Wilburforce - 10:04 am on Feb 19, 2013 (gmt 0)
@Tedster - interesting reference.
I don't take much issue with Google's phrase-based results: it is single and two-word key terms that are in a mess.
Possibly this is of more concern to peeople like us than to the world at large: Google's stats are comprehensive, and if most people are searching for "where can I buy a budgerigar" the fact that my site is no longer at #1 for Pet Shop may worry me more than it should.
I think it quite likely that long phrases are much more widely used, and SERPS based on these are
1. Much harder to game and
2. Favour good well-written content.
As I have already posted, the phrase-length from Google referrals is increasing, and in a general sense (whatever other gripes I may have) are well-matched with my site in terms of relevance.
The difficulty I have with the current situation is that my new business is disappearing with the short-phrases (so I don't think I am worrying unnecessarily).
I'm not sure I agree that 'Google certainly knows how "non-SEO" writing stacks up statistically'. They certainly have the statistics, but the current single and two-word results to me indicate misinterpration of them.