Google Doesn’t Do Synonyms

Rarely do we want to rank for only one search phrase. Generally there are many different words and phrases that humans might use to get to your pages, different phrases that I refer to here very roughly as "synonyms".

But the notion of synonomy is a "semantic" concept — one that involves meaning — rather than a "syntactic" concept — one that relates only to language. Search engines don’t do semantics, only syntax.

For example, I know that a force transducer is the same thing as a load cell, but these semantically equivalent terms are syntactically disjoint, so ranking for one will not get you ranking for the other in today’s search engines.

This is especially problematic where your company name, which often gets used as link text, does not contain your preferred search. Here’s a concrete example I found to illustrate this point, but you can find many of your own.

A company named Transducer Techniques sells load cells. Totally obvious to me, a total mystery to Google. Many of the links to this firm are from industry directories that use the company name, so they are top ranked for the word "transducer". But according to WordTracker, the real traffic is for "load cell", where this company ranks #4.

Now compare Transducer Techniques to Load Cell Central, the top ranked page for load cell, which is not even in the first 100 results for transducer.

This is entirely a result link text. If links like Transducer Techniques were replaced with links like The Load Cell Experts the rankings would like be very different owing to the difference in PageRanks between these two sites.

Speak Your Mind