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Singlular Vs Plural
Posted 06 January 2009 - 11:26 AM
Those who were following my other SINGLE v PLURAL thread, knew how I've been struggling to increase our plural ranking for our major KWD as we were no.1 for the singular and only @ no.8 for the plural.
Well after messing about with the alt attribute text on some IBL's I've managed finally to push our plural ranking to no.2
What I found was , and i'm assuming it is the same for anchor text as well is, you must use the exact phrase you want to be found for.
I hoped that originally when I used my two word keyphrase in the alt attribute it was actually within a 4 word phrase so the alt text went...
word1 word2 kwd1 kwd2
So the plural two word phrase i wanted to rank for was the last two words of the entire text, i made kwd2 plural adding an 's' and waited 3 months, nothing happened.
So I decided to remove the 'User Friendly' sentence and just put the exact two words for the plural key phrase I wanted to rank for and bingo. 2 months later we've gone to no.2
This does however cause me a moral dilema, I've just removed alt attribute text aimed at the 'User' for SE friendly KWD only text to achieve my results.
That goes against the grain of doing things for users and not SE's , but unfortunately the results speak for themselves.
Should I be worried over this?
Posted 06 January 2009 - 12:29 PM
Here is a trick I've used (I don't know if it will help you, but it might help someone):
Gray Widgets | Blue Widgets | Brown Widgets
...this is fine if you are optimizing for the plural, but not helpful if you are optimizing for the singular. Just removing the "s" makes it sound/look funny. But you can fix a lot of plural singular issues by changing the sentence context:
I'm looking for a: Gray Widget | Blue Widget | Brown Widget
Basically, you use the visitors voice instead of yours. This works well because the visitor will usually use the very phrase you are looking for (that's why you need to optimize for it) and people will often react/convert better to this type of wording (including their viewpoint or feelings) than being spoken/lectured to as is traditional.
One cool trick to deal with this is to use the "FAQ" style of question/answer - which uses both the visitors voice (question) and the owners voice (answer), thus usually giving you both options on the page.
Posted 06 January 2009 - 04:08 PM
Thanks Ian, like the suggestion, makes a lot of sense and easy to change perspective as you suggest.
Though this works well for anchor text links, it's less useful for alt attribute text, especially when IE likes to display it as title attribute tool tip text when that's actually incorrect behaviour, but what ya gonna do!
The perspective in which you talk on a website I am constantly troubled by and was a specific topic I chose for part of my last newsletter.
I found myself talking in the third person, which seemed the professional thing to do, but felt wierd, so have decided from now on to just go for the first person, you just had to go and throw second person into the mix didn't you
PS. it's Grey
Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:12 PM
What ya gonna do is add a blank "title" attribute (title="") to the images where you don't want this to happen. IE pops up the "alt" attribute as a tooltip as a fallback when there isn't a "title" attribute (which is what they should be using for a tooltip, and what everybody else does use for a tooltip except everybody else does it without the stupid falling-back-to-the-alt-attribute behavior).
Last time I tested it -- admittedly a while back, so you might want to test it again to make sure the most recent browsers still cooperate -- including a blank "title" attribute should suppress IE's incorrect behavior without messing up the display in the other browsers.
Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:15 PM
Sorry, I've been hanging around with Americans lately, and I'm picking up bad spelling/speaking habits. Yesterday, I actually used "y'all" in a sentence!
Gray is a color.
Grey is a colour.
Posted 07 January 2009 - 04:41 AM
It still doesn't stop the fact that the alt text is not user friendly! hey ho.
Ian, no need to apologise I find myself doing the same thing sometimes, I'm forever spelling centre wrong (center) , you can't help but have the yanks rub off on you, they're a friendly bunch. I keep saying dang!
out of curiosity, what language do canadians speak?
is it a mix of english and american , or specifically one or the other? (I know some it's french!)
Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:00 AM
There is a significant French speaking population (and it's one of our two official languages) so French words also sneak into the mix (we say tuque instead of knitted cap or watchmans cap, for example).
Quebec French also has borrowed extensively from English, especially since English has a huge vocabulary (many more words than French) and since everything official has to be in both languages, we've borrowed English words as necessary. Apparently, the differences between Quebec French and European French are more than those between American English and British English.
In short, Canada is and always has been stuck in between 3 cultures (British, American and French) and has adapted by using whatever one seemed most useful at the time.
Oh, and Canadians say "eh" at the end of sentences to check for agreement, where Americans say "huh". "So that's a Zebra, huh?" They are not exactly the same , but overlap a fair amount. I guess the English "innit" would be a close example in the UK, and the French would say "n'est-ce pas".
Like huh and innit, it's usage depends on the area of the country you are in, the education of the person speaking, and the context. I almost never use it, unless I'm in a very informal setting. I'd never use it in a business meeting, for example. Almost any conversation where one could easily swear would probably qualify, though
Posted 07 January 2009 - 10:56 AM
I'm not sure innit would quantify in a business meeting for sure, well unless you're Ali G!
Though we like to jib the Welsh about always saying 'Is It / Isn't It' at the end of sentences.
And don't forget the Auzzies, they use tone of voice to emphasise endings of sentence which sound like they are always answering in questions - .
Language can be quite fun if you don't take things too personally!
Edited by 1dmf, 07 January 2009 - 11:05 AM.
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