Are you Optimizing for Google Definitions?


I discovered this and posted it on my blog but, but the more I dug the more interesting it seems to get. To prevent the eventual Threadjacking™ I'll share it here. Phrasing your query as a natural language question seems to trigger some special programming, see links to SERP's below.

[Who is Paris Hilton]
[What is a FICO score]
[what is a bachelors degree]
[what is phentermine]
[What is a laptop]

The first "organic listing" is actually a definition listing, for example compare [what is a muggle] to [define:muggle]

Want some incentive that should start optimizing for definitions look at the SERP for [what is a reverse mortgage] see how being the #1 organic SERP simply isn't enough anymore (I get 3 ads, 1 definition, and 1 news result before I get any organic results).

Lastly Matt commented this was a UI test on his blog last year so I guess it's something they are going forward with and SEO's should start paying attention to.



I particularly like the url for the reverse mortgage definition...3 hyphens in the domain and 4 in the page name. Yeah - that's certainly the best reputable source...

Content Extraction

No worries though Google has taken the definition in whole, from that page and displayed it on their SERP, so there's no need for you visit the page, hyphenated or not.

Anyone have a primer for how

Anyone have a primer for how to get into Google definitions? Apparently you don't need to use dd/dt as long as you're consistent in your formatting and use "glossary" or "definitions" in your title tag?

History & Tips on Google Definitions

I have been writing about Google Definitions and how you can vertically creek into the Google serps with it since March 2004. They changed how it worked in June 2004 causing a slump in traffic. I have also posted what I believe helps in optimizing for Google definitions. Hope this helps.

nice thread

Very nice thread, thanks.

This became important a while back, when Google started featuring wikipedia in "what is" and "who is" queries. Sorry, I can't remember the dates, but it was mentioned here regarding the "what" queries. Between them they appear to be working to eliminate the web, which is fine by me, because as they monopolize content it spurs innovation - which we can always use to build a meaningful web :-)

Here is the thread on the

Here is the thread on the information queries
where Wikipedia started showing up for stuff like poker information, etc.

How many links to definitions?

Do you just link to the definition on the first occurance, a couple of occurances or all occurances of the keyword?

Then, what's an appropriate number of terms to link from a single page?

This sounds cool but I'd hate to be spammy about it.


Actually we are trying to optimize in this manner for a new client of mine:

The website is brand new so it hasn't been picked up in Google yet. I wondering how I can improve my chances of getting the Glossary or how Google decides to put websites into definition results.

Any facts here?


The website is brand new so it hasn't been picked up in Google yet. I wondering how I can improve my chances

Hmm.. how about a link drop of TW? That might help.


Not trying to do that. I did want to show an example of what what we were doing. Very similar to those definition pages that are getting picked up in Google already. On topic links usually don't across as spammy, but whatever. I am glad someone did take it off though. It was not my intention to get a free link.

increase spiderfriendlyness

For starters I'd put text links at the top and bottom of each of the glossary pages to interconnect them, may not look as pretty as the javascript drop downs, but much more spider friendly. From a user standpoint I'd make the visual difference between the term and definitions a little more dramatic. I'd also go through the learning center and link to the terms from inside the articles wikipedia style, just my 2 drachmas.

thanks wolf

Yeah we are just getting started with the optimization of the pages. Took them a while just to go this route.

I miss the Drachmas, all Euros now :(. Papa lives in Greece still, he says the Euro sucks for Greeks.

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