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Could someone maybe explain what the exact percieved benefits of trying this are, and to be clear is "keyword" or "keywords" more optimized? will "keyword" show up for a "keywords" search?
Word Variations (Stemming)
Google now uses stemming technology. Thus, when appropriate, it will search not only for your search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms. If you search for "pet lemur dietary needs", Google will also search for "pet lemur diet needs", and other related variations of your terms. Any variants of your terms that were searched for will be highlighted in the snippet of text accompanying each result.
edit: i found a site that had the old wording still on one of their pages. it said...
To provide the most accurate results, Google does not use "stemming" or support "wildcard" searches. Rather, Google searches for exactly the words that you enter into the search box.
[edited by: dazzlindonna at 4:16 am (utc) on Jan. 9, 2004]
In any case, one day Google hated the idea of stemming, and the next day, its the greatest thing.
Good sign (IMO) that Google is forever moving forward and not afraid to 'step outside the box'.
In Google I am #1 for "old blue rare widget" (singular), but nowhere to be found for "old blue rare widgets".
The title of my page is "old blue rare widgets", with plenty of supporting text.
Wouldn't stemming make my rank for these terms be the same? At least, I should rank higher for the plural version.