Robert_Charlton - 8:36 pm on Sep 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
Suggestions also seem to have changed the balance of plural versus singular forms - much to the dismay of marketers whose previous research had them focusing on the plural when only the singular now appears in Suggestions.
I was at first inclined to think that the singular/plural change might have been an anti-manipulation move. On sites that sell widgets, eg, it's often single widgets that are sold, whereas searcher data showed that the plural form was most commonly searched. SEOs therefore have often targeted both. I know I have.
But... Google has now apparently also revised its Keyword Tool data. Searches where the plural search apparently outnumbered the singular form by two-to-one a few months ago are now showing more or less the opposite.
On phrases I've targeted, consistent with old Google data, it's almost always been the plural that's been most productive.
I should add that on some of the very prominent widgets vs widgets searches, I'm still seeing the plural suggested instead of the singular, but that's on searches where there's a huge bias, onpage and in search, towards the plural.
How much, btw, is onpage occurrence, if any, affecting the Instant suggestions? Originally, the Suggest tool was almost entirely based on onpage data... clearly much less so over time. But some phrases have obviously not been suggested simply because they don't occur often enough on the web.