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Google - plural, plurals and keywords

 4:50 pm on Jan 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have tried using the on site search for this, but didnt find any recent posts or a definitive answer, again, apologies if this has already been dealt with.

If im selling widgets and my page title is:

big widgets, broken widgets: how to save your big broken widgets

Will SERPs, particularly Google not return my page when people search for 'big broken widget'?

Should my page title read:

big widget, broken widget: how to save your big broken widget.

Im guessing Google is quite clued up on this and would return me for that search query plural or not?

Thanks in advance



 7:47 pm on Jan 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, Google is quite "clued up" about all kinds of stemming variations. It's even easier to do than to understand synonyms. Just two days ago, there was a Google Blog post about this: Helping computers understand language [googleblog.blogspot.com].

However, this semantic technology does NOT mean your page will rank in exactly the same spot for the singular version of a word that only occurs in its plural form in your title. It just means you are still "in the running" for that SERP. Pages from other sites that have an exact match might rank better than the stemmed variations.


 9:04 am on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Brilliant, cheers tedster.

One less thing to worry about, choosing keywords is difficult enough without plurals etc.

On that note, is there anything wrong with how im constructing those page titles? Could i improve them at all? How many comer separated words could i get away with before G saw it a keyword stuffing? Not that i would do much more, i want them to be human friendly etc.


 9:28 am on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would phrase that as:
Big widget, broken widgets: how to save your big broken widgets.

Or as:

Big widget, broken widgets: how to save your big broken widget.

...depending on which variation is searched for more.

In your case, it is easy to squeeze in both variations of the keyword in the title.


 9:34 am on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Works both ways. I had some serious problems ranking a site which was generically about a specific type of organisation in a region. The site was for an association of these organisations. Obviously generic searches in the plural would regularly put results in the singular above us.
My particular bete noir was, the Sylvania Widget Club in Freedonia Street, Sylvania. It always ranked top for searches on "Widget clubs in Freedonia".


 10:23 am on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Cheers everyone!

Is there any problem with how im using comers and colons? My understanding is that G sees these as separators, along with & and other characters. Is this correct?

Seeing Town & Country as 'Town' 'Country'

Where as it sees Town and Country as 'Town and Country'.


 10:56 am on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I believe delimiter is the word i was searching for!


 3:37 pm on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I see no problems with those delimiters / separators as you use them.


 4:02 pm on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Cheers Tedster! This thread has cleared up a few bits for me.

Thanks all!



 4:35 pm on Jan 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

I agree with SEOtop10 -- if you can work in both singular and plural versions of the word, it's slightly better.

In my niche, there are always two common forms of the search phrase: "doodad widgets," and "widgets of doodads." (Fortunately, the singular "widget" is much less common.) I've found that the title "doodad widgets of doodads," while slightly awkward, ranks better for both phrases than either "doodad widgets" or "widgets of doodads," even though both of the latter titles will show up somewhere in a search for the other -- it just won't rank quite as well.

Now, in my case it may have more to do with the order of the words than singular vs. plural, but still, there is a notable benefit from including both forms in the title.

However, G is very good at finding related terms, synonyms, and other forms of the word. For example, my title above will still show up in a search for "doodad widget" or "doodad whatsits," where whatsit is a synonym for widget. So you definitely don't have to include every possible form of the phrase in your title -- you'll still get some ranking for other forms, even ones you never would have thought of.

If you can find an easy way to get both in that doesn't mess up your title, I'd go ahead and do it. Otherwise, don't worry too much about it.

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