You better believe it does!
The results of our study/test below shows that you may not want to waste page space optimizing for similar keyword variations, such as “locksmith residential” or “residential locksmith,” especially in this post-Google Penguin era. Allow me to explain further.
We did a small experiment involving two keywords – “local SEO” and “dog training”. We looked up the number of searches for both keyword order variations (e.g. “seo local” and “local seo”). For both ‘Local SEO” and “SEO Local,” the number of searches was 74,000 global and 40,500 local.
Similarly, “Dog training” and “training Dog” showed the same results. It would seem that Google sees the different order variations of the same terms contained within a keyword as being essentially the same thing.
However, if you vary the singular and plural form of these terms, you’ll find very different search volumes. This means that the letter “s” has powerful implications in SEO. “Training dogs” and “training dog” are two very different keywords in the eyes of Google.
Keyword Variations in SERPS
Now, when searching Google for “Training dog” the query returned 662,000,000 results and no paid results. On the other hand, “dog training” brought back 284, 000,000 and several paid results from AdWords. That’s a difference of over 300 million pages. So, what does this all mean?
It means both variations (“training dog” and “dog training”) still matter in SEO, but because they both share an affinity (as evidenced in the Google AdWords: Keyword Tool examples), you should consider saving some page space by not spamming up your copy with every order variation of every keyword you’re targeting. Instead rely on your off-site optimization (i.e. link building) to do the job. You’ll benefit from having more readable, natural-sounding copy while also benefiting from the SEO affinity different keyword variations appear to share.
If you happen to have any questions regarding your on-site or off-site optimization, drop us a line in the comments section below or contact us through our website. One of our project managers will get back to you very soon.