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    Search for "best" on Google returns results with "top" in them, are these the same?


    I'm not sure how to word this exactly.

    Basically I have a video game site that does a lot of "top ten" lists, and that is where I get a lot of my traffic from. I've noticed when checking in Google Webster tools that a lot of the searches that are bringing people to these top ten lists are not actually using the term "top" at all, but rather "best". So for instance I wrote a "Top 10 Mario Kart Tracks" article, and the search that is bringing people to it seems to be "best mario kart tracks".

    I've noticed too that when I search in Google for "best mario kart tracks" not only does my article rank high, but "top" is bolded in the results, as if that was an actual search term used. It seems like maybe Google just considers these two terms to be the same?

    So basically my question is... should I still be trying to work the term "best" into my titles for my top 10 lists and such since that a term that, apparently, a lot of people search on? Or does "top" count as "best" to Google and it would be a pointless addition? Because my title space is already kind of limited and "Top 10 Best Mario Kart Tracks" sounds pretty stupid to me, so I don't want to have to try to cram "best" in the title if it's not actually going to add anything to searches on the term "best" that "top" isn't already covering.

    I'm using "best" and "top" as my example here, but really there are a ton of similar instances that I've come upon where a search for one term will bring up results with other terms bolded. So getting a sense of how exactly Google treats this kind of thing will help me a lot in figuring out how to get my keywords into what I write...
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    Google recently did a update where they claimed it understands users queries better and returned better results, looking at your example above i would say they have done a pretty good job.
    So for the phrase Best 10 Mario Kart Tracks that would also include Top 10 Mario Kart Tracks in the results as it means basically the same thing.
    Personally I would carry on as you are as google appears to return both and I doubt putting both in would give you a boost in the slightest. It will be scoring high for Mario Kart Tracks so either top or best is secondary really.

    Out of interest I searched for Top 10 Mario Kart Tracks and I searched for Best 10 Mario Kart Tracks and the results set did alter a little but most where the same.

    Comments on this post

    • Test-ok agrees : yep
    Good SERPS is great, Traffic however is even better
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    Yeah I seem to return the top spot (minus Youtube videos) for either one, so I guess I shouldn't be too concerned, but other top 10 lists of mine don't end up quite as high, so I'm always wondering what more I can do with SEO key words and such.

    Well, top spot for me anyway, although my own site probably ranks a lot higher in my searches than it would for most people because of Google's user-tailored searching or whatever. But I'm generally pulling in hundreds to thousands of views (over time) from Google for each these top 10 lists so I must be ranking pretty high for a lot of people.
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    Try searching the phrases with-out top or best, you get the same results. I believe marketing terms hold so little weight that they hardly matter.
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    I get what you mean, but in this context it's not really an empty marketing term, it's a description of what the article is... my (or often, some site member consensus) list of what my / our top 10 mario kart tracks are. No one would just search "10 mario kart tracks", people either search for the best or, sometimes, the worst, or all of them.

    Either way, "best mario kart tracks" and "top mario kart tracks" both return my list high up (usually top 3 positions for me), whereas "mario kart tracks" on its own just returns a bunch of wikis with complete track listings and such at the top and I'm bumped to the bottom of page 2. So in this context "best" and "top" seem to matter a lot. I wonder how advanced Google is at determining these context-dependent situations?
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    Are you negative or screw?
    added....never mind, your users name answered it. lol

    are you sure it's not pulling it from your content?
    Last edited by Test-ok; Oct 25th, 2013 at 04:30 PM.
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    I guess it could be either way, I try to get some good keywords into the first few sentences in my content as well, but... my site is set up so that titles are semi-automated and almost always contain keywords (like a top 10 list will always have top 10 somewhere in there), while the content can be anything. Various members can submit content too, and although I STRONGLY SUGGEST that they use good keywords in their content, it's sort of hit or miss as to whether they actually bother doing so. But their stuff tends to rank pretty high as well even when the returns on Google only have title stuff bolded and nothing in the content.

    I dunno though, I'm still pretty new to this so I really don't have the best sense of what exactly is and isn't working. I do know, however, that my site's traffic has nearly doubled ever since I started building automated keywords into our titles, URLs, etc. and thinking in SEO terms when I write my content so I must be doing something right!
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    And yeah I'm Negative. Wish I were Screw, they're HUGE, ha ha. Actually it's just kind of neat to me that my stuff is getting listed near / above some of these sites I've always looked up to, because I still feel like a random dude with a random fansite, but it seems like we're finally getting some decent recognition.

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