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How Can TF-IDF Help Your Search Engine Optimization?

Ibrahim Elsherbiny
I have been working within the SEO industry for 12 years now (since 2007). Today I run my own SEO Software known as SimilarContent. I help teach people SEO, as well as connect folks who need SEO services with expert consultants

How Can TF-IDF Help Your Search Engine Optimization? 

Like most other SEO features, TF-IDF is a controversial topic. You’ve probably heard some people saying that it’s a one-stop-shop solution to securing a high Google ranking.

But, there are also those who believe that it’s an outdated model that no longer works with new algorithm updates. Truth is, both of these postulations are true and false at the same time. It really depends on how you use it. That’s what determines what you get out of it.

Read on as we explore the most effective uses of TF-IDF and why it can never replace your SEO strategy but you can use it in conjunction with it to maximize results.

What is TF-IDF?

If you’re reading this then you’re probably looking for answers about TD-IDF, otherwise, you wouldn’t have clicked on this article. We are going to start this piece by evaluating how they calculate relevancy.

The question arises; is it possible to figure out how many times our keywords appear in a single article?

tf idf calculation

Not really. Therefore, it’s pointless to focus on how large or small the document is. However, we can calculate the number of keywords compared to the number of words in the document itself.

This is known as keyword density. You may have heard of it before because it’s a commonly utilized SEO tactic.

Now, does this mean that we can adjust our analysis to fit into a construct to see which words appear more frequently than others?

TD-IDF allows us to distinguish how many times we use a particular work in general. This is especially in comparison to how much it appears in similar documents online.

It gives you the ability to hone in on specific and relevant words for the content that you’re writing about.

relative keywords

Does Google Consider TF-IDF?

TD-IDF is a number if you look for it in Google Patents. It’s a tool that the search engine utilizes to eliminate words that it deems as “stop words” on a particular page or search query.

With that said, it’s highly unlikely for anyone else to use this particular mechanism for the purpose of relevancy and comparison between keywords.

That’s because TD-IDF goes through the actual keywords. Basically, according to this model, keywords become character strings.

Unlike semantic search models that are sometimes favored by Google, this particular model strings different keyword characters together. This is without actually identifying particular relations between them.

TD-IDF doesn’t necessarily govern what position your page ends up in. Therefore, it’s not possible or necessary to match the keyword in your content.

How to Use TF-IDF for SEO? 

TD-IDF is actually there to help you find co-occurring keywords. You might be asking yourself,

Why would I need this because Google is responsible for webpage access?

Truth is, you need to only look at about 20 to 30 pages in order to find an entire list of co-occurrence ideas. The best part is that TD-IDF use isn’t that difficult either.

We’ve laid it out for you in the following three simple steps:

  1. Take the Time to Write Your Content

We are not saying you should place TD-IDF at the center of all your content. At the end of the day, writing unnatural sounding content will tank your rankings because people simply won’t engage with it.

That’s why we highly recommend that you take the time to write your content carefully and make sure that it’ll get you the results you want.

  1. Measure TF-IDF with SimilarContent

The great thing about a tool like SimilarContent is that it’s designed to improve content performance by increasing the affected keywords’ relevancy score.

You get to see your TD-IDF score in order to notice what your page ranking is, with the magic numbers being anything over 2 or 3. Most pages rank 1 or 1.5 which means that the best way to increase keyword frequency is to increase TF in your articles.

suggested keywords

It’s also important to consider the content score, which refers to your article’s LSI keyword percentage. It’s always advisable to feature high TF keywords in as many parts of your article as possible. This helps to ensure a high TF-IDF score of about 2 or above.

  1. Implement TF-IDF Suggestions

A number of these phrases are the same as other phrases or keywords already contained in your content.

So, it’s a good idea to use them if you can. You’ll notice that a lot of these phrases will lead you to new topics that you may not even have considered yet.

It might be a good idea to consider different use cases for these keywords in your content but try to not overdo it. Just go through the different suggestions and figure out which options work for you.

 

Conclusion

If you’re reading this, then you know that TF-IDF has commonly been utilized as clickbait. There’s no shortage of articles purporting it as the best formula to use in order to reverse engineer the Google algorithm, while others consider this a myth.

So, depending on which publication you read, TF-IDF might be an Ace in the hole of your digital marketing plan, or it might just be just another ineffective tactic meant to distract you from doing the real work. The truth is in between the two.

It takes creating really good quality content in order to properly deploy this tool, and it works great when combined with a tool like SimilarContent. SimilarContent can help you find and come up with well-curated and SEO-friendly content that’ll make it easier to rank highly on search engines like Google.

We highly recommend using this tool in conjunction with TF-IDF to quickly and effectively create high-ranking content.

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