What is the limit of topical relevancy?

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What is the limit of topical relevancy? If I have a site about pet rabbits where I talk about their health and how to care for it. Can I also talk about butchering a rabbit? Like rabbit recipes, shooting a rabbit, etc?
 

bernard

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This is a very interesting subject.

If your site is about raising rabbits, I would guess you could easily go into butchering rabbits and rabbit recipes, but not easily into shooting rabbits.

The reason being that the overall topic of raising rabits covers the first, but shooting rabbits goes onto a broader topic i.e. "hunting".

Another example, if you do a site about sleeping gadgets, you could go into pillows, because both are "improving sleep", but you might struggle to go into "baby sleep", because here babies are the overriding topic.
 
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The reason being that the overall topic of raising rabits covers the first, but shooting rabbits goes onto a broader topic i.e. "hunting".
Yeah, how does google even categorize a website. Is it "oh this website is about rabbits" or "this website is pet care" or both. If both, then how far can we branch out from the main topic. Anyone with a mega-site has more info on this?
 

Ryuzaki

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Here are Google's categories and sub-categories for what I'd suspect is broad topical authority: Google's Content Categories

For those that don't want to click through:
Code:
/Adult
/Arts & Entertainment
/Arts & Entertainment/Celebrities & Entertainment News
/Arts & Entertainment/Comics & Animation
/Arts & Entertainment/Comics & Animation/Anime & Manga
/Arts & Entertainment/Comics & Animation/Cartoons
/Arts & Entertainment/Comics & Animation/Comics
/Arts & Entertainment/Entertainment Industry
/Arts & Entertainment/Entertainment Industry/Film & TV Industry
/Arts & Entertainment/Entertainment Industry/Recording Industry
/Arts & Entertainment/Events & Listings
/Arts & Entertainment/Events & Listings/Bars, Clubs & Nightlife
/Arts & Entertainment/Events & Listings/Concerts & Music Festivals
/Arts & Entertainment/Events & Listings/Expos & Conventions
/Arts & Entertainment/Events & Listings/Film Festivals
/Arts & Entertainment/Events & Listings/Movie Listings & Theater Showtimes
/Arts & Entertainment/Fun & Trivia
/Arts & Entertainment/Fun & Trivia/Flash-Based Entertainment
/Arts & Entertainment/Fun & Trivia/Fun Tests & Silly Surveys
/Arts & Entertainment/Humor
/Arts & Entertainment/Humor/Funny Pictures & Videos
/Arts & Entertainment/Humor/Political Humor
/Arts & Entertainment/Movies
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/CD & Audio Shopping
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Classical Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Country Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Dance & Electronic Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Experimental & Industrial Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Jazz & Blues
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Music Education & Instruction
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Music Equipment & Technology
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Music Reference
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Music Streams & Downloads
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Music Videos
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Pop Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Radio
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Religious Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Rock Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Soundtracks
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/Urban & Hip-Hop
/Arts & Entertainment/Music & Audio/World Music
/Arts & Entertainment/Offbeat
/Arts & Entertainment/Offbeat/Occult & Paranormal
/Arts & Entertainment/Online Media
/Arts & Entertainment/Online Media/Online Image Galleries
/Arts & Entertainment/Performing Arts
/Arts & Entertainment/Performing Arts/Acting & Theater
/Arts & Entertainment/Performing Arts/Circus
/Arts & Entertainment/Performing Arts/Dance
/Arts & Entertainment/Performing Arts/Magic
/Arts & Entertainment/Performing Arts/Opera
/Arts & Entertainment/TV & Video
/Arts & Entertainment/TV & Video/Online Video
/Arts & Entertainment/TV & Video/TV Commercials
/Arts & Entertainment/TV & Video/TV Shows & Programs
/Arts & Entertainment/Visual Art & Design
/Arts & Entertainment/Visual Art & Design/Architecture
/Arts & Entertainment/Visual Art & Design/Art Museums & Galleries
