LSI is a Protocol NOT a Keyword
The LSI protocol is a mystery you have probably never heard of, at least not in this way. LSI refers to Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). It is an indexing protocol and search process based on an algorithm or mathematical procedure to find the patterns associated with terms and concepts in an unstructured collection of text, called Singular Value Decomposition (SVD).
For more on these definitions, see the Wikipedia article Latent semantic analysis.
I was intrigued by these LSI keyword strategies that almost every SEO “expert” uses these days. What interested me was not the strategy itself, but that Google says nothing about it.
There’s a good reason why Google does not say anything about it because you and I know that many SEOs try to “crack Google’s secret algorithms”. As if there is something to “crack”.
First, you need to know me a bit more.
Stop Thinking About LSI Keywords – Here is why!
Today you will progress in your SEO career, you will stop imitating what others say and worse, do wrong. You will learn how the LSI protocol works and what you need to do to make Google actually interpret the text of your web pages and rank them accordingly.
What you will not learn here are the secrets of how to crack Google’s algorithms and be on the first page tomorrow. Simply because that is not realistic.
However, you can improve your writing skills if you are a content writer. If you are not and you manage content writers, you have the opportunity to give them effective guidelines for writing content that meets the criteria for better placement on the Search Engine Results Pages.
I will also give you some content quality indicators that all your articles and posts must have. This way you can follow them directly and get in touch with your writing team to get your blog posts in order.
The topics of SEO, content writing, and latent semantic indexing.
LSI keywords are keywords that you need to find and add to your text content to enrich it and improve its relevance. This is what you have been told all along.
Ahrefs, Moz, Semrush, Backlinko, LSIGraph, Wordstream and many others use the words LSI keywords as if such a thing really existed.
I was so intrigued by this because I have never seen anyone from Google consider LSI to be representative of keywords. Deeper still, if you look up what LSI means, it clearly says Latent Semantic Indexing.
But that’s an old patent that Google does not use, and I am not sure it ever did. You need to understand this correctly because you are not looking for “LSI keywords”, you are dealing with a subject as an expert. Read what John Muller says about LSI in 2019:
SEO keywords and the Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – A.K.A, LSI Keywords
This is how we should approach the subject from now on: Keywords to support the semantics of a topic to facilitate the indexing process.
SEO keywords are the ones we track. These keywords indicate what search engines need to determine whether your web pages are suitable for a search query. The decision is made in the evaluation algorithms that run on the servers of the search engines, be it Google or another search engine.
Using keyword generation tools is not always a good thing, as they easily determine the relationship between your chosen keyword and the keywords needed to enrich the text.
If you need SEO keywords, you’d better use Google Keyword Planner because the resulting keywords are based on the algorithms of Google itself. And Google, as the biggest search engine at the moment and in the years to come, is the most important tool we have to rely on for keywords.
Ubersuggest is also a good option but sticks to the biggest and most important free tool of all: Google Search.
Leaving Latent Semantic Indexing and reaching out to semantics
Leaving Latent Semantic Indexing and reaching out to semantics.
There is no evidence that Google uses LSI, so you will not find any official documentation about LSI on Google. You will find a lot of information from sources other than Google, but again, nothing official.
In the absence of a trustworthy source confirming this information, I cannot give you examples of the use of “LSI keywords” because, again, DOES not exist on Google.
What does exist at Google are protocols for semantic technologies to assess which words are related to the thematic modelling of your data.
Modelling articles the right way
And since it’s important that you model your articles correctly, I’ll show you how to do that here:
Problem: We want to rank better for the search query gold silver truck.
- Example 1: Delivery of gold damaged in a fire.
- Example 1 is very close to the search intention, but as you can see, the main intention goes in a different direction
- Example 2: Delivery of silver that arrived in a silver truck.
- Example 2 covers the whole intention in the query, delivery of silver in a lorry with gold colour: The delivery of silver arrived in a silver lorry.
- Example 3: Delivery of gold that arrived in a truck.
- Example 3 is also good, but not as good because it leaves out some good information on the subject.
So when you choose a keyword or long-tail keywords for an article, make sure the wording is clear and treat each subheading with the same importance as the main heading.
What can you do about those tools offering LSI Keywords?
I hope this answer helps!
You can contact the admin of such tools and ask them how they generate those keywords. Because Google is not using such technology.
Google likes some semantic technologies, such as schema. See schema.org for examples of how to use schema markup, including JSON-ld.
Here is an interesting article by Bill Slawski that you should definitely read: Does Google Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)? It will blow your mind.
Keywords are not LSI. Disregard that and keep these guidelines in mind when crafting your text. Adopting a semantic field is certainly the correct strategy and the approach you should take when tackling a subject.
John Mueller and Bill Slawski are two great names to consider and some of the best writers we can find when it comes to getting better information on Google Search.
I hope this article will open your eyes and from now on you will stop looking for something that does not exist, like LSI keywords, and consider enriching your articles with the tips I have given you above.
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