View Full Version : Search Phrase Keyword Order
04-12-2004, 02:07 PM
Does anyone know the how Google weighs word order in a search query? I assume it counts the first word in the query as more relevant than the others. I haven't had time to test this very much but that seems to be the case.
Also, for common words (for, and, etc) google says it ignores it. I'm finding inconsistencies in this. For example, Tickets for Van Halen - I am third. Tickets Van Halen - I am 21st. Van Halen tickets - I am 7th. Seems to me those should all have the same results.
I get the impression that it weights the first word more heavily, but not 100% sure.
04-12-2004, 04:48 PM
I agree, but I don't think I agree with that methodology.
For instance searching for anything starting with an adjective is going to mess up the results. Blue widgets means the color is more important than the product.
I think I'll post it on WMW and see if Googleguy responds. I'll follow up with anything I get over there.
04-12-2004, 06:17 PM
I am not sure if the first position means word is more important, but from my own research it seems that some kind of phrase relevancy is taken into account.
In other words if your site contains more 'X Y' phrases, then it will be ranked higher when searching 'X Y' than 'Y X'. Its simply becuase it is more relevant.
04-12-2004, 08:23 PM
Vice trying to just weight a word the real action is much more complex. They try to (or at least were for a period of time) look for the semantical meaning of what you search for and then match up sites to that idea.
Google Semantic Update (http://www.seobook.com/archives/000141.shtml)
04-12-2004, 08:23 PM
gotta hate the double post...grrr
04-13-2004, 06:27 PM
The "XY" "YX" explanation seems to fit in most cases, however it does differ somewhat. The number of results also moves slightly so that could skew results some.
I'm still confused about the "for" (or any other common words) that are supposedly excluded. My rankings move up when I add for in the middle of it. Number of results change as well. My thought is that Google doesn't really exclude the "for" in the "X for Y" query, or looks at the X and Y separately (not as a phrase).
04-14-2004, 03:19 PM
Google weighs word order in a search query
I've seen some formulas to work this out.
Problem is Google, and others, change their algorithms so the formula changes.
I think that a small change in the algorithms could result in the reported fluctuations for websites.
This is due to the millions of websites in the database.
For example, (only an example), improving the search to boost keywords with hyphens could lower keywords without hyphens.
04-14-2004, 03:27 PM
A couple tools to help you choose the right Keywords Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool and Google Adwords Keyword Suggestions
under Keywords at:-