What is TF-IDF in SEO?


While using the TF-IDF method isn’t unique to the world of SEO, Moz defines it best: 

 TF-IDF stands for term frequency-inverse document frequency. It’s a textual content evaluation method that Google makes use of as a ranking factor — it indicates how essential a phrase or word is to a document in a corpus (i.e., a weblog on the internet). When used for SEO purposes, it allows you to look beyond key phrases and into pertinent content material that may attain your audience.  

 On the surface, the method may also seem pretty complex. So, let’s check how to interrupt things down in terms of content.  

 TF = (Number of instances a term seems in a file) / (Total number of phrases in the file) 

 For example, let’s count on that the term “log cabin” in a file of a hundred words suggests 12 times.  

 Your TF = 12/100= 0.12 

 With TF, we’ve solved the primary component to remember how frequently the term “log cabin” is displayed on our file. The rating of 0.12 represents the density of this term.  

 Now, we need to realize how this term compares with rivals. We can calculate the IDF to acquire the contrast result, by dividing the number of files the term seems in through the entire number of files in search results: 


IDF = log_e(Total number of files / Number of files with term in it)  

 Let’s put the second part of this method to use. Say that from a million results, a few are mentioning “log cabin” and the number count is 409,000 times. 


Now let’s resolve the logarithm: 

IDF(log cabin) = log_e(1,000,000/ 409,000 with term log cabin in it)= 0.38 

 With that, now we have the density and the importance.  

 TF*IDF = Term Frequency times Inverse Document Frequency= 0.12 * 0.38= 0.046 

 Then you too have a result of your very own TF*IDF. For the word “log cabin”, you have 0.017 when your competitor’s average is 0.046, which is even better than you. 

 The information gives you an indication that the term ‘log cabin’ is a common denominator in content that is scoring highly.

TF-IDF for SEO:  

 In the world of SEO, TF-IDF includes scraping search outcomes for a given keyword and gathering information on the usage of those phrases and words.  

 For example, if you’re a SaaS proprietor and you are eager to understand the way to attract more site visitors by using SEO, you’re probably interested in gaining knowledge of the subsequent topics.  


An “SEO guide” can cover the subsequent:  

  • SEO audit
  • Technical SEO; 
  • Backlinks; 
  • Page title; 
  • H1, H2. 

 But there are also different phrases or terms which are very essential in SEO that need to be considered. 

 While there are numerous ranking elements that search engines use, algorithms certainly pay attention to how frequently certain phrases and terms seem throughout the web, and since the algorithms are advanced, they also count how often this term seems in all the search outcomes in contrast with different phrases. 

 A TF-IDF “comparison score” can assist you to see how often in a percentage a particular term appears.  To apprehend more with an example, these are the keywords that I need to aim with a landing webpage for an actual property developer:  

  • assist to buy;  
  • assist to buy scheme. 

 Using a TF-IDF tool, here are a number of the phrases which are recommended to feature in the copy, primarily based on analyzing the top 10 websites on Google search results: 

  • purchase home 
  • construct home 
  • payments on a loan 
  • mortgage secured 
  • get a recommendation from a financial advisor 
  • loan recommendation 


How to use TF-IDF 


To get the maximum from this exercise, make certain that you’ve selected your articles and landing pages that aren’t appearing as you’d like, for example, content you suspect is high quality but still stuck on web page 2 or 3.  

 Next, you’ll have to pick out a TF-IDF device to apply together with your website. 

 There are some types of equipment available like this one or this one. I love to apply SEMrush On-Page SEO Checker (no affiliations). If you’re advanced in Python, you may observe this manual to even construct your personal TF-IDF tool. 



How to read a TF-IDF report 

 Now that you already know which phrases, you’re lacking in your copy that might describe your subject matter more concisely, it’s time to examine the report, understand the metrics and begin implementing. 

 Here’s a breakdown of the crucial terms.  

 Word/ Phrase: the top 20 phrases utilized by your competitors to explain the subject of “hot tub breaks the UK” 

 Rivals using this phrase: The variety of your competitors using this phrase within the top 10 results. The more competitors use it, the more essential that phrase is. 

 Word/ Phrase usage: Compares how regularly on average this phrase is used within the body text from you vs your competition. 

 TF–IDF: The result of the TF-IDF system that retrieves the phrases used in the comparison. It’s a top-notch beginning for a brainstorming session of key phrases describing a topic. 


How should I use TF-IDF? 

 There are important instances wherein TF-IDF may be helpful 

  • When you do key phrases research. 
  • When your content material doesn’t rank on web page 1 of Google search results. 



  • Start using TF-IDF to find more applicable terms, subjects, and keywords rather than using your intestine emotions on what Google deems as applicable content. Gather data around particular competitors, keywords and subjects which you need to target. 
  • Continue to experiment with your learnings from TF-IDF analysis, try to realize the reviews and what needs to be executed to effectively optimize for it. A great way to do that is to check exclusive modifications over time. 
  • Spend some extra time analyzing which phrases are vital instead of spending an excessive amount of time constructing backlinks. Results of your TF-IDF analysis can take a little time.

Credits: https://cxl.com/blog/tf-idf-for-seo/

More Resources:


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 Increase your knowledge

1 / 5

Bag of Words model is used to preprocess the text by converting it into a bag of words, which keeps a count of the total occurrences of most frequently used words

2 / 5

What is the full form of TF-IDF?

3 / 5

In the world of SEO, TF-IDF includes scraping search outcomes for a given keyword and gathering information on the usage of those phrases and words.

4 / 5

What is formula to calculate IDF?

5 / 5

TF is a number predicting how trustworthy a page is based on how trustworthy sites tend to link to trustworthy neighbors.

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