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I'm trying to learn more about implementing basic SEO strategies and have been spending a lot of time refining my keywords using Google Analytics combined with manually checking them using Google's allintitle operator. However, I'm unclear on whether I should be using quotes with my allintitles. Example:

allintitle: seo tips and tricks for beginners 191 results

allintitle: "seo tips and tricks for beginners" 70 results

My thought is that it would be more accurate to use it without quotes because that way you get a more well rounded idea of all those you are competing with. So, my question is does Google give more weight to exact matches in the title tag or does that not really matter? If someone searched for: seo tips and tricks for beginners, would they be more likely to see the ones that have that exact phrase in their title tag or does that not have any impact?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 26 '11 at 16:07

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3 Answers 3

By including the quotes you eliminate anything other than exact matches for the chosen phrase, so I wouldn't recommend it. It wouldn't necessarily rank any better than the non-quoted version either.

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You should want to rank well for the search terms that users are using. The vast majority of searches are done without quotes (most users don't even know that using quotes returns exact matches) so this is what you should be researching and targeting.

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As the others have said Google doesn't give weighting to one operator over another, it just returns values depending on what operator is used. In this type of research, without the quotes is better, as it will give you more of an idea of the number of competing pages for variations of your target keyword.

When researching traffic figures e.g. by using the Google keyword research tool in Adwords or some other method it is best to use the exact match operators [] as this will give you the most conservative (and the most accurate for your search term) traffic figures.

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