Google Synonym Recognition: Pros and Cons for Midsize Business Websites

By | Sep 13, 2012

Have you ever done a Google search and realized that some of the sites showing up were related to the keyword phrase but did not exactly match the search phrase? This is Google synonym recognition, which is a part of the search engine algorithm that tries to do matches on similar phrases to make sure users get a variety of results that match what they are looking for. This means that businesses with high quality content, and a lot of information related to the business, are found by users in the search engine. The algorithm continues to get smarter, and Google has released a number of large algorithm changes in the past month to improve search results including synonym recognition.

The Pros for Businesses

The changes are perfect for companies that have a large amount of high quality content. WebProNews released commentary on the latest synonym changes and updates to the Google algorithm. When writing naturally, synonyms are placed in the content. "Writing naturally" is a term given to writers when they focus on the article and not keyword phrases and content written for search engines. Writing content that focuses only on keyword phrases makes content that misses the mark on quality and synonyms that are related to the phrases.

For businesses with a blog or product content, this means that the business website has a better chance of visibility from the search engine and its users. Better visibility means better traffic and more revenue organically. Organic traffic is what most companies want, because it is "free" traffic that does not have a cost per click from the visitor.

The Cons and Pitfalls of the Google Synonym Recognition Change

For businesses that focused primarily on content for search engines, the new change can render some of the content unusable. Google's Panda update focuses on devaluing content that is duplicated across sites, and it devalues poorly written content. One main pitfall businesses encounter when creating content is writing for the search engines. If the business website is reported or the Panda algorithm picks up on the poorly written content, the synonyms are rendered useless, and the company's website drops in the search results.

In a synonym algorithm change, Googlebot must have sufficient data to determine the synonyms that relate to the company website. This is the downside for any new midsize business. It means other competitor sites will rank better until the new business website is able to create more content and establish a more long-term domain presence.

Using Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics, the midsize business can track any progress for phrases, including synonyms related to the business website.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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