I saw a Concise Report for a potential client's site last night. The current firm is using "keyword phrase" ("search engine placement")vs keyword phrase (search engine placement) to report positions to the client. How do you usually search (regardless of SE)? How do you think the majority of the world searches? I use both depending upon the phrase and the results obtained from NOT using the " ". But I really wonder how the average surfer searches? I looked at log files for some of my clients and have a feeling based on those logs that most searchers do not use " " in their searches. Optimizing for the keyword phrase should result in the same or better rankings if the searcher uses "keyword phrase". Optimizing for "keyword phrase" will not produce the same or better rankings for a search on keyword phrase. Or am I way off base here?
From going through my logs it appeared about 5% of people use "quotes" - I was surprised it was as high as that! However on looking more closely it appeared that these were for internet-technical searches obviously made by more savvy searchers. The general public seem to just type in the search phrase without any delimiters.
Some searchers actually perform an exact phrase search without realising it. On Altavista for example if you search for keyword+keyword (no spaces) it performs a "Keyword keyword" search.
This can be useful to know if you are trying to attract surfers from a particular region. Because the US sites dominate the 1st few pages of most listings many UK surfers use keyword +uk as a search argument.
dog +uk returns 183,000 results on AV whereas dog+uk returns 198 matches.
You may not get much additional traffic, but it is cheap.