/Arts & Entertainment/Visual Art & Design/Design
/Arts & Entertainment/Visual Art & Design/Painting
/Arts & Entertainment/Visual Art & Design/Photographic & Digital Arts
/Autos & Vehicles
/Autos & Vehicles/Bicycles & Accessories
/Autos & Vehicles/Bicycles & Accessories/Bike Parts & Repair
/Autos & Vehicles/Bicycles & Accessories/BMX Bikes
/Autos & Vehicles/Boats & Watercraft
/Autos & Vehicles/Campers & RVs
/Autos & Vehicles/Classic Vehicles
/Autos & Vehicles/Commercial Vehicles/Cargo Trucks & Trailers
/Autos & Vehicles/Motor Vehicles (By Type)
/Autos & Vehicles/Motor Vehicles (By Type)/Hybrid & Alternative Vehicles
/Autos & Vehicles/Motor Vehicles (By Type)/Motorcycles
/Autos & Vehicles/Motor Vehicles (By Type)/Off-Road Vehicles
/Autos & Vehicles/Motor Vehicles (By Type)/Trucks & SUVs
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Codes & Driving Laws
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Codes & Driving Laws/Vehicle Licensing & Registration
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Parts & Services
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Parts & Services/Gas Prices & Vehicle Fueling
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Parts & Services/Vehicle Parts & Accessories
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Parts & Services/Vehicle Repair & Maintenance
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Shopping
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Shopping/Used Vehicles
/Autos & Vehicles/Vehicle Shows
/Beauty & Fitness
/Beauty & Fitness/Beauty Pageants
/Beauty & Fitness/Body Art
/Beauty & Fitness/Cosmetic Procedures
/Beauty & Fitness/Cosmetic Procedures/Cosmetic Surgery
/Beauty & Fitness/Cosmetology & Beauty Professionals
/Beauty & Fitness/Face & Body Care
/Beauty & Fitness/Face & Body Care/Hygiene & Toiletries
/Beauty & Fitness/Face & Body Care/Make-Up & Cosmetics
/Beauty & Fitness/Face & Body Care/Perfumes & Fragrances
/Beauty & Fitness/Face & Body Care/Skin & Nail Care
/Beauty & Fitness/Face & Body Care/Unwanted Body & Facial Hair Removal
/Beauty & Fitness/Fashion & Style
/Beauty & Fitness/Fashion & Style/Fashion Designers & Collections
/Beauty & Fitness/Fitness
/Beauty & Fitness/Hair Care
/Beauty & Fitness/Hair Care/Hair Loss
/Beauty & Fitness/Spas & Beauty Services
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/Books & Literature/Literary Classics
/Books & Literature/Poetry
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/Business & Industrial
/Business & Industrial/Advertising & Marketing/Public Relations
/Business & Industrial/Aerospace & Defense/Space Technology
/Business & Industrial/Agriculture & Forestry
/Business & Industrial/Agriculture & Forestry/Agricultural Equipment
/Business & Industrial/Agriculture & Forestry/Forestry
/Business & Industrial/Agriculture & Forestry/Livestock
/Business & Industrial/Automotive Industry
/Business & Industrial/Business Education
/Business & Industrial/Business Finance
/Business & Industrial/Business Finance/Venture Capital
/Business & Industrial/Business Operations
/Business & Industrial/Business Operations/Business Plans & Presentations
/Business & Industrial/Business Operations/Management
/Business & Industrial/Business Services
/Business & Industrial/Business Services/Consulting
/Business & Industrial/Business Services/Corporate Events
/Business & Industrial/Business Services/E-Commerce Services
/Business & Industrial/Business Services/Fire & Security Services
/Business & Industrial/Business Services/Office Services
/Business & Industrial/Business Services/Office Supplies
/Business & Industrial/Business Services/Writing & Editing Services
/Business & Industrial/Chemicals Industry
/Business & Industrial/Chemicals Industry/Cleaning Agents
/Business & Industrial/Chemicals Industry/Plastics & Polymers
/Business & Industrial/Construction & Maintenance
/Business & Industrial/Construction & Maintenance/Building Materials & Supplies
/Business & Industrial/Energy & Utilities
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/Business & Industrial/Energy & Utilities/Oil & Gas
/Business & Industrial/Energy & Utilities/Renewable & Alternative Energy
/Business & Industrial/Hospitality Industry
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/Business & Industrial/Hospitality Industry/Food Service
/Business & Industrial/Industrial Materials & Equipment
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/Business & Industrial/Small Business/MLM & Business Opportunities
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/Business & Industrial/Transportation & Logistics/Mail & Package Delivery
/Business & Industrial/Transportation & Logistics/Maritime Transport
/Business & Industrial/Transportation & Logistics/Moving & Relocation
