Online thesauri: too educational for their own good

Posted on June 19, 2011

 

How often do you use thesaurus sites? Once a week? Three times? Or how about ‘never?’ I almost never set my eyes on thesaurus sites, and the reason has a lot to do with SEO.

I’ll be honest, I search for synonyms fairly often. It’s so much easier than dragging the clunky physical version from my shelf and sorting through the pages. This doesn’t mean I click through to thesaurus pages. Au contraire, I simply get my synonyms straight from the SERPs.

Thesaurus sites give too much away. If you’re looking for a quick synonym, there’s no reason to click through and absorb the advertising from which these sites make their money. In SEO terms, that’s a fail.

It’s hard to find a balance between information and lure for title and description tags during search engine optimisation. On the one hand, you want to lure users to your pages. On the other, you don’t want to leave them wanting.

It’s easy to go wrong either way. For example, compare Thesaurus.com with Synonyms.net. The latter gives the game away, providing synonyms in the SERPs. Thesaurus.com, hoping to draw traffic, merely stating that synonyms can be found on its pages. Neither approach is ideal, with one giving too much and the other too little.

Competitors should always be referenced when you’re looking after title and description tags, and time invested in finding the right balance. Crafting good tags for your listing is one of the basic SEO jobs, but it’s an important one.

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