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Splitting keyphrases, and using word derivatives



6:31 pm on Aug 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


A couple of questions on key phrases in seo copy:

--If I decide I want to target searches for *big bus* - if I split the phrase sometimes in the copy - eg i use the words *big blue bus* (still only targeting *big bus*), is that almost as strong for a search for *big bus* as it would be without the word *blue*?

--How about plurals? - I'm targeting *big bus*, but it's more appropriate in the text to say *big buses* - do google and other search engines weight that as strongly or nearly as strongly for a search for *big bus*, as if i hadn't pluralized it?

--And other derivations of a word... if I'm targeting *buy bus*, and i use the phrase *bought bus* in my text - is that almost as good as *buy bus* for a search for *buy bus*?

(not a great example, but i hope I'm explaining my question clearly enough with it.


SEO Content Provider

2:43 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Reil,

These are all fine and help your content read better for human eyes, as opposed to primarily for SEO.

Long tail keywords are definitely the way to go and the way my company writes for clients. For instance:

* "If you need to hire a bus, big or small..." would still rate strongly for "big bus", yet you wouldn't even be aware of the fact that it's still SEO-friendly. :)

As long as the main keywords are within a couple of words of each other, you're good.


5:45 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, *big blue bus* is almost as strong for a search for *big bus* as it would be without the word *blue*.

SEOContentProvider is correct..."If you need to hire a bus, big or small..." would still rate strongly for "big bus".


6:52 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

google now wants to show users not what they SEARCH for but what they WANT. that means the more derivatives you use the better for you IMO.


10:36 am on Aug 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Don't forget the reverse... "When you want a blue bus big on ...whatever" There's always ways to game the system... and don't forget REVERSE. After all giggle only searches for two words if two are all that is presented.


7:18 am on Aug 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the replies, that's really helpful for me.

So, on plurals, if derivatives are good then it makes sense to mix up plurals and singulars when targeting either one. So:

Say I wanted to target big buses and I was looking at roughly 2% density of "big buses", would I write the copy with 2% density "big buses" plus some singulars, or would I include the singulars in the 2%?

Thanks again.

SEO Content Provider

2:23 pm on Aug 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hey Reil,

I would recommend you stay to the keyword density you need for the complete content - so yes, include plurals and singular derivatives when taking into account your keyword percentage. :)


9:04 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks very much.

Ok, another couple of questions if I may - should I also take into account other derivations in my keyword count. For example, say my keyword was 'environment' - should I include occurrences of 'environmental' in my count?

And is there a tool I can use to analyze my copy in relation to my keywords. - eg, I paste my copy in, define my keywords, and it tells me what percentage I have of those words, plus the number of derivations I have - so it might tell me I have 5 occurrences of 'environment', 2 of 'environments', and 2 of 'environmental', if it's relevant to include 'environmental' in the count.

Thanks again :)

SEO Content Provider

9:44 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Personally, I would count the two phrases as one, although I know others would count them as two - and Google does both (as shown by the way the two words would show up in a search result with "environment" in bold)! ;-)

[edited by: rogerd at 2:06 am (utc) on Aug. 9, 2008]
[edit reason] no URLs, tool links, or specifics, please [/edit]


11:12 pm on Aug 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks SEO,

Til you start charging me the going rate...

I have another question...:)

Say a piece of copy was well-written and featured the word 'environmental' and other related words, but no occurrences of the word 'environment'. Could that copy rank high for a search for 'environment' based on its associated words? Could it rank higher than copy that featured the word 'environment' at a good density but wasn't particularly well-written, and didn't have much in the way of associated words?


1:41 am on Aug 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I have pages that rank well for terms that appear 0, 1, or 2 times on the page. Our home page ranks for hundreds of words/phrases that don't even appear on our home page, neither do any derivatives. However, my experience has been that it is less due to the SEs understanding derivatives of every word, and more due to the fact that other sites are linking to that page with the term in question.

For example, your page has the word environmental throughout it but the word environment doesn't appear at all on your page. It is totally plausable that the page could rank well for environment. I would guess that if it did it was probably more likely because other pages on your site and other sites about the environment are linking to the page with the word 'environment' in the link text such as: Learn how to<a href="myurl">protect the environment</a>.

Other pages (on your site and other sites) linking to your 'environmental' page with the word environment in the link text gives the SE strong clues that the page is about 'environment'. While I'm sure Google and others can infer that a page is about the environment because the word 'environmental' appears on it, I'd postulate people linking to it with the word 'environment' will affect it's ranking for the keyword MUCH more than the appearance of a derivative on the page.

But it's all a guessing game.

[edited by: ZydoSEO at 1:44 am (utc) on Aug. 12, 2008]


10:08 am on Aug 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


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