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Old 02-03-2005   #1
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Major Google Changes: Latent Semantic Analysis?

MODERATOR NOTE: This thread is for discussion of recent changes at Google that may be due LSI/LSA factors. For discussions of the update outside of this issue, see the What's Going On With Google: Feb. 2005 Update thread to a guide for other topics.

I wrote about this at my blog under the title of Is the Google Sandbox Over?, but I thought I bring it to this forum.

Basically, I reported on some new changes at google - some major SERP changes. But then I did more digging, and found that "about a handful of sites I launched within the year, all sandboxed for [company name] are now all ranking #1 for [company name]."

I would like to hear from you all, a good tool to check all datacenters is at http://www.mcdar.net/dance/index.php

Check and let us know if you see the same.

Mod Note: Changed the name of the thread to better reflect what is currently being discussed.

Last edited by dannysullivan : 02-11-2005 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #2
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What you're seeing is an old-style dance.

No major changes in sites coming out of the sandbox. But there are MAJOR goings-on in the index.

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #3
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As a matter of fact, I'm seeing old sites now go INTO the sandbox.

A lot of SEOs won't like this when it rolls out. Google's devalued links, and looks like they're increasing reliance on LSI... maybe IDF too, but it's too early to tell.

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #4
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I have seen:

- new sites out of the sandbox
- new pages showing as older pages in google
- major flux in serps

But the main point is that many are reporting that they are now coming out of the sandbox.

It might just be a major flux and that is it.
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Old 02-03-2005   #5
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This is 100% an LSI update.

Whether or not the sandbox is tied to that, I (and no one else) don't really know. But this is 100% related to LSI.

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #6
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Hey Jake can you spell out the Acronymns for us slow of thought
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Old 02-03-2005   #7
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You're an SEO mate. Use a search engine.

http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum3...?highlight=lsi

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #8
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I think he means Latent Semantic Indexing;

It's basically a method whereby search engines learn through indexing to associate certain terms with concepts - tiger woods & golf - saddam hussein & iraq, etc.

bakedjake - I wonder what evidence or examples do you have to support your theory? Why do you believe that LSI (or an upgraded version of it) is responsible and how do you see it affecting results? Are you suggesting that Google is better at theming pages, links, both?

I'd love to hear your ideas.
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Old 02-03-2005   #9
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Theming != LSI. Not in the way they're doing it. Theming is a nasty rumor started by someone who didn't understand the algo.

I'm not about to go post my research and examples on a public forum. But, I'll warn you now - if you're not varying your anchor text, and you're not writing pages synonymous with your term that don't contain the term you're targetting, you're going to be in a world of hurt within the next 90 days.

We've been tracking this update for the last 6 months. I was surprised to see it happen now - I honestly didn't expect it until next month or March, but it's here.

Oh, and figure out how to use the tilde query. If you haven't been using it to SEO your pages, you're about 4 months behind. Start now.

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakedjake
...if you're not varying your anchor text, and you're not writing pages synonymous with your term that don't contain the term you're targetting, you're going to be in a world of hurt within the next 90 days.
I find that hard to swallow. LSI is an "additional" way to associate keywords with websites - not a replacement. If I have a website about ducks, but have no articles that mention the word "quack" my site isn't going to dive into the abyss simply based on that.

If anything, a move by Google to expand the incorporation of LSI into it's algo would expand the impact of links from sites/pages that may currently be on the fringe of association. Course, it can also mean a further devaluing of unrelated links, but that's always a good thing.
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Old 02-03-2005   #11
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siteseo, you're 50% there. Keep asking questions.

Quote:
it can also mean a further devaluing of unrelated links
Bingo! But who says unrelated has to equal off-topic...

Contrary to what your local SEO tells you, there's no such thing as a natural link campaign....

Combined with LSI/IDF, it looks like this is what they are doing.

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #12
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LSI???

Theming = LSI? IMO, LSI is a subdivision of LSA (latent semantic analysis). According to Orion, both have been used since the late 90's.

From what I know, it's too computational expensive to be implemented by a commercial search engine. They may be using elements of latent semantics.

How do you know they are using this for indexing and ranking? Can you provide me with an example please?
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Old 02-03-2005   #13
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No Nacho, I said Theming != LSI... as in "does not equal".
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Old 02-03-2005   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakedjake
No Nacho, I said Theming != LSI... as in "does not equal".
Sorry about that Jake.

