Home – New Forums Tech talk Singular versus plural – different search rates

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  • #987610
    Snakeman
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    Dear all, most of you know what we do, reptile show education and the like.
    So you obviously know where our websites compete in terms of search. What I have noticed via the keyword search tools is a marked (alleged) difference between searches for given words as singular versus the plural, with the singular outdoing the plural versions by factors of 1 to 3, which is quite a lot.
    Have the SEO gurus found this to be the case in the real world as well?
    All the best

    #1163524
    MissSassy
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    Hi Snake man

    There are plenty of guru’s here on SEO to help, but here is my 2cents.

    When your clients are looking for your service (and any business for that matter) you need to think about the question they ask Google. This is how people are searching now and Google has changed accordingly.

    Reptile shows Manly or Reptile shows for kids parties or reptile show for an event

    So I think the if the plural is what people would use in the question that provides your answer.
    Hopefully someone else can provide you with a suggestion or two.

    #1163525
    Snakeman
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    Miss Sassy, your comments are my instinct as well, but both google adwords tool and my own real world experience seems to show the singular for terms (party, show, display) getting more searches, hits and the like than the plural.
    Do people in other businesses here have a similar experience for their search terms?

    #1163526
    MissSassy
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    Let’s see what the experts say as it will be interesting to see if that is across the board for all.

    #1163527
    Aidan
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    Hi Snakeman & Miss Sassy (I see we are neighbours),

    As a broad sweeping statement, complete with the caveats they bring, I would say I tend to see the singular in use more than plural with some of the accounts I work with that are occupation rather than product oriented. That does not mean its going to be the same for everyone of course but it seems to line up with your own observations.

    #1163528
    JohnW
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    Hi Snakeman,
    The Google search tools have only ever reported a small percentage of the searches actually made.

    You also need to consider what is the starting point search phrase and all the variations that go into a search session. The number of searches per session varies with many factors involved. I’ve seen studies where it was assessed at over 7 queries.

    Then there is the different competition level for all these search phrases, at different search times and from different locations.

    On top of that there will be no Adwords displayed for most of the search phrases in a session.

    Take the search phrases, “reptile show Sydney”, “reptile shows Sydney” and “Sydney reptile show”.

    For the first, I get 1 ad, the second displays 2 ads and the third 0 ads.

    At a different time I may see a different number of ads as advertiser’s budgets expire or schedules kick in.

    With the generic results, many of the top 10 are the same for singular and plural searches.

    IMHO, if folk get into targeting specific, individual search phrases, they end up chasing their tails and wasting time that could be more profitably spent on broadening the range of individual words that people will use in searches.

    If you are targeting 30 individual words, they can be combined into tens of thousands of different search phrases.

    I’ve always found that targeting the widest range of relevant, individual search words generates the most relevant, generic SE referrals.

    And, don’t get me started on G’s Universal search. For “reptile show” search phrases I’d be much more concerned about top ranking of videos and images than singular vs. plurals.

    For Adwords, I’ve always focused on delivering relevant referrals for the lowest cost per click.

    The bottom line to me is, the issue of singular and plural searches have usually been of minor concern in the scheme of things.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1163529
    John Romaine
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    Makes such little difference it doesn’t matter.

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