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Different ranking when using capital letters

 2:56 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

For one of my main keywords, when using capital letters, I rank about 6 places better than using lowercase?

Anyone else seen this?



 11:29 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

On certain search terms, I have a seen a fluxuation in ranking base upon case differences, order of words, non alpha/numerical characters , etc . . . That in the past did not have a significant effect on serps.


 2:45 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's quite funny cause i just tried the following search in google.com from an IP in Vietnam and i get identical results on the first page:

weird? different result from different google and different IPs?


 3:34 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

India here - Noticed differences here as well...


 8:58 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Since yesterday more junk results with hardly any relevant content have climbed up to the top for our main kw.

When i type it in capital letters, we rank higher though we did not type it in capitals on the entire site.

Google engeneers have a a different logic :-) they don`t seem to favor best content ...


 9:04 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

The rankings on Google.co.uk are much more strongly related to allinanchor than on .com.

I wonder if this has anything to do with what we are seeing.




 1:25 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Years ago they told us that using ALL CAPS was spammy and considered bad form.

Generally for titles you capatialize the first letter.
For normal body copy just the first letter of a sentence as normal.


 2:55 pm on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I get some stunning positive placements when using asterisk before the word I search on.

Heard it mentioned in here and tried it out, still don't know why it would do this.



 4:28 am on Mar 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I tried it by searching for my key words in all caps and it did'nt make a difference.


 7:07 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)


Now I'm seeing different page titles used as the top link on listings and the grey visits disappears when I search with first word capitalised as well as a little shuffling of the top 10.

The displayed URLs remain the same but in one case the page title has been changed and the newer page title is used in the top anchor on one of the listed results.

IP of Datacenter is



Added: The above report is for .co.uk but if I go direct to that DC I see the shuffling but not the change in snippet.

[edited by: Hissingsid at 7:09 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2008]


 3:20 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I notice that Webmaster Tools lists capitalisations as "sample variations" of "phrase in the external links to your site".




 10:53 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Getting this too now for one of my search terms. Position 4 with capital first letter, 11 without. On google.com, I'm in Germany.


 11:00 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here the variations:

k.... d.... : Position 11
K.... d.... : Position 4
k.... D.... : Position 11
K.... D.... : Position 11

Very odd...


 4:28 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think you make keywords stand out more to the visitor by capitilizing them, and therefore might get more backlinks using those specific words on blogs and other sites. And that is why youre getting better ranking...


 4:37 pm on Mar 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi Dailypress,

That's logical but why has it just started to happen and only on some geospecific Googles?



[edited by: Hissingsid at 4:38 pm (utc) on Mar. 19, 2008]


 12:37 am on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Not sure why this is logical. Do you capitalize words when you do a search on google? I never do and I would guess most other people neither. So there shouldn't be any difference.


 4:25 am on Mar 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hissingsid: not sure! :P

bluemi: we are not talking about the search. read again


 2:10 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

System: The following message was spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3626980.htm [webmasterworld.com] by tedster - 10:17 pm on April 14, 2008 (EDT -4)

This is really weird. My site ranks for a 3 word term as result #3 in google when using title case such as "Search Term Here" but when I search using all lower case "search term here" i am ranked on the 2nd page.

I know that google has a lot of complexities when dealing with how its algorithm works and how it applies penalties etc etc but the last thing you would think is that it would display different results based on the way you cased the letters.

Anybody have any similar experiences?


 6:42 am on Apr 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Anybody have any similar experiences?

See above.

This seems to have stopped happening on .co.uk for the terms I watch.




 9:28 am on Apr 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

We've noticed that results in Google.com are different for 'Key Phrase One' and 'key phrase one' has anyone else noticed anything like this, is it a glitch (or a feature as many developers would put it ;} )


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:03 am (utc) on April 17, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from a different location [/edit]


 9:27 am on Apr 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Did anyone come to any conclusions about this?


