to the user. This solution would meet both the users needs and Google’s requirements to deliver quality web pages each time.

Latent Semantic Indexing is not new idea. Using a system of synonyms, key words are identified even if the wording varies. For instance, someone could search ‘Low Cost Web Design’ or ‘Affordable Web Design Company’ but they would be looking for the same sorts of website.

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In short, by using closely related search terms Latent Semantic Indexing delivers closely related search results.

LSI means you can focus on quality copy rather than filling your pages with key terms. This produces better, more accurate search results which are more relevant to the user.

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