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What Happens When Your Main Keyword Is Also A Stop Word?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Say Yebo

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:20 PM

Hi,

I have optimized the web site of an IT company in Philly. Some of their broader keywords are IT Support Philadelphia, IT Company Philadelphia, and other IT related words.

But if you search for IT Company Philadelphia the sites that come up are not IT companies. They are ballet, theatre, opera, etc.

I figured it was because Google reads IT as the word 'it' which is a stop word...so it's ignoring that part of the keyword.

However, if you search for just IT Company, actual IT companies come up! So Google does know what IT is.

So why would Google get all ignorant as soon as a city is tagged on to the search term.

I guess one work-around would be to optimize only for the more specific aspects of the company's services, but it's frustrating to be an actual IT Company in Philly and be blown off by Google in favour of theatre companies! unsure.gif

#2 Catz

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:49 PM

Google isn't being ignorant, they are trying to be thorough (sometimes a little too thorough).

Why not use the words, plus the abbreviation IT in your pages? You're not text messaging here, get some actual descriptive terms out there and you will have a better chance at being discovered. As you mentioned, Google knows what IT is, perhaps you have too many abbreviations and not enough explanations.

Broaden your keyword base, there are many more terms you could use to describe the business than simply IT.

IT company would be about your most general term. Would people searching for a website such as the one you worked on actually enter IT Company Philadelphia when searching for the services they offer or would they be using more specific terms?

It is not unusual for business owners, salespeople and those working on a website to use technical terminology or abbreviations the potential customer for a site such as theirs would not even consider.

What are some terms that describe what services the company actually offers, what do they do? Those will be the terms people will be more likely to search for, that you should want to show up for.

Also, have you tried Google local, that's a great way to show up where you might not otherwise (depending on how close you are to the center of the city). You're more likely to come up for Philadelphia it company that way but of course you have plenty of competition that has made it there before you.

#3 rustybrick

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 08:39 AM

Seems to me that Google is understanding it companies : http://www.google.co...?q=it companies

#4 Say Yebo

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:18 PM

QUOTE(rustybrick @ Dec 30 2009, 08:39 AM) View Post
Seems to me that Google is understanding it companies : http://www.google.co...?q=it companies



It seems that way Rustybrick...until you bring a city into the equation. Do the same search with a city...it companies phoenix for example

#5 Say Yebo

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 12:46 PM

Thanks Catz,

That all makes good sense, and to a large degree we have done that. I guess what I'm really trying to achieve is to find a good way to explain to the client why sites that are not relevant for that broad term are getting top positions in Google.

These ballet and theater companies in Philly are not optimized for IT Company Philadelphia, nor do they provide relevant results for searchers, yet they are snagging the number one spot.

He feels that as he is a legitimate Philly IT company with that phrase on his home page, he should be given preference over those companies. And it's hard to disagree with him.

#6 rustybrick

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 04:15 PM

That seems to work for me also....

http://www.google.co...panies new york

#7 Jill

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 04:28 PM

Other than the #1 link, your google search brought up all irrelevant results for me.

#8 ScottSalwolke

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:53 PM

If your frustrated searching for IT companies in the listings then so too are potential clients. So focusing on these keywords won't be very productive until Google changes its methods. Focus on the alternative phrases they are using.

#9 Catz

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 01:16 AM

You could try getting more links into the site with the link text Philly IT company or whatever it is you want to show up for if the client is set on coming up for those particular terms.

Remember it is a combination of on and off page factors that can affect how you rank.

#10 Say Yebo

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE(Copywriter39 @ Dec 30 2009, 09:53 PM) View Post
If your frustrated searching for IT companies in the listings then so too are potential clients. So focusing on these keywords won't be very productive until Google changes its methods. Focus on the alternative phrases they are using.


Hehe...good point... It can be hard to see the wood for the trees when you're focusing on one elusive twig!

#11 Say Yebo

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 03:15 PM

QUOTE(Jill @ Dec 30 2009, 04:28 PM) View Post
Other than the #1 link, your google search brought up all irrelevant results for me.


Me too Jill...and I agree with the other comments, I have to focus on the great variety of other words I can use. It's just a tempting challenge to get one's mind around the mystery though.

#12 Randy

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 10:23 AM

Don't forget that real searchers are going to see the same results you are for this particular phrase. And because all of the results are going to be something other than what they're looking for they'll be trying other phrases.

#13 Say Yebo

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 12:20 PM

QUOTE(Randy @ Jan 4 2010, 10:23 AM) View Post
Don't forget that real searchers are going to see the same results you are for this particular phrase. And because all of the results are going to be something other than what they're looking for they'll be trying other phrases.


Randy...always the voice of reason!

#14 PatrickGer

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 10:12 AM

QUOTE
If your frustrated searching for IT companies in the listings then so too are potential clients. So focusing on these keywords won't be very productive until Google changes its methods. Focus on the alternative phrases they are using.


QUOTE
Don't forget that real searchers are going to see the same results you are for this particular phrase. And because all of the results are going to be something other than what they're looking for they'll be trying other phrases.


I'm not an expert on user behaviour, but I immediately thought that ..perhaps the opposite could be true also.

If nothing but irrelevant companies show up, could this not be an excellent opportunity to be the one relevant company sticking out and grabbing the majority of traffic? Especially with a very-well optimized page title that screams at searchers "Hey, I'm the one result right here that offers exactly what youre looking for"?

Considering the v ast majority of people usually click on the #1 spot or the #1-#3 or something..actually even I still do that for some reason!... which means that many times unless you rank #1, you dont get too much of the traffic pie, I was thinking this might be an excellent opportunity to get the CTR of a #1 listing even if you only rank #5 or #6 - if youre the only relevant result sticking out.

I'm thinking the "lazy" searchers would probably go for it, whereas others might simply re-fine their search...and all of this is mostly guesswork...but I'm thinking the fact that there are absolutely no other relevant results might be very positive, not very negative (zero competition).

Of course Im not saying my POV is correct and you 2 are wrong, but I think both could turn out to be true (Maybe somebody has ranked in a similar set of SERPs before, and saw that everybody just refined their search?)

PS: I hope I'm not starting to get known as the contrarian on here, as I seem to disagree in every 2nd post hehe - I truly believe this wink1.gif

EDIT: From a business point of view, I think it all comes down to the potential reward vs. risk/cost, though.....maybe the "gamble" I suggest is simply not worth it, if there are other decent keywords to rank for!




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