I would still like to hear your thoughts on the rest of my post, please.
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Old 02-03-2005   #15
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Quote:
From what I know, it's too computational expensive to be implemented by a commercial search engine. They may be using elements of latent semantics.
I don't think it's too computationally expensive. Just IMHO.

Play around with the tilde queries. "baby clothes", "infant clothes", "infant apparel" leads to some interesting results.

Added: mp3 player vs. ipod, too.

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #16
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Ok, lets step back a bit and quote some people. Daron Babin (aka SEGuru), said at the Super Session: History of SEO/SEM Theory and Testing - WMW Conf 7 said something to the affect of

Quote:
He recommends writing a page of content and pulling out the keywords, then give it to someone and ask them to figure out what they keyword is. He said its about the other words on the page, its that important. If the keyword is "apple" is the page about computers or fruit?
More to come, meeting...
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Old 02-03-2005   #17
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That's right, rb. That's sort of what I'm getting at, but combine it with advanced anchortext comparisons against those keywords on those pages that you pulled out.

To take your quote example and expand on it: I have a page about "baby clothes". I link to my site 100 times with the anchor text "baby clothes"

I now pull out the words "baby clothes" and all the links pointing to my site with the words "baby clothes"

Do I still have footing to rank for that term "baby clothes" after you've run some sort of semantic analysis on it?

That's my simplistic explanation. I think they're doing something very similar, but taking links into account like that and maybe even devaluing some links on the "main" term...

Which leads to the perception of some sites coming out of the sandbox (you don't do a huge link campaign on your company name), and some sites going into the sandbox (if i was previously optimizing for baby clothes with a 99% kwd). I'm still looking around here too...

glen, bear with me. I'm not trying to be a "pretentious twit", I'm trying to fuel conversation while I'm working on this to give me ideas. You could contribute, you know.

Last edited by bakedjake : 02-03-2005 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 02-03-2005   #18
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Hm, I reported on LSI almost a year ago and the project was old even then - I was actually under the impression that Microsoft had been powering on this in partnership with University of Tennessee - when did Google pick it up?

LSI is certainly interesting - - - but I can't help but wonder about the impact on Google's relevancy, especially considering latest SERPs. I keep wondering if perhaps Google's search for greater relevancy isn't producing less relevant results. Another topic perhaps...

Anyway, Barry, the terms I'm watching aren't out, so maybe you just hit the end of sandboxing naturally?

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Old 02-03-2005   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakedjake
That's right, rb. That's sort of what I'm getting at, but combine it with advanced anchortext comparisons against those keywords on those pages that you pulled out.
Funnily enough, they've been doing that with AdSense for a while - I've been wondering when they'd apply that proper to normal search.

The WMW thread looks interesting, btw - thanks for pointing that out.
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Old 02-03-2005   #20
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There may be some members or guests who are very confused after reading this thread, but it is an especialy important one, and worth taking the time to understand.

LSA - Latent Semantic Analysis
The idea behind this is that by taking a huge composite (index) of millions of web pages, the search engines can "learn" which words are related and which noun concepts relate to one another.

For example, using LSA, a search engine would recognize that trips to the zoo often include viewing wildlife and animals, possibly as part of a tour.

Now, conduct a search at Google for ~zoo ~trips. Note the bolded words match the terms I italicized in the paragraph above. Google is bolding 'related' terms and recognizing which terms that frequently occur concurrently (together / on the same page / in close proximity) in their index.

Some forms of LSA are too computationally expensive. For example, Google isn't smart enough to 'learn' the way some of the newer learning computers do at MIT (see some news reports on this). They cannot, for example, learn through their index that Zebras and Tigers are both examples of striped animals, although they may realize that stripes and zebra are more semanticly connected then ducks and stripes.

Theming
Theming is more of an SEO concocted subject that is floated around often - choosing a 'themed' page for a link rather than a non-themed page. Basically, theming is what Google bought the company Kaltix for. They created the site-themed (flavored) search for Google, which is able to categorize many websites, based on their content/links/etc. into varying themes through a categorization structure.

Hopefully that provides some clarity for those individuals who may be puzzled. I'm certainly still puzzled as to how bakedjake came to this conclusion (although I really appreciate your contribution BJ).
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