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Different ranking when using capital letters

 10:59 am on Jun 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Original Thread [webmasterworld.com]

I'm seeing slightly different results depending on using capital letters or not. It's not caused by personalization/cookies, the order of the queries or different data centers.

I saw this behaviour years ago, but I thought it was fixed. Someone else noticing the same thing?



 4:44 am on Jun 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, I'm seeing the same - just once in a while. It feels like there's some attempted logic behind it, but I can't quite get a handle on it.


 12:57 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

OK, it took me a while to realise you are referring to capitalising the search term and not title tags. It's a long weekend here. :)

I am seeing exactly the same SERPs whether I use google.com or google.com.au. I must have tried over 15 terms ranking from 1 to 4 words, local as well as international in scope.


 6:31 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

have you ever heard someone say, "I'll google it"? this is not the same meaning as Google.

one is a verb while the other is a proper noun and so capitalized. 2 different meanings entirely. One is slang for 'search' the other is the name of a company.


 6:36 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

That is something like my suspicion - that in their semantic analysis and user "satisfaction" metrics, Google has found some cases where they feel paying attention to capitalization in the search box matters.

It's just that examples are so few and far between that it's hard to see what might be going on with any degree of certainty.

Robert Charlton

 6:46 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I can't imagine that they'd be expecting consistent attention to capitalization in this day and age.

Capitalization in my searches, if anything, might indicate I'd copied and pasted the text, but that's about it. Searching in all lower case, IMO, is almost a convention itself.


 6:55 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is case sensitive. :)


 6:58 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

If the difference in the ranking wouldn't be accidental then I would expect to see much more examples.


 7:24 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

I searched for a few terms and found no difference.
However, when I did the search while signed into Google account; found that for one the keyphrase was giving me starred results when I queried in Title case while no starred results were observed when searched in other formats (upper, lower, sentence). It was a popular two word keyphrase.


 11:12 am on Jun 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Google is case sensitive. :)

Google still claims Search is always case insensitive. A search for [ new york times ] is the same as a search for [ New York Times ] [google.com]. And (as already said) if they would be case sensitive there must be more examples.


 10:52 am on Jun 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've just spotted this on a particular search here in the UK.

Red Widgets #2
red widgets #20

Like the OP, I thought this had been put to bed some time ago. It must be limited as it is just this one example I see doing it.


 11:30 am on Jun 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Are these changes in the SERP depends on the Anchor text we use while Link Exchange.

Because In GWT under links to your site -> Anchor Text in external links to your site.
It displays the same keyword in small letters and capital letters.(if do link exchange using "Red Widgets" "red widgets")

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