How synonyms affect Google search results?

Google announced a big change in how to handle the search results via adding synonyms for words that can be used in search. This should affect the position of web pages in Google’s search results.

It is important that Google can deal with synonyms.
Google wants to show the best results for search. Because of that, it is vital that Google’s algorithm get to know the words which are used in the search. The best way to understand these words is to check the synonyms of them.

What are synonyms: They are words that have the same meaning, for example “pictures” and “photos”. People searching for “sunset pictures” are probably also interested in web pages that contain the words “sunset photos”. A problem is that words that can have different meanings. For example, the word “case” can mean “occurrence”, “instance” or “example”. It can also mean “box” or “container”. The word “guitar box” might be a synonym for “guitar case” but “O.J. Simpson box” is not a synonym for “O.J. Simpson case”. Google’s measurements show that synonyms affect 70 percent of user searches across the more than 100 languages Google supports.

The Changes Google made
Google’s official blog posted that they have improved the way that they detect synonyms. For example, the algorithm can now find 20 possible meanings of the search term “GM”.

GM can mean General Motors, George Mason in [gm university], gamemaster in [gm screen star wars], Gangadhar Meher in [gm college], general manager in [nba gm] and even gunners mate in [navy gm], etc.

Google also made a change to how the synonyms are displayed. The searched words and the synonyms are now displayed in bold in the search results. Web pages that contain only synonyms of the searched word can also be displayed in the search results.