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Different ranking when using capital letters

     
2:56 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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For one of my main keywords, when using capital letters, I rank about 6 places better than using lowercase?

Anyone else seen this?

3:45 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There was one other comment here about that in the last three months or so. I've been on the lookout for it since then, and haven't seen it so far. Google has said in their Help pages that searches are not case sensitive.

Do the search results for either version show "Searches related to" at the bottom of the page?

4:12 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ya dats true, google ranking changes with Case changes..
4:55 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Tedster - yes, in both instances they have "Searches related to" at the bottom.

[edited by: tedster at 5:21 pm (utc) on Feb. 21, 2008]

11:59 am on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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< movedfrom another location >

I thought that Google searches were not case sensitive. Have I missed something before or has this just changed?

When I search for:

Blue Widgets I get a somewhat different result than when I search for the same but all lower case which is different from the same term all upper case. Also just tried allinanchor:Capitalized Term and the same lower case again I'm seeing somewhat different results.

I'm pretty sure that this is not a cookie or cache effect as I've tried it in my standard browser (Firefox) and in fresh instals of other browsers.

Cheers

Sid

[edited by: tedster at 9:30 pm (utc) on Feb. 27, 2008]

9:32 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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At this point I've tracked down a handful of these reports - and they all were only visible from the UK. So far, I've been able to see no upper case or title case anomalies when using google.com from a US IP address.
11:34 am on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm searching for a 3 word term on google.co.uk and .com what I'm seeing is different SERPS.

For the .co.uk I'm using Capitals at the start of each word and for the .com it's all lowercase. This is producing they same set as results, but when I change the .com to start with Capitals (so now it's exactly the same as the .co.uk) it gives a different result to the .co.uk and it's the same vice versa.

11:52 am on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I should point out this is from a UK IP addess, even so are we now having to calculate case sensitive?
1:33 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

Are other UK folks also seeing different Adwords results?

Cheers

Sid

1:47 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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few days back i too faces same problem - rankings changes as capitalisation varies, as per google they are non-case sensitive but i dont hope so they were bcoz we have an experience regarding same
2:33 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi bava_seo,

Where in the World are you?

Cheers

Sid

3:43 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In the Netherlands this is also happening. Different adword results AND different SERPS depending on case of words used in query. I've not yet seen this for single word queries, but it starts jumping around when I add a second or third word.
5:22 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Searching from the UK, I am seeing it on both Google.com and Google.co.uk. Interestingly enough, for some queries there are changes on both Google domains and for some queries there are changes on one of the google properties. Ex. for some of the searches, capitalizing the first letter of a search on Google.com yields different results from a non-capitalized search, where it yields the same result in both instances on Google.co.uk.
6:37 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

Apologies for my post above re Adwords. Of course they shuffle anyway on repeated searches so that could explain the Adwords effect but it does not explain what is going on with standard SERPS.

Cheers

Sid

8:15 am on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

There's a strong corelation between allinanchor:search term, and the same term used for regular web search, in the UK. I wonder if this might be what causes the effect.

I'm seeing the same changes when I use allinanchor with capitalised (first letter of each word) and all lower case as I do on standard web search.

Could it be anchor text causing the effect?

Cheers

Sid

9:41 pm on Mar 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Seeing this same behaviour from Polish IP address. Single words with quite different SERP results - eg "widgets" and "Widgets" throwing up noticeably different results.
3:48 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just tested a couple of search arguements where my site comes in the top 2 and no difference. I don't have time to go through lower results at the moment.

I did notice different results between singular and plural which hasn't always been the case.

So "Freedonia Widget Clubs" now gives different results to "Freedonia Widget Club". Reasonable if you are looking for a summary of Widget Clubs in Freedonia.

4:04 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Plurals has been their for a long time cap first letter is a new thing AFAIK.

The Adwords folks at Google are unaware of it and too t'ick to understand what we are talking about.

Cheers

Sid

4:13 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I see variation for lowercase, UPPERCASE and even random miXeD case at the moment (different results for each). This is from both a UK IP and Germany-based proxy.
4:19 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just tried it widget gives different results from Widget and WIDGET the last two gave same results.

Also widget didn't show an add above the results, yet did for the other two.

used .co.uk from uk

1:25 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe it is just a feature of my sector that the same three happen to come top in widget and Widget.

I haven't looked at the plurals issue for a couple of years at least so I have no idea when that changed.

2:30 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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OK - so we are agreed that it is UK / western Europe centric at the moment...

But that just raises TWO questions

1. Why does it happen?
2. Why isn't it happening worldwide?

2:37 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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OK - so we are agreed that it is UK / western Europe centric at the moment...

Nope...

I tried it here in KANSAS (midwest US) and I see differences too. I'm using title case and the results change. #2 goes to #4 and a site that is on the bottom of page two becomes #2. Wow. The results shift around for all caps too. I'm talking about organic here, not adwords.

Oh, even better, a search for GOOGLE returns different results than a search for google! ha! Also, in a search for Google a wiki article appears among all the google products.

[edited by: SEOMike at 2:43 pm (utc) on Mar. 6, 2008]

2:55 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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It would make sense for them to try this. With so many companies out there with common words as names, it may be an attempt to serve up more accurate results.

For example:
A widget is a thing. A search for "widget" would indicate that the person is more likely to be looking for the thinga nd the results would be adjusted as such.

Widget is a company. A search for "Widget" would bring up results that are more commercially geared, perhaps, as the person indicated by typing it as a capital that they were looking for the company.

2:56 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In Kansas you may be getting two results on different datacenters but I'll assume not... still...theories as to why it happens?

In what far flung corner of Google's mind do they think that one version is more relevent in one instance and not in another? Why this anomoly and why now?

3:00 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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europe - denmark here - i see a difference
3:30 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Good question Receptional. Not sure. Another interesting question is if searchers will adopt it? This seems like minutia to me and people have been so trained that searches aren't case sensitive. Hmmm...
3:52 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I brought up a comment about this a month or two ago. And till this day, my main search phrase shows a 5 position difference when using caps vs. no caps...

widgets - #5 in Google
WIDGETS - #1 in Google
Widgets - #1 in Google

4:59 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm definitely seeing changes. Time to start testing.
6:31 pm on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Oh, even better, a search for GOOGLE returns different results than a search for google! ha! Also, in a search for Google a wiki article appears among all the google products.

This has been changed. It's not showing the wiki result anymore. I guess the G men are following this thread. :) Manual manipulation? Noooo... never. Wish I would have been thinking enough to take a screenshot.
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