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LSI vs. SEO Techniques

Updated on July 19, 2012

Latent semantic indexing, often called LSI, is a different way of optimizing content for search engine placement. It differs from standard search engine optimization in several key ways, most notably with a different use of keywords.

SEO Copywriting

Search engine marketing has traditionally been done with the use of keyword percentages. This search engine marketing technique usually starts with a search through a keyword tool to find one or more keyword phrases that are frequently searched and that pertain to the subject topic.

The keywords are then used in a specific percentage of the total word count of the piece. Many SEO writers create works that are made up of about three percent of the keyword phrase. The keyword phrases are generally used in the title, in the first paragraph and in the last paragraph.

These SEO copywriting techniques are the basis of search engine marketing under the traditional method of seeking a better search engine placement for a website or page. However, search engines have recently begun emphasizing LSI techniques instead of the heavy reliance on SEO.

LSI Copywriting

Latent semantic indexing shies away form emphasizing one or two keywords too prominently. The main keyword or keywords are used a few times in the piece, but there is no keyword percentage to strive for. Instead, the LSI method relies on a web of words that are all related to the topic.

If the topic of a website or webpage is spiders, the SEO method may require three percent of the page to be made up of the word "spiders" and another three percent to be made up of the word "spiderweb". With an LSI page, the word "spider" might be used two or three times and the words web, "spiderweb", "arachnid" and "spin" might also be included to create a rounded use of related words.

There is no keyword density and no strategic placement of the words that are used. The page should have a broad range of words that pertain to the subject in order to get a better search engine placement.

Finding Related Words

To find words that relate to the topic, Web writers and publishers can conduct simple search engine searches to find the content that is being indexed under the topic. Look at page titles and descriptions to find words that may help a page rank better. Another LSI technique is to search for the main keyword phrase on Wordtracker or the Adwords keyword tool for the most popular related phrases.

Judging Web Content

Search engines are using latent semantic indexing as an increasingly large portion of the search engine placement process because it allows the search engine to better judge the overall content of the page. Because search engine placement is done to rank the best, most informative pages first, using LSI to rank sites is a way to choose sites that have in-depth content instead of ones that were written purely for keyword SEO.

Sites that are too driven by keywords will rank lower under the latest search engine placement guidelines. A page that concentrates too much on one or two phrases may be seen as being too optimized and therefore not as informative as one that uses the related words technique.


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    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida


      Thanks for the information about LSI method for optimizing content.

      I will research this also. A very interesting and useful hub.


      Bobbi Purvis


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