Latent Semantic Indexing Explained – What is LSI

I’m not gonna lie. I don’t get asked this question very often. Most people trying to get traffic to their website have never even heard of this term.   However, once you’ve really immersed yourself into the world of search engine optimization, you’ll see latent semantic indexing (LSI) mentioned. It’ll be right there along with theme and silos.

So this article will explain in easy to understand terms just what the heck latent semantic indexing is and the easy way to apply it to your website (and it really is easy despite the fact that some people have gone to great lengths to make it sound ultra complicated).

Basically, LSI is a way to take a computer algorithm and allow it to understand what the web page is about the same way a human reading the page would.

Let me give you two sample paragraphs.

If you are looking for great dog training advice, you’ve come to the right place. We have all the best “dog training” resources on the Internet. It doesn’t matter what type of dog training you need, we’ve got it here at. We’ll make dog training a painless process.

Now consider this:

If you’re looking for great dog training advice, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re housebreaking a new puppy or you want to get advanced with agility training, we’ve got the resources you need. Give us a few weeks, and your dog will be sitting, staying, and coming on command, and you’ll never again need to worry about what kind of trouble your dog is getting itself into when you’re not there. Obedience issues will be a thing of the past.

You tell me, which paragraph is more relevant to you, the human reader, if you’re interested in dog training? Paragraph number two, right?   And as a person looking for information, you’d find more relevant information if the second paragraph ranked higher in the search engines.

And that is exactly what latent semantic indexing is. It allows search engines to look at a page and understand the topic and who is covering it and discussing it better without having to hire a human to read and rank every page manually.

While there are programs out there to help you develop your “theme” properly and on how to build content silos and a bunch of other stuff, you don’t actually need to know any of that. Remember, the whole point of LSI is to place the most relevant websites at the top of the search, not just the ones with the optimal keyword density.  It’s supposed to be more “human-like” in its ability to understand a page. So here’s what you do. Make sure the pages of your website are written by somebody who knows the subject well (I’d recommend using a human if you’ve got one available). If you’re a subject matter expert, your content will be written in the optimal format for latent semantic indexing without even thinking about it.

If you’re outsourcing your content to some dude in India (or wherever) that has never even heard about the topic they’re writing about, that will be immediately apparent.

Create high quality and relevant content and latent semantic indexing will take care of itself.   Yes, it really can be that simple.

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