/Business & Industrial/Transportation & Logistics/Packaging
/Business & Industrial/Transportation & Logistics/Parking
/Business & Industrial/Transportation & Logistics/Rail Transport
/Business & Industrial/Transportation & Logistics/Urban Transport
/Computers & Electronics
/Computers & Electronics/CAD & CAM
/Computers & Electronics/Computer Hardware
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/Computers & Electronics/Computer Hardware/Desktop Computers
/Computers & Electronics/Computer Hardware/Laptops & Notebooks
/Computers & Electronics/Computer Security
/Computers & Electronics/Computer Security/Hacking & Cracking
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics/Audio Equipment
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics/Camera & Photo Equipment
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics/Car Electronics
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics/Drones & RC Aircraft
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics/Game Systems & Consoles
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics/GPS & Navigation
/Computers & Electronics/Consumer Electronics/TV & Video Equipment
/Computers & Electronics/Electronics & Electrical
/Computers & Electronics/Electronics & Electrical/Electronic Components
/Computers & Electronics/Electronics & Electrical/Power Supplies
/Computers & Electronics/Enterprise Technology
/Computers & Electronics/Enterprise Technology/Data Management
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/Computers & Electronics/Software/Device Drivers
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/Computers & Electronics/Software/Operating Systems
/Computers & Electronics/Software/Software Utilities
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/Finance/Accounting & Auditing/Tax Preparation & Planning
/Finance/Banking
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/Finance/Credit & Lending/Loans
/Finance/Financial Planning & Management
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/Finance/Grants, Scholarships & Financial Aid
/Finance/Grants, Scholarships & Financial Aid/Study Grants & Scholarships
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/Food & Drink/Food & Grocery Retailers
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/Food & Drink/Food/Grains & Pasta
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/Food & Drink/Food/Snack Foods
/Food & Drink/Restaurants
/Food & Drink/Restaurants/Fast Food
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/Games/Card Games/Collectible Card Games
/Games/Card Games/Poker & Casino Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Casual Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Driving & Racing Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Fighting Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Music & Dance Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Sandbox Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Shooter Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Simulation Games
/Games/Computer & Video Games/Sports Games
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/Games/Computer & Video Games/Video Game Emulation
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/Sports/Individual Sports/Racquet Sports
/Sports/Individual Sports/Skate Sports
/Sports/Individual Sports/Track & Field
/Sports/International Sports Competitions
/Sports/International Sports Competitions/Olympics
/Sports/Motor Sports
/Sports/Sporting Goods
/Sports/Sporting Goods/Sports Memorabilia
/Sports/Sporting Goods/Winter Sports Equipment
/Sports/Sports Coaching & Training
/Sports/Team Sports
/Sports/Team Sports/American Football
/Sports/Team Sports/Australian Football
/Sports/Team Sports/Baseball
/Sports/Team Sports/Basketball
/Sports/Team Sports/Cheerleading
/Sports/Team Sports/Cricket
/Sports/Team Sports/Hockey
/Sports/Team Sports/Rugby
/Sports/Team Sports/Soccer
/Sports/Team Sports/Volleyball
/Sports/Water Sports
/Sports/Water Sports/Surfing
/Sports/Water Sports/Swimming
/Sports/Winter Sports
/Sports/Winter Sports/Ice Skating
/Sports/Winter Sports/Skiing & Snowboarding
/Travel
/Travel/Air Travel
/Travel/Air Travel/Airport Parking & Transportation
/Travel/Bus & Rail
/Travel/Car Rental & Taxi Services
/Travel/Cruises & Charters
/Travel/Hotels & Accommodations
/Travel/Hotels & Accommodations/Vacation Rentals & Short-Term Stays
/Travel/Specialty Travel
/Travel/Tourist Destinations
/Travel/Tourist Destinations/Beaches & Islands
/Travel/Tourist Destinations/Mountain & Ski Resorts
/Travel/Tourist Destinations/Regional Parks & Gardens
/Travel/Tourist Destinations/Theme Parks
/Travel/Tourist Destinations/Zoos-Aquariums-Preserves

