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Google Adds Support for Close Variants of Keywords that Have the Same Meaning

Google Adds Support for Close Variants of Keywords that Have the Same Meaning

One of the challenges of SEO marketing is the number of words with similar meanings. Because you never know which term customers were going you, man

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One of the challenges of SEO marketing is the number of words with similar meanings. Because you never know which term customers were going you, many websites try to stuff their content with as many possible keyword variants they could list. A recent change from Google has made this tactic unnecessary. Website owners may soon find they appear in more search results since Google has added more support for close variants to its search engine.

Languages often have many words that have the same meaning. For example, a carbonated beverage could be called a “soda,” “soft drink,” or “pop,” depending on the individual and where they are from. The same thing can even happen when words have slightly different meanings but are used interchangeably. People may put their clothes away in a “wardrobe,” a “chest of drawers,” or a “dresser.”

In the past, website owners and SEO marketers needed to use all of these variations to ensure they would show up on a search for most searches. However, handling close variations in such a way often leads to awkward-sounding and less-engaging content. Over the next few weeks, Google plans to roll out expanded support for close variants that will make previous tactics unnecessary.

Google has offered support for close variants in the past but was limited to modified forms of the original word. For example, for a given keyword in a search query, Google would include the plural form, misspellings, various tenses, and compound words that contained the keyword. Once the plan is fully implemented, Google search results will include results that contain synonyms to the keyword.

Here’s an example Google gave when announcing the update, “Let’s say you’re a landscaper and use +lawn +mowing +service as your keyword. Previously, queries like “services to mow my lawn” or “lawn mowing and edging service” may have triggered your ads. Now, your ads can trigger when people search for things like “grass cutting and gardening services” or “rates for services that cut your grass.”

The additional support for keyword variation is a fantastic improvement. According to Google, 15 percent of the searches they see every day are new. By using close variations that include synonyms, sites can remain relevant, even as the way people search for things changes.

This change is great news for website owners who to appear in more searches on Google. Not only will sites appear in searches where they have the exact keywords, but the sites will also show on search engine result pages when their targeted keyword is a close variant of what someone else is searching for.

Without making any adjustments to their site or its content, website owners will see a rise in their traffic and average search position. However, it may not hurt to rewrite some of the content on the site as these changes are implemented. Businesses can focus more on writing engaging copy, instead of trying to account for every possible keyword variation.

According to Google, “On average, we expect advertisers using broad match modifier and phrase match keywords to see 3-4% more clicks and conversions on these keywords. And of those new clicks, 85% are expected to be net new on average-;meaning they’re not covered by your existing keywords.”

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

This article is from Inc.com

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