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Are Keyword Stemming a Google Ranking Factor?

Keyword stemming is said to be beneficial for search rankings.But is it really a ranking factor?Let's look at the evidence.

When people talk about keyword stemming as a ranking factor, they are referring to Google's ability to recognize different variations of the same word.

Because Google understands when a user enters a query with the word [monetization], using the words [monetization][monetization], [monetization][monetized], and [monetizing][monetizing], contain results that are meaningful.

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

Keyword Stemming Said to Benefit Search Rankings.

Let’s investigate these claims and clarify keyword stemming and how it relates to SEO.

Disclaimer: Keyword Stemming is a Ranking Factor

Statements around keyword stemming suggest that using variations of keywords can help pages rank for more queries.

"Stemming" refers to appending different prefixes and suffixes to the same term.The root word does not change;It just differs in the beginning or end of the word.

In the previous section, we introduced an example of how to block the word "monetization" using different suffixes.

As an example of modifying terms with different prefixes, let's take the word "hydrate" as an example.Suppose an article is being written about hydration;There is an opportunity to block the term with "dehydrate" "dehydrate" and "rehydrate".

In this example, rather than ranking primarily for queries that use the word [hydrate], keyword stemming can help pages rank for a wider variety of queries.

At least that's what it says.

But is keyword stemming a really effective way to optimize a page for more queries?

Evidence of Keyword Drying as a Ranking Factor

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

There have been conflicting reports that the blocking technology was incorporated into Google's Florida update, which rolled out in November 2003.However, Google added word stemming to its algorithm, and the update was released around the same time.

Long before the days of Matt Cutts and John Mueller, the SEO community relied on "GoogleGuy" posts on WebmasterWorld.com.This person confirmed that Google started using stemming in a post dated December 2003, 12:

"We've made stemming more visible over the past month or so, but it's been in beta mode, which has been less visible for a while.If you like it - great!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 certificate announcements returns great results #1 and #2 from CERT, since we can also match against announcements.

If you really just want to match the word "advisory", you can search for cert+advisory and we'll just match that exact word.

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

Keyword Stem as a Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

While Google is able to identify keyword "stems" and use them to return more relevant results, it is inaccurate to call keyword stems a ranking factor.

It is true that a site may increase its ranking through keyword modificationOpportunity for more inquiries.

However, pages won't rank better or worse because they use different forms of the keyword throughout the copy.

This is something that content writers will naturally do without thinking about it.Using variations of words as well as synonyms can make writing more fun than repeating the same word over and over.

Intentional keyword stemming can feel unnatural;It's as if the author is trying to cram keyword variations into the copy to rank for more queries.

Google can sniff out those attempts to manipulate search rankings and possibly deal with them by demoting content..

With this in mind, it's natural for site owners to continue writing content without worrying about the age-old additions to Google's algorithm.

Extended reading:

Keyword Prominence as a Google Ranking Factor: What You Need to Know

Is Keyword Density a Google Ranking Factor?

URL as a Google Ranking Factor: What You Need to Know

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