Early information retrieval systems were fairly basic programs designed to essentially to find a match between search terms in a query and those same words appearing in documents. As search has evolved, however, simple keyword-based matching is only one of dozens of factors used to find relevant documents related to a searcher’s query.
Because searchers are often parsimonious with query terms, search engines need to develop contextual models to help them better understand both queries and web documents. Search optimizers can leverage this by optimizing not just isolated keywords, but keyword clusters that offer a richer context of meaning for a search engine to chew on.
Today’s Search Illustrated graphic depicts this approach:
Graphic by Elliance, an eMarketing firm specializing in results-driven search engine marketing, web site design, and outbound eMarketing campaigns. The firm is the creator of the ennect online marketing toolkit. The Search Illustrated column appears Tuesdays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.