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I'm not at all convinced that it's any kind of penalty
[edited by: tedster at 3:01 am (utc) on Apr 8, 2011]
I think one mistake I made years ago was making my sites too easy to use. This method gives the user what they are looking for, very quickly, with very few clicks. This reduces duration of time on my site.
Modifying to get google's approval, whether or not your site is a good one, could easily kill your site in another SE such as Bing.
[edited by: bramley at 12:55 am (utc) on Apr 8, 2011]
Very interesting theory on the Singluar VS Plural
If you're looking for a "blue widget" you arent necessarily going to search for it as a plural.
If you have pages called blue widgets, red widgets, black widgets; none will rank well just for widgets; for this one needs a widgets page that links out to blue widgets etc.
If you're looking for a "blue widget" you arent necessarily going to search for it as a plural