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Finding Related Words For Google

One step beyond basic stemming.



10:25 pm on May 9, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Everyone knows how to add a suffix or use a thesaurus, but that is only the beginning. How do we find words that Google knows relate to our target term?

Currently, the tilde search operator is my weapon of choice. Let's see if Google sees any relationships for the ubiquitous widget [google.com]. Notice that GUI is bolded in the SERPs. We now know Google sees a relationship between those two words. In theory, including GUI on your widgets page will increase your ranking for widget but not vice versa [google.com].

Too find all of the terms related to widget, we could simply browse the listings looking for bolded terms. But I'm too lazy for that, so I begin excluding words from my query, starting w/ my main term [google.com]. Be sure to collect all your traditional stemmed words( widgeters, widgeting, etc) before excluding your main search term. Each new match is added to my exclusions until no results are found [google.com]. You end up w/ a nice list of related words that can be copied out of the search box.

One downside to this strategy is the chance of missing out on potential matches that only appear on pages you've excluded from your search. However, the time savings is worth it when working with thousands of pages.

Give it a go with a less generic term, and you'll begin to see how much more natural "keyword stuffing" can look now. Anybody else working on a personal Google thesaurus?


9:13 am on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Great post, it gives a nice summary on what's hidden in every keyphrase. I personally didn't do too much research on it since Florida but my interrest started again. :)


2:28 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This trick was already explained on the dutch "voelspriet" website ;)


5:52 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I find your post very interesting, Your_Store; but I'm having difficulty in working out how to employ this gem of information.
Do you want to flesh out your views on Stemming and Latent Semantic Indexing and suggest a practical way of building 'content'which is not penalised for OOP but is rewarded for 'good' text ie use of synonyms and Google important associated words.
I know there is disagreement in the Forum about the level of keyword density which appears to get penalised.
Your further comments would be appreciated.


7:26 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Sorry, I missed that post raptorix. I knew only knowing English would be my downfall ;)

As far as using the above words to increase your rankings, I would say that is going to take post or two on it's own. I just try to incorporate as many of the words into my pages as possible.

Not all themed words are equal though. I would say there is a scoring system with different values placed on semantic matches. For the search on widget from above:

widget gets 1 point
widgets gets 1 point
gui gets .9 point

I can usually get a relative idea about the semantic bond between two words using the ~widget -widget search. Usually, the order in which the results are returned is relative to the strength of the bond between your target word and the semantic match.

Please note, all the above is a work in progress. But I will say I have spent many hours w/ my new friend tilda. Be forewarned, going all out on semantic optimization will hurt your rankings on SE's outside of Google. However, once the others catch up it should usher in a new era for search engines and SEO's. Can you tell I'm excited?


10:50 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Suppose you expect people to search for keyword1 keyword2 but keyword1 has two totally different meanings. Should we try to use synonyms etc. for both meanings?



11:02 pm on May 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'd say for the short term using the synonyms for both meanings is benificial. However, I've been avoiding the practice; because, it doesn't sit well for me. I'm thinking Google will eventually use these semantic matches to decipher that your page is about about meaning 1 not meaning 2, but such forecasting belongs in another thread.


1:02 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey great thread. This is a truly useful piece of information.


5:30 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have been using the ~ feature for quite some time now. It works well for a single word phrase or a phrase where one word has strong semantic meaning in Google's ontology. But in phrases with 2 words such as "Real Estate" ~ doesn't work. Searching for semantic for "Real" and "Estate" separately is absurd. Since in real world most phrases are of the above type, this utility has to be used with care.

Best Wishes



10:49 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When you use tilde ~ with 'real estate' it throws up 'homes for sale' and 'property'
Seems a good match to me - 'property' is very much the poorer cousin, as you would expect.


10:53 am on May 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Have you used your new-found know-how with a webpage which appears to have been hit by an OOP?
Have you attempted to remove repetitive keywords or phrases and replaced them with synonyms and google-favoured words found with tilde ~?

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