Different sets of results based on keyword case

Apr. 15, 2009 | by Dan Goodwin


Different sets of results based on keyword case?

I only really started to notice this today, but apparently it’s been happening for a while, depending on your location. When you make a search on Google, you may get different results depending on your use of upper and lower case. There’s been discussion of this on WebmasterWorld as far back as March 2008.

In some cases these aren’t slight changes either, for some competitive terms the difference can be between being outside of the top 30 and being on the first page of Google. It also seems to sometimes have an effect on the position of Google Universal elements such as Google News.

For example the two SERPs below are for essentially the same term [Life Insurance] & [life insurance].

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Life Insurance Vs life insurance

A second example using [Travel Insurance] & [travel insurance] also shows some variations, for example www.postoffice.co.uk is visible in the lower case SERP, however it’s 19th when using upper case.

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Travel Insurance Vs travel insurance

Does this mean that the case of your link text is being taken into account, should you also be looking to include both upper and lower case version of search terms? Why would Google want to serve different results for these variations of the same term, could it be an attempt to distinguish between brand names that contain competitive terms or some way of analysing paid links?

There’s also the question of how you pick your search terms, all the decent keyword analysis tools ignore case, I would assume most people search in lower case and therefore the estimated volumes should be relatively correct.

What do you think, is this a temporary glitch in Google, or will you be optimising for variations in case?

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    Comment (1)

    • lovekills_s

      Hmm I noticed the same, and did a post about it on SEOChat forums as well, probably, what people believe is that its about the google's effort to sort out brands for the keywords that use an upper case or perhaps Initial caps..

      Not sure though, what it means.. but it's affecting my websites big time..it feels like efforts worth millions are going down the drain!May 6, 2009 08:37 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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