Google Adds Word Stemming (Variations)

Google recently added stemming technology to its search results. Now when appropriate, Google will search not only for the entered search terms, but also for words that are similar to some or all of those terms.

For example, if you search for "search engine optimization strategies," Google will also search for " search engine optimization strategy' and other related variations. Any variants of the search terms will be highlighted in the search result extract.

Naturally this has had an impact on rankings, as stemming expands the number of pages that Google uses to determine relevant matches for a particular search.

How To Determine If Google Has Banned Your Webpages

To see if Google has indexed any of your webpages, visit Google, and enter any of the following in the search box:


If you can't find any of your webpages, visit the My Webpages Are Not Currently Listed page on Google for possible reasons. (no longer available)

How To Get Back Into Google's Good Books, If The Google 'Florida' Update Devastated Your Rankings

Many thanks to all my students who responded to my request for Google Florida update damaged webpages. I was inundated with websites. Thank you for your support.

I conducted extensive research into webpages that lost their top rankings due to the Google Florida update. After much research, I have come to the conclusion that if you stick to the basics and do not over-optimize your webpages, you will do well in the rankings.

This may sound obvious to most people. And it is. But I still find websites that don't follow the basic principles of SEO, and use all kinds of bad SEO tricks to try to get ahead. Listen. Don't do it! It's not worth it. Stick to the basics and you won't get into trouble with Google or any other search engines.

Here is a checklist of advice to get your webpages back into Google's 'good books.' Many of these tips are common sense SEO. But common sense isn't all that common, right? ;o)

So I highly recommend that you study these tips whether you're trying to get back into Google, or simply want to improve your rankings. You may find that you are making the most basic of errors in your SEO campaigns.

Remove SEO Spam Techniques

This may sound obvious, but most banned or dropped webpages are the result of SEO spam techniques being detected by search engines.

I came across numerous websites that used SEO techniques that could be construed as spam. Make sure you remove all possible traces of SEO spam techniques from your website.

These include:

  • Excessive Keywords - Avoid excessive use of targeted keyword/s. I came across a site where one in four of the keywords on the home page consisted of the targeted keywords. Worse still, more than one in two of the links on the page included one of the keywords in the targeted keyword phrase. That's far too high a ratio. Stick to a keyword weight of about 1-3% in the body and link text.
  • Don't Link to Bad Neighborhoods - Double check all sites that you link to, to ensure that you're not linking to a site that has been penalized by Google. Because if you are, then you could get penalized as well.

    How can you tell if you're link to a 'bad site?' Visit the homepage of each site that you link to, and see if the Google PageRank is 2 or lower. If it is, then I would recommend removing your link to that site.

    Also be aware of sites that have thousands of links pointing to the home page, yet have a low PageRank of 3 or even 4. Sites with so many links should have a PageRank of at least 6 or 7. The reason for the low PageRank could be because Google has penalized the site for spammy SEO techniques.

    Please note that the PageRank bar is sometimes misleading. Google do admit that it doesn't work 100% of the time. So recheck the page's PageRank by refreshing the page, and also visiting the page at a different time.

    Don't worry about 'bad sites' linking to yours. Google does not penalize for that. They understand that that isn't your fault.