There are numerous ranking factors that will determine what page your website ends up on when searched. One of the most important factors are your website’s keywords since they (keywords) are what users type into the search engines to find what they are looking for. That is exactly why keyword research is such an integral aspect of SEO. You want to make sure you include relevant keywords that relate to your business or services. As you are determining what keywords you want to rank for, chances are you have have singular and plural keywords show up. Since the two terms are so closely related, the search engines recognize them as the same, true or false?

False!

Even though we may just be adding “s” to the end of the term, search engines recognize these as two totally different terms. To prove my point, I searched for both “keyword” and “keywords” in Google to see what the results numbers looked like for both terms.

For “keyword,'” there were about 506,000,000 results.

For “keywords,” there were about 363,000,000 results

As you can tell, each term, both singular and plural, have totally different results because they are two totally different terms. That being said, when you’re doing keyword research, make sure you account for both singular and plural terms. If you have any questions or comments about keywords, please feel free to leave a comment.

4 Responses to True or False Friday: Search Engines Recognize Singular & Plural Keywords As The Same

  1. Is it true even after the recent Google Panda update? Thanks.

    Stefan | December 9, 2012at 10:08 am

  2. Hi Stefan,

    The short answer is that this still holds true. This is an older post, but the rule remains the same. But things are a little bit different now, in this case, due to the Venice update.

    Using terms from your industry, let’s compare a search for “investment” vs. “investments”. When I search these in Google, for “investment”, there are 853,000,000 search results and the top four search results are 1)Wikipedia 2)NY Times 3)Investopedia and 4) Fidelity

    However, when I search “investments”, there are 256,000,000 results and something even more important happens. Venice is triggered and the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) shows local results. So now, it shows me seven local firms that can help me with “investments”. That didn’t happen when searching “investment”.

    Additionally, the order of my search results has changed. Now they are 1)Wikipedia 2)NY Times 3)Fidelity and 4)Investopedia.

    I suspect that this would occur for many other key terms in your industry too. Venice, Panda, Penguin and many other updates have changed the SEO game this year, but some old facts still stand true. Plurals and Singulars will almost always show different results and different rankings.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to contact us, using the link or phone number above, if we can be of any further assistance.

    Dean | December 9, 2012at 10:42 am

  3. Oh, an important thing to point out is that results may vary for you. Your SERP results may be different depending on your location, what websites you’ve visited recently, whether you’re logged into your Google account and even what websites your social circles have visited, liked or commented on. SEO isn’t as simple as it used to be, that’s for sure.

    Dean | December 9, 2012at 10:47 am

  4. Dean, thank you very much for all information.

    Stefan | December 10, 2012at 8:46 am

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