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    Singular v plural ?


    Just wondering your thoughts regarding singular keywords v their plural version.

    So for example Widget v Widgets

    I ask because of late I have noticed in my serps my singular version is ranking better than the plural version. I would have thought google would have treated them as the same as I am sure they are clever enough to know the product is the same thing. However I get very different results if I include the S or not including the competition around me.
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    EGOL
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    You should think about this carefully for every subject.

    There can be huge competitiveness differences between singular and plural, also huge meaning differences, and huge differences in the frequency of use.

    For example.....

    "Coffee" is most commonly used for the caffeine drink. "Coffees" is rarely used.

    "Skis" is always used with you are buying a pair. But "ski" is used as a verb or an adjective ("ski boots").

    "Diamonds" and "diamond" are very complex keywords. "Diamond" is the word used for the hard material. "Diamonds" is the word used for more than one of the gem. The search results for a word like "Diamond" will have contamination by brand names of companies that make storage devices, pet food, chain, cabinets, archery equipment and more (in this example the competition is so gemstone heavy that gemstones take the first page of the SERPs but brands dominate the second SERP.)

    Comments on this post

    • SEO_AM agrees : Think of usage; both common and infrequent variations.
    • joshz agrees : Bingo. Common usage + Context.
    Last edited by EGOL; Dec 8th, 2012 at 11:09 AM.
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    We rank differently for "[city] real estate agent" and "[city] real estate agents". I think there are many factors at play including what my backlinks say, what my on page text and title say, etc. etc. But ultimately, Google does not treat them as the same query.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees : yep... I see this too... try most any profession... the singular is often loaded with career information but the plural is loaded with professional people
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    Yep - I get very different results searching singular vs plural.

    I build my product pages around whichever is the most popular phrase, then add in a couple of the opposite versions of the word into the product description.

    Doing this has improved my positions for the less frequent searched version.

    Ed
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    Some keywords with plural vs. singular balance out and have similar rankings. You have the deviation when you have a different context or usage for the keyword. For example, the keyword "shoe" might be less competitive, and thus, easier to rank than "shoes". Why? Human usage and word context.

    There would have to be a special opportunity for a person to search for "shoe" or "a shoe"; however, since shoes are sold on obvious pairs, the more common usage would be "shoes". So, ranking for "shoe" would be easier, with less competition but more global volume based on the broadness of it than the keyword "shoes" which has a much higher competition level for the very reason of usage.

    This is all based on actual experience with the said keyword mixed with long tail keywords such as basketball shoes, dance shoes, etc. However, on the same token - I've had challenges where the plural keyword form is actually more competitive than the singular version, for example "web designer" vs. "web designers".

    Just my 2 cents. I don't think it's as black and white as just links or anchor text.

    Agreed with Doc. Google def. does not treat them as synonyms or relating keywords - two different keywords completely. IMHO.

    Comments on this post

    • EGOL agrees
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