Keyword Stemming: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

When people talk about derived keywords as a ranking factor, they are referring to Google’s ability to recognize variations of the same word.

Because Google can understand when a user enters a keyword query [monetize]It makes sense to include results in words [monetization]And the [monetized]And the [monetizing].

In the context of SEO, the act of deriving keywords involves modifying the use of key terms with different prefixes and suffixes.

Keyword derivation is said to be good for search rankings.

Let’s investigate these claims and provide clarity on keyword derivation and its relationship to SEO.

Claim: Keyword derivation is a ranking factor

Claims about keyword derivation suggest that using variations of key terms can help a page rank for more queries.

Stemming means appending different prefixes and suffixes to the same term. The root word does not change. It is only the beginning or end of the word that differs.

In the previous section, we reviewed an example of how the word “monetization” could be derived using different suffixes.

As an example of modifying a term with different prefixes, let’s take the word “hydrate”. Suppose an article is being written about water; There is a chance that this term is derived with the words “drying” and “rewetting”.

In this example, instead of ranking primarily for queries containing the word [hydrate]Keyword derivation can help the page rank for a wider range of queries.

That’s the claim, at least.

But are keywords a really effective way to optimize pages for more queries?

Evidence for derivation of keywords as a ranking factor

Keyword derivation is one of the oldest confirmed updates to the Google algorithm, dating back to 2003.

There are conflicting reports that the derivation technology was introduced in Google’s Florida Update, released in November 2003. However, Google added the word derived from its algorithm in a separate update released around the same time.

Long before the days of Matt Cutts and John Mueller, the SEO community relied on posts from “GoogleGuy” on this individual has been confirmed Google started using the word derivative in a December 4, 2003 post:

“Over the past month or so, we’ve made the conclusion clearer, but it’s been in a less clear test mode for a while longer. Like it good! If you don’t like it, you can put a plus sign in front of the word to turn it off. For example, searching for advisory certification results in Great results at CERT #1 and #2 because we can also match the guidelines.

If you really only want to match the word “advice”, you can search for cert + advisory , and then we’ll only match that exact word.

This was a new idea back in 2003, but it is now known that Google can return results that contain variations of the keyword in the query. We see evidence of this almost every day in every SERP.

Derivation of keywords as a ranking factor: our judgment

While Google is able to recognize the keyword “stems”, and use it to return more relevant results, it is inaccurate to call out keywords that stem from a ranking factor.

It is true that websites can potentially increase their chances of ranking for more inquiries with keyword modifications.

However, a web page will not rank better or worse based on the fact that it uses different variations of keywords throughout the copy.

This is something content writers would naturally do without thinking about it. Using different forms of words along with synonyms makes writing more interesting as compared to repeating the same word over and over again.

The deliberate derivation of keywords can be unnatural; As if the writer is trying to cram keyword variations into the copy to rank for more queries.

Google can detect those attempts to manipulate search ranking, and potentially deal with them by lowering the content’s ranking.

With this in mind, site owners should continue writing content as normal and not worry about this outdated addition to Google’s algorithm.

Featured image: Paulo Bobita / SearchEngineJournal

Ranking factors: fact or fiction?  Let's bust some myths! [Ebook]

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