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    Question keyword proximity--drop the common words?


    I'm curious about people's experience with Google and keyword proximity. The scenario is a bit long, but hopefully you'll see what I'm getting at.

    Scenario:
    Say you're optimizing a page for a certain multi-word keyword phrase such as:

    "cars for sale by owner"

    According to Google, they will ignore the terms "for" and "by," because they are common words, essentially turning this search query into:

    "cars sale owner"

    I was wondering if anyone had experimented with optimizing a page for the way Google sees the query by removing the common words in the title, description, or even the copy, and if they had achieved better rankings because of it.

    My theory is this: If Google only ignores common words in search queries, but not in spidering, then optimizing for phrases void of common words would increase keyword proximity and thus, increase rankings when competing against pages that include the common words.

    I know that doing so wouldn't be the most user friendly thing to do. I'm just curious about how the Google algo treats this type of thing.

    TIA for your input.
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    you have to keep in mind your searcher as well as google.
    if you searcher is smart...when doing a search like that...
    the searcher will be aware that google is dropping the common words...and the searcher will quote encase the phase.

    try this yourself...
    search for the words.......cars for sale by owner
    [802000 results]

    then the phrase in quotes....."cars for sale by owner"
    [7230 results.]

    different results.
    so it depends on the searchers experience and technique as well.

    so i would not remove the common words.
    that way you are covered for both methods.

    i would also suggest that you strive to come up with a more unique set of keywords. your words are very common words.
    [as evidenced by the 802000 results.]


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    Relaxzoolander- I understand your theory here. The keywords were just an example, not my actual keywords. I would, however, optimize to users who don't use quotes, as most searchers don't understand advanced search features. I really just want to know if anyone has increased rankings for keyword phrases containg common or "stop" words by removing these words from their titles and descriptions.
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    The answer to your question is probably yes. Removing the excluded words would increase the keyphrase proximity on your page and make it more relevant for the search query (i think).

    But doing so would be completely pointless. The very small effect that it would have on your ranking would not justify the sales that would be lost when your customers decide to do business with your more coherent competitor!

    Having said that, using the roar keyphrase could be useful for inbound link text.

    Jon :-D
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    if you look at your 'scenario' example...
    the answer is there.

    the results for....cars for sale by owner
    which is equivalent to...cars sales owner....
    yields many results in the top ten with phrases like:

    #1 Cars for sale by private owner
    #4 cars for sale by owner
    #5 for sale, by owner, for sale by owner,
    #7 Used cars for sale by owner

    and only one like:

    #2 cars sale owner

    so it doesnt seem to matter much.

    i think the walrus point is a good one too about clarity for the user when using these words in the body text.

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