mark_roach - 11:29 am on May 24, 2010 (gmt 0)
3) Connecting words (eg: in, at, on, among) seem to be having a lot more relevance now. There were quite a few instances when I could not find my page for 'red widgets usa' but ranked within the first two pages for 'red widgets in usa'.
I ran a few searches comparing the results of
red/blue/green widgets location and red/blue/green widgets in location.
The 1st page results were broadly the same with only some minor shuffling of the order, however I noticed something strange which might be relevant.
In my niche you can either typically search for widgets or "widget suppliers". The two words are only loosely related, "widget suppliers" is a generic single word not containing the word widget.
On a search for red widgets location the words red, widgets & location are all bolded in the results as expected.
On a search for red widgets in location the words red, widgets & location are still all bolded, but in addition "widget suppliers" is also bolded.
I tried these 2 searches for 6 different "colours" and 4 of the 6 exhibited the behaviour above. In the other 2 searches "widget suppliers" was not bolded.
I repeated the 6 searches for colour "widget suppliers" in location and the word widget was not highlighted in any of the result sets.
I don't know if the highlighting is significant because the results didn't alter much. However it might be an indicator of Google trying to guess what you are looking for. If you are searching for "widget in location" then you might be looking to buy that widget and therefore are interested in widget suppliers.