With the advent of Google Hummingbird and hints at a patent that outlines how it works based on synonyms I thought it about time I got back on the wagon and started blogging again.

What are Google Synonyms and why does Hummingbird use them?

Synonyms are a different word that means the same thing. In Google’s world this could be something as simple as prefixes or suffixes to a word i.e. ‘boxer’ and ‘boxing’ or pluralisation i.e. ‘synonym’ and ‘synonyms’ or joining words together i.e. ‘anti vibration’ and ‘antivibration’ to name but a few of the ones I’ve encountered.

Using synonyms Google can better identify webpages that provide an answer even if they don’t use the exact same language as the question.

How do I discover Google Synonyms?

In the past you used to be able to perform simple searches using the ~ symbol (tilde) in Google to reveal alternative words to the ones typing. For example you might type:

~”google synonym” -”google synonym”

to find phrases that were like ‘google synonym’ but not the same. These alternatives were displayed in Bold in the organic search results just as a keyword is highlighted in a search today.

Unfortunately Google stopped us from being able to use the tilde symbol a few months back so how can we achieve the same effect today?

The Good News

The good news is that due to Google Hummingbird synonyms are now part of every day search results. As a result you can quickly identify them by entering searches like:

“your keyword” -your -keyword

This will display a list of results with synonyms displayed in bold.

Applying Google Synonyms

When writing for the web we can now combat the classic SEO technique of keyword stuffing with more elegant texts that make use of Google synonyms to make the text appear more natural. Just don’t forget that Hummingbird is seeking answers to there will be a trick to structuring your content to best deliver an answer.

I hope that helps!

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