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What I want to know is:
a) Is this actually true as far as Google's concerned?
b) By extension, does this rule follow for any word contained within a word?
Let me explain that second question.
Because I am so parochial, I really dislike having US spellings all over my UK site. This isn't a problem for most things (a widget is a widget on both sides of the Atlantic), but I have discovered that many Americans search specifically for a "widget catalog". Now, to me, that should be "catalogue" (so same spelling but with an extra "ue"), but if I have the phrase "widget catalogue" on my page, will it show in searches for "widget catalog"?
PS US users please don't take offence!
So at least try to use both spellings in the meta keywords or try to add the shorter version somewhere in your incoming links...
Widget Catalogue - An extensive catalog of widgets
or use different pages to "catch" different words or combinations. We sell a product which people search for using both singular and plural. Over the last months, I've been watching our rankings and making changes to pages to get us a better ranking where we do badly.
The work never ends!
I agree about our North American cousins. They do need to be taught how to spell. And how to drive on the left :)
Driving on the left? No one does that! That's weird! Well, okay, some do, even here in Austria, but they tend to have rather short and unfulfilled lives.
if you did a search for "online florists" and you come across a URL, for example, onlineflorists.com, Google notices the word "online", but not the word "florists".
This is why hyphenated domains are better than domains with adjoining (touching) words, since Google sees both words when hyphenated.
One way of looking at this visually is to check the Yahoo results. These are Google results, but the search terms are highlighted in bold. Examine which words come up in bold, and then you can see how the Google engine recognises words.
the poster had a screen dump of a google search for "Astrology Software" that included "Astronomy Software" results further down the page, as well as highlighting terms such as "Astro Software".
apparently the SERP changed shortly after to a more standard set of results, so whether this was a minor quirk or some engineers experiment, who knows?
sticky me for an URL of where you can see the screendump if you're interested.
(oh yeah - i personally don't have a clue what this means, but it sounded relevant - this post just jogged me memory :) )
We moved to this URL from a being a subdomain and jumped 5 places. By our ranking, I'd say that Google recognises the word within a word.
Its circumstantial, granted, and also begs the question >>
Is it better to have a keyword somewhere in your URL or your own brand name?
Word Variations (Stemming)
To provide the most accurate results, Google does not use "stemming" or support "wildcard" searches. In other words, Google searches for exactly the words that you enter in the search box. Searching for "googl" or "googl*" will not yield "googler" or "googlin". If in doubt, try both forms: "airline" and "airlines," for instance.
And, by extension, neither the nor rapist matches therapist.
When you add to this the requirement to cover the singular and plural forms, it is enough to drive you insane. You simply have to narrow your focus to a few phrases, and let the chips fall where they may.
I don't understand how merging "widget" and "widgets" into the same term would decrease search quality. In my opinion, it would increase search quality.