Robert_Charlton - 9:44 pm on Sep 13, 2010 (gmt 0)
Suggestions also seem to have changed the balance of plural versus singular forms...
I've revisited this, because it frankly didn't sound right... and, at least on the big money, high-volume search terms, I'm not seeing it. That said, I am seeing some Suggestions changing over time, whether or not I'm signed in, or have flushed cookies, or I've used different browsers, so some kind of refinement of the suggestions could account for some changes. Localization also enters into it.
In some specialized niche searches, particularly technical searches where the searchers might tend to be precise, I am seeing singular searches outnumbering plural searches... and this is consistent in both Suggest and the "exact" match search volume information on the Keywords Tool. This is a surprise, as I'm familiar with some of the areas I've checked and I wouldn't have expected it.
But the mainstream singular/plural Instant suggestions are almost always in line with expected and experienced search volume, again using "exact" phrase match information. On major terms, plural searches continue to outnumber singular searches by as much as ten to one... even though onpage occurrance was more or less a toss-up.
At the same time, I also see suggested examples where onpage occurrance is clearly the driving force.
Localization... which has consistently been the big personalization factor that I've seen on Google serps... throws some interesting variations into the Instant suggestions. I'm seeing that a cityname search for an area that's local to the searcher, eg, might return "cityname weather" as the first suggestion... generally not true if you're searching from far away, where that's not likely to be of such immediate interest.
And, as an example of the kind of thing that might be skewing some singular and plural searches, I'm going to use a specific example (but one whose mention here isn't likely to affect search results)...
When I start searching "paris" on google.co.uk, I get several suggestions, one of which is "paris hotels".
But when I type in "paris" on google.com from the west coast US, I have usually gotten "paris las vegas" as the first result, since Las Vegas is a relatively short trip from the west coast.
Continuing on google.com... if I ignore "paris las vegas" and continue typing as far as "paris ho", I see...
paris hotel las vegas.
The Google AdWords keywords tool shows this order of search volume for these four phrases, with the plural hotels roughly 9 times the search volume of the singular hotel either in Local or Global exact match searches....
paris las vegas
paris hotel las vegas
I haven't looked hard to see if there are any other such ambiguities that might skew singular/plural searches like this, but it's obvious that name ambiguity and localization are involved in these
The Suggestions also are changing or evolving quite a bit in some areas I've spot checked. I noticed, btw, that the first time I tried the "paris" search after Instant came online, "paris france" was the first suggestion. I haven't seen it since. The other Paris, btw, even with "paris h" typed, has never been suggested, even though her search volume outnumbers "paris hotels" globally by roughly 50%.