That's how they categorize, but I don't think that's the same "how" question you're asking.

I would suggest that the way they perform the categorization is based on Named Entity Recognition & Disambiguation (NERD). That post within the On-Page SEO day of the Crash Course gives you the fastest overview to understanding the topic (and how to use it).
 

bernard

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Yeah, how does google even categorize a website. Is it "oh this website is about rabbits" or "this website is pet care" or both. If both, then how far can we branch out from the main topic. Anyone with a mega-site has more info on this?

The best advice I can give is to click around in Google for searches and see what they suggest and how they group stuff.

You can use the "people also ask" or "suggested searches" or even image groupings. Also Google Trends.

You can think of it as walking along nodes, if you can go from Rabbit care to Shooting rabbits, then it has a solid connection, if not, maybe reconsider.

In the end it comes down to not so much the keywords, but the contextual grouping that Google does, and there have been several articles written on this topic and the BERT update among other things.

I imagine it is similar to how an AI understand the difference between a motorcycle and a bicycle.
 
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You'll want to identify what Google deems relevant to be in that Contextual Domain (Group of topics).

For example, Google's neural net may have identified that shooting rabbits (Hunting) just simply isn't what users are interested in when looking up the health (Pet Healthcare) of rabbits or how to cook them (Cooking) and the relevancy between these is weak. So in this example, adding in shooting rabbits wouldn't improve your site's Topical Authority for the health of rabbits or cooking.

Digging into the niche firsthand in Google is a great way to see how the search engine is thinking when it comes to these topics and if they should be connected.
 
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What is the limit of topical relevancy? If I have a site about pet rabbits where I talk about their health and how to care for it. Can I also talk about butchering a rabbit? Like rabbit recipes, shooting a rabbit, etc?
Long answer short, the limit of topical relevancy for a topic is determined by how other writers of the topic determine topical relevancy. If all sites on "rabbits" talk about "shooting," you need to cover "shooting" too or else you won't be deemed relevant to the topic "rabbit." If no sites about "rabbit" covers "shooting," do not cover "shooting," or else you might be deemed less relevant to "rabbit."

How the LSA algorithm works is that it reads the whole Internet and determine the connection between words. Those connections are given a weight and words that are deemed to be connected to each other are a topic. This is how disambiguation works too. "bank" and "bank" are the same words, spelling wise. However, if a page also has "CD" "rate" "interest" "savings" it is a different "bank" than a page that has "mud" "water" "clay" and "fish." The former is a financial institution and the latter is a side of a river.

So, if you were writing a page on "bank" and want to target the financial institution, do not write about "mud" "stream" "water" "clay" etc. Same here with "rabbit."

This is a very interesting subject.

If your site is about raising rabbits, I would guess you could easily go into butchering rabbits and rabbit recipes, but not easily into shooting rabbits.

The reason being that the overall topic of raising rabits covers the first, but shooting rabbits goes onto a broader topic i.e. "hunting".

Another example, if you do a site about sleeping gadgets, you could go into pillows, because both are "improving sleep", but you might struggle to go into "baby sleep", because here babies are the overriding topic.
This is only correct if you haven't been living under a rock and are knowledgable of the subject. If you have no idea about poker, you shouldn't organize a site about poker until you learn the subject or else you'll miss out on key subtopics.

Yeah, how does google even categorize a website. Is it "oh this website is about rabbits" or "this website is pet care" or both. If both, then how far can we branch out from the main topic. Anyone with a mega-site has more info on this?
It is based upon the occurrences of other words on the page and site. Then, google compares the words that appear on that site against its index of the web. The index is the occurrences of words on all sites, you can say. With that, it determines what topic that site should be categorized with.

Here are Google's categories and sub-categories for what I'd suspect is broad topical authority: Google's Content Categories
A site can be categorized under more than one category :smile: Also the categorization can be done by webpage, folder, or subdomain.

You'll want to identify what Google deems relevant to be in that Contextual Domain (Group of topics).

For example, Google's neural net may have identified that shooting rabbits (Hunting) just simply isn't what users are interested in when looking up the health (Pet Healthcare) of rabbits or how to cook them (Cooking) and the relevancy between these is weak. So in this example, adding in shooting rabbits wouldn't improve your site's Topical Authority for the health of rabbits or cooking.

Digging into the niche firsthand in Google is a great way to see how the search engine is thinking when it comes to these topics and if they should be connected.
Not to be an asshole but this is begging the question. The question is "What's the limit of topical relevancy?" Your answer is "The limit is whatever the search engine deems it to be." It's begging the question because the question is really asking "What is the limit of topical relevancy for a search engine?" and your answer is "The limit is whatever the search engine deems it to be." You didn't actually answer the question.