Every SEO practitioner, new or old, know very well that the proper use of keywords can make their lives much easier. However, not all understand what LSI keywords are and why people seem to be at their wits’ end to integrate them into their campaigns.

The acronym LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. While that may sound too technical, it actually refers to a simple matter: related keywords. In this article, you will learn 4 important things about LSI keywords that will surely make your SEO journey a whole lot easier.

Understanding LSI Beyond the Definition

Before the birth of LSI keywords, SEO was easily achieved using keyword density. Back in the day, a website can outrank a competitor by simply mentioning the keyword their targeting more times in one article.

After years of development, Google eventually developed this into something that makes more sense as it not only makes ranking an unfair game but also doesn’t support great user experience. Now, search engines bots factor in related keywords. After all, not all people have the exact same way of expressing their thoughts and a single keyword have a lot of meanings.

Unlike what most people believe, LSI keywords don’t only cover synonyms of the main keywords, it also includes words that are commonly found with it. To understand how this works, it is important to take into consideration the context that connects them. The keywords “iTunes” and “Apple” are examples of LSI since they share the same context but aren’t synonyms.

Google’s Algorithms and LSI Keywords

Google’s release of their Panda algorithm update in 2011 marked the end of the era of poor-quality content. This was the time when web pages were given “quality scores” that became one of the key factors in ranking. At the time, websites with duplicate content as well as those that practice keyword stuffing got demoted to a lower rank.

Two years later, Hummingbird was released. It was during this time that Google considered about taking users’ intent on how they calculate a page’s relevance to user queries. This was also the time when the first signs of LSI keywords were seen, with the algorithm helping the search engine understand the context of what the user is trying to look for and match it with appropriate search results.

LSI and the SERPs

Since keywords remain the focal point of SEO, Google developed a way to understand the meaning behind the use of such words and phrases to improve user experience with the birth of latent semantic indexing. Below are the three ways how LSIs are factored into your page’s ranking:

  1. With LSI, the overall context has become Google’s priority over keyword density. Experts explain that, in this concept, a page will rank higher if it focused on establishing a context within the main keyword using related ones.
  2. Updates released by Google has set a limit for keyword density, but it also provided web developers and bloggers with a way to continue optimizing using LSI. Once you reach the maximum number of repetition for your main keyword, you can continue by including related ones instead. This will prove to be a better SEO tactic than simply stopping once the maximum keyword density is reached.
  3. LSIs are also known as keyword variations. This means that you’ll have better chances of ranking for different phrases you used in your content even if you cannot rank higher with your main keyword.

Where to Find LSI Keywords

LSI keywords are easy to come by. In fact, Google has provided us with the most obvious source of related keywords in the search results page. All you need to do is type in your main keyword and look for the word or group of words that appear in bold letters aside from the one you typed into the search bar.

You can also find these at the bottom of the SERPs under the “Related Searches” portion or the drop-down menu that appear below the search bar.