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Singular VS. Plural

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Earlier today I was asked by a FireDrum client about the the difference of singular versus the plural of a keyword in SEO/Google Adwords. It was a simple question with a “somewhat” straightforward answer, however the answer does not apply to all singular versus plural keywords.

Does singular vs. plural make a difference?

Is one better than another or are they the same? Does it really even matter? It is a good question that so often people look over who are not experienced with keywords/adwords.  So, I thought I would investigate further and write about it.

For example purposes only, lets take a look at some keywords, “dental bur” and “dental burs”. For those of you who do not know what a “bur” is – do not feel bad, not a lot of us do.  As my Economics teacher once said, “It could be widgets or butter – it really does not matter, your job is to figure out a solution to the problem.”  So, with that said let’s jump over to Google Keyword tools to help determine which one is going to be the best performer as well as figuring out the difference of singular and plural versions.



Keywords and SEO local and global search

Keywords and SEO local and global search


As you can see, there is a difference in the local and global search volume as well as advertising competition for each keywords. One thing to keep in mind as well is how this affects the SEO of your website.  Since the plural version outperforms the singular version this is something to keep in mind down the road.

Lets head over to Google Insights for Search and see what is happening. Google Insights is a tool SEO’ers use to compare search volume patterns across a section of where you are looking to advertise. This is a great tool for SEM because …well it gives great insight into what terms people are using to search.

As you can see “dental burs” is searched considerably more that the singular across the US and the world. With Google insights you are also able to pick a region and take a look at what activity was happening in your section of the world.



Google Insights for Keywords

Google Insights for Keywords


Another thing to keep in mind is how the people purchase the product, online and in a store.  Dental burs are bought in groups, so the plural version is more applicable, however consumers search for “individual” items they are looking to purchase in singular terms,  “Apple Computer” or  “iPod Shuffle”.  These products also have singular naming conventions so this makes it more straightforward as well. Normally people do not surf  the plurals of these terms.

So, I hope I have given you some insight into what Keywords to keep an eye out for when you are looking at some of the tools/products Google offers. As always we are here to help.