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Using All CAPS in Search Changes our Ranking

     
5:41 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I didn't think Google saw a difference between all caps and no caps. But for one of our sites, if you search for it in all caps, we are number 1, no caps we are number 4. It has done this since last Monday when I first saw it. Any idea why this would be happening?
7:02 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I do not see a difference with caps or not. You may be hitting different datacenters with your searches.
9:06 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I don't see any difference either; SERPs are identical even if I display 100 results on a page.
9:14 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It was only one keyword phrase I could get this to happen for. Everything else is identical.
9:21 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is interesting - we had tested it and not noticed it on Google, but some time last year Yahoo was definitely producing different results between caps and non caps.
9:26 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This is certainly not the expected behavior from Google Search.

Google searches are NOT case sensitive. All letters, regardless of how you type them, will be understood as lower case.

[google.com...]

By any chance is one of those search terms "OR", which is taken as a Boolean operator when it's typed in uppercase?

9:32 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Nope, it is actually just a two word phrase.
10:46 pm on Dec 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Camel caps has resulted in different search results for the same term off and on since I paid attention to this sort of thing back in mid 07. It resulted in a lot of confusing contradictory SERPs during meetings with the boss.
1:21 am on Dec 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Do you people remember this post?
OK, not the post but a small dialogue in the comments below the post.

Compaining about Some Google Missteps (seomoz) [seomoz.org]

Scroll down to about one third of all comments.
It's basically a QnA by Matt Cutts.
On why caps DOESN'T make a difference.

Part of the issue is that "it" can be a stopword in some cases, and upper/lowercase makes a difference, e.g. IT usually means something different than it.

There are very very few words where capitalizing makes a big difference in the word sense. (...)

That said, I have heard people ask about this before. I'll send a pointer to your post to some webranking people, but I'll mention that in the past we've viewed as not as big a help as other things we could do.

Perhaps this has something to do with your problem.
Or perhaps not.

3:00 pm on Dec 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I have seen sites where ALL CAPS does work! Looks like crap and I will not click on them though. Just like on IM, if I accidentally have ALL CAPS on, it really pissed people of because they think you are shouting. I would rather be #4 and do it right, then #1 and look like I'm "screaming."

I WOULD SAY ABOUT 90% OF EVERYONE ON THE NET HATES ALL CAPS THESE DAYS AND I DON'T THINK IT MATTERS IF YOU'RE #1, THEY STILL WON"T CLICK ON IT...

3:50 pm on Dec 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It's not my serp results listing that is in caps, its the search phrase I used in caps.

This is what I did:

Went to Google.com

Searched for blue widgets
then...
Searched for BLUE WIDGETS

5:32 pm on Dec 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WON"T

Yeah.

Especially if you can tell it wasn't (accidental) caps-lock but one finger on the SHIFT button...

j/k

...

But you're right on this.
Unless it's small caps, it makes one uneasy.

 

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