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Why Do Different Pages Rank For Singular and Plural Keywords?
Planet13




msg:4349971
 4:16 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone:

Why does one page rank well for the singular version of the keyword, but a different page ranks well for the plural version?

My ceramic-widgets.html page ranks for the plural term "ceramic widgets"

But it DOESN'T rank for the singular version "ceramic widget"

Instead, the HOME PAGE (which has much more diverse subject matter) ranks for the singular form "ceramic widget"

This despite the fact that the home page only has occurrences of the keyword in the plural form, while the ceramic-widgets.html page has both the plural AND the singular forms.

Would having both the singular (widget) and the plural form (widgets) of the keyword in the title help to make the ceramic-widgets.html page rank for both singular and plural?

 

mrmobility




msg:4349990
 4:46 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same situation for my main keyword, I assume that it because I have always sought links using the plural form.

Planet13




msg:4349995
 4:59 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm in the same situation for my main keyword, I assume that it because I have always sought links using the plural form.


You have a good point. All of my INTERNAL links to the ceramic-widgets.html page have the plural version (widgets) in the anchor text (along with plural synonyms).

I think the EXTERNAL anchor text to the ceramic-widgets.html page might have the plural version, or more generic keywords (like "click here", etc.,) as the anchor text.

Lapizuli




msg:4350017
 5:41 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I honestly don't think it has much to do with what form appears on the site, but rather what Google thinks the intentions of the user are.

There are subtle differences in connotation between singular and plural.

A plural form may indicate a request for more generalized information - for a survey of types, for example.

A man walks into a pet store:

"I'm thinking of getting a pet. What dog breeds do you have here?'

A singular form may indicate that the user is looking for the term as a subject in itself (as in a definition search) or to identify a particular variation even if not specified in the search.

Man walks into pet store: "I'm looking for a dog breed. It's small and yappy."

In some cases, it's the opposite and the plural suggests more specificity:

A woman walks into a big department store (with a variety of product). "I'm looking for the widget section."

Versus a targeted request of the same department store clerk: "Do you have red widgets?"

Or for determining trends rather than specific details:

Details: "What am I likely to pay for a widget?"
Search: widget cost

Trends: "How are widget costs these days?"
Search: widget costs

guod




msg:4350028
 5:51 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

yeah, i see your point, but what about when the searcher just wants a selection of something?

example.

mens tie vs. mens ties

i think in that case things should go to the same landing page. As i dont think it really should have different results. I am in the same boat with my keywords and it is very frustrating.

suggy




msg:4350048
 6:12 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

mens tie vs. mens ties


Sorry to be a pedant, but they would be needing a lesson in grammar.

You can't pluralise men, since it's already plural. As such the 's' in mens denotes belonging/ ownership (the ties of men) and therefore you're missing an apostrophe.

men's ties / men's tie!

Apologise in advance for this obsession. It just really bugs me that I have to write grammatically incorrect titles (like womens) because nobody uses apostrophes anymore!

Lapizuli




msg:4350051
 6:26 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

Could be, but it could mean other things, like they're at different stages in the buying process.

men's ties: "I'm wondering what you have in men's ties."

men's tie: "I'm looking for that men's tie I saw in here last week. Don't know what it's called, but it was really swell looking."

Other possibilities, too.

suggy




msg:4350072
 7:23 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

I don't plural vs. single tells much at all, does it?

How about:

I need a men's tie to go with this blue shir -- wants options
15 men's ties -- wants options
15 men's tie -- wants options
silk men's tie -- ambiguous
silk men's ties -- wants options or could just want to know about them

Of course, google could use next click and/or next search to determine probablistically what people want?

HuskyPup




msg:4350080
 7:38 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

It just really bugs me that I have to write grammatically incorrect titles (like womens) because nobody uses apostrophes anymore!


Yep, Google does have a problem with this. I have a site that commences with the owner's name+occupation as such:

smith's-occupation, of course no apostrophe is allowed therefore it has to be smiths-occupation and even though the titlebar and everywhere necessary has smith's-occupation Google always asks Did you mean: smiths occupation?

In this case Google even changes changes the titlebar to smiths!

Ok, I don't want to have an apostrophe in the url however I would like Google to get the name correct just like BING and YAHOO do!

suggy




msg:4350112
 8:46 pm on Aug 10, 2011 (gmt 0)

In this case Google even changes changes the titlebar to smiths!


So much for quality eh Google!

netmeg




msg:4350370
 2:38 pm on Aug 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

With the products I generally deal with, there are vast differences between the singular and the plural in number of searches (as estimated by various tools such as the AdWords Tool and another tool which for some reason got censored out when I mentioned it) and I kind of have to stop and think every time how people are actually searching to help me figure out how I want to craft my page. If I am selling widgets that are, say, $49 for a case of 1000, people are probably searching for "widgets" instead of "widget." But if the widget is a $4995.00 machine, they're more likely to search for the "widget" instead of widgets (cause not many people buy more than one at a time)

I wouldn't expect Google to return the same results for singular or plural terms (much as in some cases, I wish they would) They're trying to figure out intent (same as I am).

mrmobility




msg:4350395
 3:09 pm on Aug 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just checked the competition in my niche, the ones that rank for the singular version have targeted it in their link text.

piatkow




msg:4350400
 3:21 pm on Aug 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

This isn't something that I have checked for a few years as I no longer run a site where it is relevant. When I did the results were always the same on my searches which was infuriating. If I type "Freedonia Club" I want a club of that name, if I type "Freedonia Clubs" I want a list of clubs in Freedonia.

Planet13




msg:4350426
 4:34 pm on Aug 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

@ netmeg

...and another tool which for some reason got censored out when I mentioned it...


Hmm... if you could give a clue as to the name of this tool, it would be great to know. I always like a good challenge.

But if the widget is a $4995.00 machine, they're more likely to search for the "widget" instead of widgets (cause not many people buy more than one at a time)... They're trying to figure out intent (same as I am).


That does make sense.

indyank




msg:4350432
 4:49 pm on Aug 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't expect Google to return the same results for singular or plural terms (much as in some cases, I wish they would) They're trying to figure out intent (same as I am).


I am still trying to make sense out of that. How would a page on "widgets", though they search only for the singular widget in the example you cited, not be relevant for the user as long as it has what the user wants?

netmeg




msg:4350451
 5:03 pm on Aug 11, 2011 (gmt 0)

It might be relevant, but it wouldn't necessarily be the best match to the user's intent.

For example, in many cases a singular query might be thought to be more for information purposes, whereas a plural one would be more likely transactional. And vice versa.

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