SEO Tip #101: Does Google Recognize The Difference Between Different Meanings of A Word In A Query?

Matt Cutts: We relatively do a good job about that. If you only do the query “boxer” then we really don’t have any idea which one you mean for that particular query.

But suppose you take “Sterling Silver” vs. “Stirling Engine” and you misspell both of those with ‘sturling’ we’ll correct ‘sturling engine’ with an ‘i’ and ‘sturling silver’ with an ‘e’.

So we do look at context of queries to try and figure out if somebody is talking about GM are they talking about GM the car manufacturer or are they talking about GM the genetically modified food and that sort of thing.

So Google tries to do a good job about that but ambiguity is tough even for human beings sometimes. I wouldn’t claim they were perfect but we do a relatively reasonable job about that and we’ll keep working to try and do better. Thanks for the question.

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Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.