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2 word versus 3 word phrases
I am going insane
webdude




msg:84673
 2:55 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Okay,

I have seen a lot of posts on the difference between 2 word and 3 word phrases. Here is a little tidbit to add to the fire.

I started deoptimizing/reoptimizing one of my sites and I found something interesting. It seems that the more I play with the site, the higher the ranking goes for 3 word phrases, yet the lower my ranking goes for 2 word phrases.

Pre Florida...
custom widget = #1
custom widget2 = #1
custom birthday widget = #1
custom birthday widget2 = #5
custom holiday widget = #1
custom holidat widget2 = #5
etc. etc. ad naseum

Post Florida...
custom widget = #500's
custom widget2 = #500's
custom birthday widget = #100's
custom birthday widget2 = #100's
custom holiday widget = #100's
custom holidat widget2 = #100's
etc. etc. ad naseum

Post Florida + 2 weeks...
custom widget = #600's
custom widget2 = #600's
custom birthday widget = #50
custom birthday widget2 = #50
custom holiday widget = #50
custom holidat widget2 = #50
etc. etc. ad naseum

Post Florida + 4 weeks...
custom widget = #700's
custom widget2 = #700's
custom birthday widget = #5
custom birthday widget2 = #5
custom holiday widget = #5
custom holidat widget2 = #5
etc. etc. ad naseum

Currently...
custom widget = nowhere
custom widget2 = nowhere
custom birthday widget = #1
custom birthday widget2 = #1
custom holiday widget = #1
custom holidat widget2 = #1
etc. etc. ad naseum

This is driving me insane!

It appears that the new algo/penalty is only for 2 word phrases. At least from my experience with what has happened since Florida.

All the SERPS for the 2 word phrase show sites that are loosely related with maybe 1 phrase or no phrase at all. Just the 2 words somewhere on the page. Also the backlinks of these sites show links either from themselves or no links at all.

So someone has to tell me how a site with no backlinks listed and the two words randomly on the page can be #2, #3 and #4 and yet my site is nor returned?

I think this deserves a new thread :-}

 

rfgdxm1




msg:84674
 6:41 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Exactly how competitive are the 2 word searches? It may be that the new algo specifically targets very competitive searches. Generally speaking 3 word phrases aren't nearly as competitive. Not only may this be relevant if the algo is targeting based on competitiveness, but also that other webmasters usually aren't focusing on the 3 word or more search phrases. The required SEO skills to rank well for a 3 word search tend to be much lower than to pull it off for a competitive 2 word search. Thus if you try really hard for the 3 word searches, usually you can succeed.

yankee




msg:84675
 7:23 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

"All the SERPS for the 2 word phrase show sites that are loosely related with maybe 1 phrase or no phrase at all. Just the 2 words somewhere on the page. "

That's the flaw with Google's new algorithm.

And google claims the SERPS are better now. I can't stand it when I hear "we only make changes to better our search results". That's the company line, but the result has been the opposite.

seomike2003




msg:84676
 8:25 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

Usually 1 and 2 word terms are very broad in their theme.
for example if i had a site called:
www.miamifloridarealestate.com
and I was optimized for:
real estate
and came up for that term page 1 on google "pre-florida" I really was out of place, right? I mean come on, the site would probably have a 99% click and leave after the first page rate. I should come up page 1 for miami florida real estate, right? Or even more targeted like beach front miami florida real estate.

I think that's why you are getting alot of directory sites that are ranking page 1 in place of what used to rank.

If you want to search broad then you will get broad. If you want to search defined you'll get defined.

It's all logic to me and it will work if Google is trying to train people how to search :)

[edited by: seomike2003 at 8:38 pm (utc) on Jan. 6, 2004]

seomike2003




msg:84677
 8:32 pm on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

PLUS...

You get a higher ROI with 3 - 5 word search phrases anyway so why are people complaining!

Here is a little conversion scale* for search term words:

1=one keyword so on...

1 - Lowest
2 - Low
3 - Fair
4 - Good
5 - Great
6 - Great
7 - Good
8 - Fair
9 - Low
10- Lowest

* This is a general scale some can be shorter and some can be longer :)

Of course this varies site per site but with the broad terms at the top you get alot of curiosity traffic and low conversions and with the lengthy search phrases at the bottom you get once in a blue moon traffic from keywords only God knew you ranked for so your conversions are low.

Looks like Google did you a favor and beefed up your higher ROI words for ya :)

Maybe you should thank them!

Unless of course you have a broad site that covered the theme of a 1 or 2 word search. Then you should be going crazy!

webdude




msg:84678
 2:13 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sorry it took son long to get back to this thread. I had been pulled away on a local server emergency.

The result for the 2 word phrase returns 1,310,000. I am not sure if this is considered a lot of returns.

