LSI Keywords: Introduction and Effect on SEO Process

LSI stands for Latent semantic indexing, and it is a completely real thing. However, when someone mentions LSI keywords, this is a whole made up thing.  At this point, maybe questioning why are we even making an article about them? We have some reasons behind this topic, and here they are: First of all, we would like to differentiate what is real and what is a myth so when new SEO’s don’t get caught up with LSI keywords. And second, there are other ways you can improve your content without using LSI keywords. You can use relevant topics, SEO services, or specific keywords research to up the content’s quality.

What are the LSI keywords?

The majority of the time, LSI keywords are used to describe phrases directly related to the topic. We will give you a simple example to make things clearer. If the article you are writing has the topic weights lifting, then LSI keywords will be phrases like dumbbell, personal trainer, leg press, fitness, gym, and many more.

When you have more related keywords on your web page, you will have a better ranking page that some of the bigger pages have. Getting those ‘LSI keywords’ in your article will give Google the signal that your web page is relevant.

If you ask some freelance writers, they will tell you that many of their clients will send them the topic that the article should be about and some LSI keywords to be implemented in the article a certain amount of times.

We would like to see why this technique of having LSI keywords is not a valid research technique.

LSI keywords – the truth

One user on Twitter shared a screenshot and tagged Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller. He asked the big question, and here is what Mueller responded.

This is only one piece of proof that LSI keywords aren’t real. When a Google expert tells you something, it is probably true. Here is another example, this time by Bill Slawski, an expert on search engines and a huge name in the SEO industry.

Even if two people say that LSI keywords aren’t real, go on Google and type in ‘LSI keywords,’ You will see numerous articles on how to use and implement them. So the question is still not answered if they are real or not.

What is latent semantic indexing?

It is a form or a method used to get information from LSA or latent semantic analysis. LSA has been around since the 80s. This determines the connections between words and the documents in which they are used. The whole thing can get pretty complicated, and we don’t want to bother you with all the mathematical calculations, but if you are interested in those kinds of things, here is one example.

Even though this process is used for different things, the main purpose is to analyze enterprise databases such as filtering out the spam, summarizing some of the texts, making information more visual, classifying some documents, etc. Another big thing that LSI isn’t and hasn’t been used for search engine algorithms and indexing processes.

Has Google used LSI?

There has never been any sign that Google has ever used LSI. One main reason is that it is a pretty outdated technology. Because Google has some advanced and new algorithms, using a process such as LSI is not needed. The new algorithms will always prioritize authoritative and high-quality content over the content that compromises readability.

There are more aspects to the question of why do people still believe that Google uses LSI. No one knows how this phenomenon started. But it has to be a combination of certain aspects.

  1. Confusing semantics and LSI

The people who still think that Google uses LSI will say that they use synonyms and semantically related words. Google has always been open to using natural language processing. Numerous times they have explained how their algorithms work.

This is just one example of how one word can have a couple of meanings and how the semantics part helps to understand it more.

They even explain how they index a webpage.

The indexed page will automatically be added to the search entry for every word that the web page contains. When some of these explanations were posted online, maybe some people connected them to how the LSI process works, and things got intertwined. People thought that if they implement a good number of those occurring words on their page, Google will associate the page with the other high-ranked ones. This is not the case, and things are more complicated than that.

  1. It might have worked in the past

Some SEO services and keywords research might have used a keyword unnaturally in a text back in the day, but today, Google’s algorithms have improved and matured greatly. As the years went by, Google decided that it was time to reshape the algorithms and penalize any website that used keyword stuffing to gain more notability.

LSI keywords’ big dangers are similar to the techniques that SEO’s did back in the day, which was stuffing as many keywords as possible and trying to reach a specific keyword density.

Can you use LSI keywords to help your website rank?

The simple answer is no, or the big issue is that you will keep on piling up and focusing more on the keywords that you want to implement than on the actual article that will go on your webpage. The best thing you can do is keep on writing naturally and focusing on the topic at hand.

A couple of tips so you can get the right keywords:

  1. Using a legit keyword search tool

The best way to find the perfect keywords for a specific topic is to use a keyword search tool.

Enter the main keyword, and sort your search by the highest search volume. This way, you will get results on how and what people have been using the most in their web pages. You may ask, are there any LSI keyword tools? And again, the answer will be no.

You may find websites that claim that they have such a tool, but the result is the same as using a basic keyword search tool.

  1. Competitor analysis

There are more things to do than just researching what keywords your competitors use on their page. Look at what structure they use when writing their content, see what topic has got the best ranks, check out how much they cover on a specific topic, etc. Making your article relevant as possible is better than stuffing it with keywords, so Google can see how relevant you are.


LSI keywords are just a myth but still doing standard keyword research can help you make your articles and webpage stand out. When writing your article, make sure you have touched on everything about the topic at hand, check out if your competitors have missed some key points of that topic, and use the proper wording for the specific topic. The keyword search shouldn’t take you a lot of time because if you are planning to write a lot about a certain topic, the majority of keywords that you will find on that topic will come naturally.

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