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How is Google Stemming Applied?
Google Stemming Questions

 4:40 pm on Dec 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

In my commercial industry there is a great need for both singular and plural keyword terms. After Florida implimented stemming I noticed that terms for which my site ranked only marginally well for singular terms now ranks relatively well in both singular and plural terms. In a number of instances, Google will rank our pages that have been optimized for plural terms above competitors pages optimized for singular terms.

My major question is: What is everybody else seeing, and how do you feel that google ranking the terms (eg, does a plural term count towards keyword density on a singular term search and if so, is it given a full weight).



 10:10 pm on Dec 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

Today on one of my searches, Google stated this above the results

By default, Google searches for variations of your search terms. To search only for an exact term, place a '+' sign before it.

Has anyone else seen this? It looks like they're finally admitting what we've known for awhile.


 12:00 am on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Personally I think stemming is fantastic.

But I question how far "stemming" can go... I received clicks from google with the term "whatever fotos", in serps the word "photos" was highlighted...


 12:09 am on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Has anyone else seen this? It looks like they're finally admitting what we've known for awhile.

Not consistently. I just ran a search for "Manx cats". From the SERP, stemming is obvious. However, that notice wasn't at top. Also, Google has stated on the site they now use stemming for a while.


 12:41 am on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks rfgdxm1. Have they been announcing this at the top of the results for a while? I know I read a statement from them in the FAQs (I think) about the stemming feature a couple of weeks ago. But I don't think most people read Google's FAQs on a regular basis. This statement is more public.


 1:53 am on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google has been using stemming (at least singular and plural terms) for several months. I concentrated on singular and had it locked up but then I dropped down in singular and up in plural.

It is not an exact match but in my case it is close. To check, pick a singular term and get the rating and then try the plural - best to test on term(s) that are not top rated.

I believe the exact term gets full credit and the stemmed version get partial credit.


 3:02 am on Dec 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

for one of the keyword pairs i watch, we are at no.4 for singular 'keyword uk', and (totally lost in space) in a position ~450 for the plural 'keywords uk'.

both sets of results highlight all stemmed keyword variations in the title and in the snippet for all of the sites, but the serps are totally different

logically: an exact match gets a higher weight than a match to a word variation -- singular and plural aren't treated equally

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