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Results From Search Terms With Hyphens

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#1 simes


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Posted 18 April 2013 - 09:26 AM



We have a website that sells one of our products which is an e-portfolio. We have committed some time to SEO on this site recently and have seen some positive and some weird results.


If you type e-portfolio (with a hyphen) into Google we currently appear at about page 6 in the search results. If you type eportfolio (without a hyphen) we do not feature at all. I've check 70 pages of results and we don't feature once!


The interesting part is, if you look at the results that appear, Google bolds e-portfolio and eportfolio in the titles and descriptions of the results - as if it sees the two versions as the same word. It doesnt seem to make that assumption for us.


We have tried to use both versions of the word (with and without the hyphen) in the site to see if that has any impact - so far it hasn't changed anything.


Can anyone help to explain, or even better, solve this issue?

#2 Jill


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Posted 18 April 2013 - 11:44 AM

My guess would be that the term without the hyphen is simply much more competitive than the one with it. Therefore, it's harder to rank and get traffic for it. 

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 12:06 PM

The algorithm takes certain kinds of technical markup into consideration.  Hyphens are handled in at least two, possible three ways.


You can use the hyphen for negation (ala "-keyword").


You can use the hyphen for compounding (ala "keyword-keyword").


You can use the hyphen as a character (ala "-").


I tend to wrap quotes around any of the second kind of query for my own convenience.  I'm not surprised that you're seeing some confusing results.

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