[edited by: webdude at 2:50 pm (utc) on Jan. 7, 2004]

webdude




msg:84679
 2:49 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

Another problem is that the 2 word phrase is extremely descriptive. Even though the 3 word phrases are more so, the 2 word phrase is exactly the type of customer I am looking for.

AND...

Since the Florida update, the sales and traffic for the site has dropped to about 5% of what it was which is another indication that either the people searching for my type of service only use the 2 word phrase or they are not searching the 3 word phrases at all.

So if my clients were getting relevant results with the 2 word phrase and actually ordering the product, how does this penalty help? It seems putting a penalty on 2 word phrases pretty much screws up a lot of the SERPS. There are a LOT of very descriptive 2 word phrases out there.

The proof is in the pudding so to speak :-¦

soccer_star




msg:84680
 3:06 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have exactly the same problem as webdude, difference is mine is for a far less competitive two word phrase which returns only 208,000 results.

My three word phrases are still ranking well but aren't as lucrative as the two word phrase I used to be number one for.

I have not touched my page since Florida in the hope that Google would re-tweak the algo but it's still nowhere in the SERPS.

The new number one result doesn't even list the keyword-keyword phrase anywhere on the page/title and is totally irrelevant to the search, but it's a PR6 with keyword 1 mentioned once and keyword 2 mentioned 4 times, miles apart from each other - who said PR was dead?! :)

Bobby




msg:84681
 3:33 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

It appears that the new algo/penalty is only for 2 word phrases

Webdude, I guarantee you it applies to 3-word phrases too.

Interestingly enough my 2-word phrases which I never targeted are doing better than ever.

rfgdxm1




msg:84682
 5:51 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

>The result for the 2 word phrase returns 1,310,000. I am not sure if this is considered a lot of returns.

It isn't this simple. A 2 word phrase with just 10,000 occurances could be very competitive if it happened to describe a big ticket item people buy with a high profit margin, and a number of sellers on the Internet. On Net searches, competition is more a matter of how many sites are using SEO to rank well for a search phrase than how common that search phrase is.

customdy




msg:84683
 9:42 pm on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

I posted this in another thread but it applies here...

Tried to start a new post but mods did not allow it.
It appears, atleast in our niche market that Google is expanding the filter.

Post Florida only on #1 money keyword - blue widgets was hit.

As for today, blue widgeting is also being filtered, our site and all of our competitors are now gone for blue widgeting, replaced by redirects, educational, and mainly non-relavent sites.

I had hope that things would start to turn around at Google but it appears that are adding more "words" to their filter.

Anyone else seeing this?

pele




msg:84684
 5:31 am on Jan 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

What I noticed about the new top ten that appear for my 2 word search are that the 2 word search phrase appears no more than once if at all, is not in the title, the words are in reversed position or not next to each other on the page or title and is the plural instead of the singular which I was using.

antrat




msg:84685
 6:11 am on Jan 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

So someone has to tell me how a site with no backlinks listed and the two words randomly on the page can be #2, #3 and #4 and yet my site is nor returned?

Your site is down, perhaps it's like this often and Google got sick of trying?

sit2510




msg:84686
 8:56 am on Jan 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>> So someone has to tell me how a site with no backlinks listed and the two words randomly on the page can be #2, #3 and #4 and yet my site is nor returned?

It definitely has incoming links somewhere but those links "are not" or "have not" been listed as backlinks right now; that's why you see its rank fluctuating at #2, #3, #4. Your site has not returned for its two keyword phrase could be due to the fact that yours does not fit into G new algo while that site does.

rfgdxm1




msg:84687
 3:38 pm on Jan 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

>It definitely has incoming links somewhere but those links "are not" or "have not" been listed as backlinks right now

Google at best only shows backlinks that are PR4 or greater. A number of PR3 backlinks with the right anchor text is one possible explanation.

Jakpot




msg:84688
 12:37 am on Jan 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

What I noticed about the new top ten that appear for my 2 word search are that the 2 word search phrase appears no more than once if at all, is not in the title, the words are in reversed position or not next to each other on the page or title and is the plural instead of the singular which I was using.

This is what I am also seeing plus many are "doorway" pages.

I'm doing ok on everything except 2 word phrases and do not think deoptimizing is the solution.

g1smd




msg:84689
 9:57 pm on Jan 13, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> If you want to search broad then you will get broad. If you want to search defined you'll get defined. <<

>> It's all logic to me and it will work if Google is trying to train people how to search :) <<

Amen. I could believe that.

I mean, I type in "football" (actually I wouldn't as I can't abide sports, but anyway), how the heck would google know if I am looking for information about a particular team, want to buy tickets to a game, or just want information about the history of the sport, or I just want to buy a football. They don't, so I can't see that anything Google would serve for such a query would be high quality relevant links. Ya know, an old law of computers: Garbage In, Garbage Out. You haven't given them enough information to go on with a one-word query. I don't think I ever use one or two word queries. I usually use three to five words as a starting point.

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