 5:10 am on Apr 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

New Zealand here. I get different SERPS too. Example:

"keyword1 keyword2" returns 75,100,000 results.
"Keyword1 Keyword2" returns 72,000,000 results.


The #1 and #2 spots reverse positions; a company that was on page 2 is now #7 on page 1, and I get a slightly different list of related searches.

Different data centers dishing up different results? Or some even more obscure reason?

[edited by: tedster at 3:45 pm (utc) on April 23, 2008]
[edit reason] substitute for specific search terms [/edit]


 12:20 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm in the US, Wisconsin to be exact. I'm also getting different rankings when I use capitals or lowercase.


 3:42 am on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of my sites is experiencing something interesting from my perspective. The site is location based. If you search 'exact location' it's in the top 20. If you search 'Exact Location' it's not in first 3 pages(didn't check beyond).

I was just wondering if anyone's seen this and has any insight to give? Especially how to correct would be helpful! Either way I would like to hear anything on it, as I have not come across it before.

[edited by: tedster at 4:15 am (utc) on May 28, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]


 12:03 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Gettine identical top 4 results for Elbonia widgets and elbonia widgets on .co.uk

widgets in Elbonia and widgets in elbonia get the same top 4 but numbers 3 and 4 are different to the previous search.


 3:36 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just checked a common search term - Search term and search term put the same 2 pages from my site as the top 2 (#2 indented) but a "more results from" link only shows when searching in lower case. Curiously, as the first word is a place name, it only occurs with the first letter capitalised.


 4:26 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Could there be other reasons besides case sensitivity for this behavior? Something I've thrown out before - simply as food for thought - is this:

1) User searches for [widgets]. Google returns SERPs, user does not click on a result.

2) User now searches for [Widgets]. Google - not looking at case - simply assumes that since the user didn't find what he or she wanted the first time around it should mix up the results a bit and returns a slightly different set. Again, the user does not click on a result.

3) User then searches for [WIDGETS]. Rinse, repeat. Google sees that the user is still having problems finding a relevant result, so again - still not looking at case - returns a newly massaged result set.

I'm not at all saying that this is the explanation for the behavior, but it is something that can mimic the behavior. There might be other instances of user data or behavior that mimic case sensitivity. Thinking a bit outside the box, anybody else come up with something that can look like it?


 5:43 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I wonder if this involves a query-specific "switch" or flag of some kind - just like QDF (Query Deserves Freshness) we may have QDC (Query Deserves Case-sensitivity).

The end user is often sending a deliberate signal when they take the extra effort to include capital letters - especially when they use Title Case. The actual meaning can shift from a generic word, such as "reading" to the name of a city. Other common words may become a brand name when Title Case is used. All capital letters might mean that the user is searching for an acronym and not a common word.

With nothing official from Google about this, it's hard to know for sure. But it seems clear to me that Google is experimenting with some case-sensitivity to better serve their end users.


 10:20 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

The issue that I mentioned earlier today could be replicated. Repeated both searches several times with the same results.

There was a typo in that post, the "more results from" links appears when the place name is not capitalised.

Out of curiosity I just searched on Reading + keyword and reading + keyword. Same results on both.


 11:35 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I just repeated the search several times too. Same results each time.

Keyword1 Keyword2 on GoogleNZ gives 13,400,000 results.

keyword1 keyword2 gives same serps but 13,500,000 results.

Out of curiosity I also searched on Reading + keyword (640,000 results) and reading + keyword (515,000 results) but same serps, at least for the first two pages.


 10:23 am on May 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hmm i dont beleive it has much to do with content as non-capitalised versions are bringing up search results with the keyword or phrases capitalised.

This also appears to be the case with page ranks aswell, as i have a client whos page renders exactly the same with capitalised and non capitalised of a website tier 2 page, one has a pagerank 3 one has a pagerank 0

Wonder what googles got up it sleeves for us?


 10:46 am on May 30, 2008 (gmt 0)


Could this just be a bug in the way cookies are set and read?



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