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Keywords with more than one possible meaning



11:04 pm on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

'Brain power'

Trying to figure out what the people think when they type that in.

"bending spoons" or "improving memory"?

What do you think?
Would you ever search for that for either option?

Receptional Andy

11:45 pm on May 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mod note: we need to avoid discussing the specifics of individual keywords as per the charter of this forum [webmasterworld.com]. Let's take the original post as an example of ambiguous keywords

It's very hard to make a call on individual keywords without knowing something about the context - in most cases, the audience itself. Anything you know about your audience can help inform your opinion.

If your audience is an unknown quantity, then probably any meaning that seems plausible is a possibility. Even seemingly obvious keywords have the same problem: "green widget". Is it someone that wants a green widget? That already has one? That is curious about green widgets?

To make matters even more complicated, perhaps the most important factor is why the keywords are of interest to you as a webmaster: if you sell green widgets, offer related services for green widgets and compulsively write articles about them, perhaps the ambiguous meaning is not so important after all?


12:43 am on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Using as generic illustrations:

power: power walking, power booster energy drinks, power outage, or computer power supply?

improving memory: increasing the RAM in a computer, or help with improving your memory as you start to suffer from CRS as you get older?

1) word sense disambiguation: polysemy
2) keyword co-occurrence: the problem with the above examples is that the co-occurrence of power and memory will likely indicate being about computers and have nothing to do with bending spoons. Then there's "Hey, that's absolutely mind-bending!", which is descriptive of something else entirely.


8:16 pm on May 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

thank you for the tips

I verified the co-occurence and it only fits those 2 options (as far as I know), nothing comes to mind as far as disambiguation goes and
when reading the forums of my potential audiance I don't see anyone
using that term.

Oh well guess I answered my own question :)


5:33 pm on May 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

but the questions is still there that how Google recognize such keywords behaviors?



Robert Charlton

12:34 am on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

but the questions is still there that how Google recognize such keywords behaviors?

Without further disambiguation, Google quite often can't recognize your intentions.

They continue to play with several interfaces in an attempt to get the searcher to add some sort of modifier. These have included...

- a drop-down suggestion list that offers more specific search suggestions as you type...

- serps divided up into multiple sections (generally offering three results each) for different meanings of the search term...

- "related" searches displayed at the bottom of the page.

The information included in all of these suggestion type interfaces comes from tracking searcher behavior.

In general, you can tell when Google's results aren't covering all meanings of the word (or at least all of the commercial meanings) when the bulk of AdWords ads at the side cover the alternate meanings.

In the case of [brain power], both the organic and AdWords results seem to support the interpretation of increasing memory, thinking skills, self-discipline, etc. I think 'bending spoons' wasn't featured much even in the X-Files.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:35 am (utc) on May 19, 2008]


3:10 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

IMHO it's a google hiccup. Sometimes I notice keywords in
the keyword tool (ex.: cat oil, phone molecule etc) which make no sense but have a high search volume. The poor advertisers are misled by these keywords just like I was.
Personally would you ever type [Brain Power] while searching for brain improvement solutions? Nobody else that I know would type it in either.

Bending spoons could be a good niche, a small but a very *powerful* niche :)


4:26 pm on May 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Robert, you have explained very well. Thanks Again!



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