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Synonyms - searching in German
Is Google using synomyms for a regular search in German?

 11:47 am on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

When I'm searching for Stellenanzeigen Hamburg [google.de], I'm seeing not only 'Stellenanzeigen' and 'Hamburg' highlighted, but also 'Stellenangebote' - a synonym for 'Stellenanzeigen'.

More interestingly, when searching for Stellenanzeigen [google.de], ~Stellenanzeigen [google.de] or +Stellenanzeigen +Hamburg [google.de] just the search terms are highlighted.

Is Google using synonyms (partly) and is this new?



 9:17 am on Nov 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



 8:50 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've seen similar things.

Let's say a Swedish person searches for "widget" (a common word) in swedish at the swedish version of GG (note, the interface also in swedish), and my site is about this but completely in English, there is no Swedish word in the whole site.

My site is actually listed on the SERPS, with the English word "widgets" bolded.

I have also seen this but Spanish-english.

When you look at the cache, they say that the missing word can be found on link poiting to the site, which I'm 99% sure is innacuratte.


 9:25 pm on Nov 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

that stellenangebote - stellenanzeigen thing looks really weird... i guess they have to know these are synonyms, otherwise it wouldn't be both bold...


 8:35 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, obviously they treat those two terms as synonyms.
That's the first example where I see this in such an unambiguous manner. I think they need to apply this technique very carefully, because it may be helpful in some cases, but less so in others.


 9:32 am on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

It seems that Google is using synonyms for some weeks. Synonyms are included in the search, i.e. pages are found which have the search term neither on the page nor as incoming link.

However, it seems to be not very obvious when synonyms are used and when not. When searching for a single word it seems that no synonyms are used (e.g. when searching for 'Stellenanzeigen', 'Stellenangebote' are not found). Also if A is used as a synonym for B this doesn't mean that B is used as a synonym for A (e.g. when searching for 'Stellenangebote Hamburg', 'Stellenanzeigen' is not considered).


 1:40 pm on Nov 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Very interesting, this could expalain why I've been showing up in a few strange foreign language searches. Thanks for the heads-up.

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