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SEO and plurals

 
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:09 am    Post subject: SEO and plurals Reply with quote

I've been thinking a bit about ways to get Google to show results for property pages, while avoiding the listing sites, OTAs and agencies. I don't often think like that because I believe that guests usually want to get their results formatted in the way that the listing sites show them, with pictures and summary and to have the ability to search by availability. However, quite a few of our bookings this year are through our own page which was found via a Google search. So, today, I'm thinking about ways to encourage this and possibly to make it easier.

For yonks, I've not had any concerns about putting plurals of the main relevant nouns: i.e. "cottages" in addition to the singular form throughout my HTML.

I hadn't given plurals much thought, to be honest. If I had thought about it, I probably would have sprinkled "cottages" more liberally throughout and especially in heading lines and meta-description, thinking that "cottages" is what most prospective guests would search for.

Today, I did a bit of digging and discovered a few things (most of which I should have known really):

    When your search term includes a noun, Google automatically returns results for both singular and plural forms.
    If you put your singular noun in quotes, then Google will only find pages relevant for the singular (although the pages may also contain the plural).
    If you search for: Argyll "cottage" -cottages, then your pedantic quest is rewarded by seeing pages that contain "cottage" but not "cottages".

Certainly using the quotes on the singular noun makes a huge difference to the search results for accommodation. It gets our cottage on to page 1 for most relevant searches.

So, where does that leave me? Should I avoid having "cottages" in my page? Or is it very unlikely that guests would either know how or bother to exclude the plural when searching?
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Cheers, Ben
www . scotland-cottage.com www . scottish-cottage.com
www . learntotype.com/hrd Holiday Rentals Desk software

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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot imagine a situation where a potential guest cared in the slightest whether their search returned plurals. They are looking at cottages from which they will choose one (unless they are a large group). They want to be shown plurals from which to choose.
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Ben McNevis



Joined: 15 May 2006
Posts: 819
Location: Scotland (for) The Brave

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tivoli wrote:
I cannot imagine a situation where a potential guest cared in the slightest whether their search returned plurals. They are looking at cottages from which they will choose one (unless they are a large group). They want to be shown plurals from which to choose.


What I mean is that a savvy guest can use Google's search features to get a list of owners' pages instead of listing site pages. Getting enquiries from our own page which show Google search as the referrer, shows that either people are searching very intelligently or they are trawling through many results pages until they find individual property pages. I don't know which it is or whether it is due to "billboarding" (today's new word - see the thread about it).
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Cheers, Ben
www . scotland-cottage.com www . scottish-cottage.com
www . learntotype.com/hrd Holiday Rentals Desk software

Visiting Glenrothes? It's one of your Fife-a-day
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Jenster



Joined: 08 Mar 2016
Posts: 397
Location: Cornwall

PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One direct booker recently said they found me on google maps - I think this is where if you have an entry in google my business, it will come up on a map for certain search terms. This is the only instance so far where someone has found me directly through google.

Not sure people are savvy enough to use inverted commas to find owners websites though.
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that some people are savvy enough to use inverted commas to find an owner's personal website, though perhaps not very many. I just don't think anybody is going to look for "cottage" and deliberately exclude "cottages".

Ben McNevis wrote:
What I mean is that a savvy guest can use Google's search features to get a list of owners' pages instead of listing site pages.

I disagree. I use the singular, cottage, on my own site and also on all the listing sites.
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