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I'm running a stock market forum and I noticed in Google Webmaster, I am not getting impressions for the keyword "message board." Currently, I only use the keyword "forum" in my title. For example, in Google Webmaster, I get impressions for "stock forum," but I don't get any impressions for "stock message board". I want to rank for "stock message board" as well. To fix this problem I am thinking of changing the title on my main homepage from:

"Stock Market Forum and Finance Discussion | AlphaBanter" to "Stock Market Forum and Finance Message Board | AlphaBanter"

(current example of the title of my homepage: http://www.alphabanter.com)

And I am also thinking of changing the title on my sub-forums from:

"Facebook (FB) Stock Discussion Forum" to "Facebook (FB) Stock Discussion Forum and Message Board"

(current example of the title on my sub-forum: http://www.alphabanter.com/forum/fb)

Some people say you shouldn't repeat the keyword more than once in your title. Is it safe to repeat the keyword a second time as a synonym? In this case, I am repeating the keyword "forum" with the synonym "message board" so hopefully Google will give me impressions for the keyword "message board" as well.

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Maybe you missed Zistoloen's comment regarding repeating keywords versus addressing your question about synonyms? –  dan Jun 11 '13 at 14:35
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4 Answers 4

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Repeating keywords in the title is not at all good for a site. Even though you use the synonyms of a word, it is not a good idea but there are so many sites that has been repeating same keywords in title and they are ranking in the top position for particular keyword.

For example if you search "wristbands" in Google you could find many sites that are having the word wristbands more than 2 or three times in the title. But they are ranking in first place for a high competitive keyword. So no one can guess how Google consider a site. If you check the backlinks of those sites, then you can realize the answer.

So title is one among the many ranking factor and there are so many SEO factors to target a particular keyword. You can get backlinks from other relevant sites for the keyword "Message boards".

My point of view is, having suitable meta title and not having a single backlink is waste as well as having number of backlinks from irrelevant is also a bad idea.

Google would consider the title, description, keywords in URL, <h1> tag, number of backlinks for the keyword, site age and popularity etc.

So my answer is you can place keyword one or two times (not more than two) in your title and improve the quality and popularity of your site so that you can get your site in the top position within few months. Because no one can achieve the real success in a short period. You may face a drop in ranking for few days but don't mind that and concentrate on improving the site quality finally you would see your site in the first place of Google SERP.

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The question is about two synonyms in <title> tag, not the same word twice. –  Zistoloen Jun 7 '13 at 11:03
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If your keywords are synonyms, the Googlebot will pickup on that. So yes, it's a bad idea to use synonyms in the same tag.

If they are just related however, that's more difficult to say. When I do a thersaurus lookup for "forum", it doesn't list "message board" as a synonym. However, it does list "message boards" as a related search term there.

When I do a keyword search in Google Adwords for "forum", I'm not seeing "message board" listed as a keyword idea (at least not in the first couple of pages).

The Googlebot also looks at the context in which a keyword is used. The word "forum" has several different meanings, that used in different contexts (surrounding words) can relate to other keywords, for example "online forum" versus "market forum" might relate closer to "message boards".

Therefore, paying attention to how you use keywords (i.e., the context) is also important in this regards.

In general however, you should minimize the number of keywords in a small tag like title to just your main keywords for that page, versus trying stuff more of them into it. Instead add related keywords and synonyms to other elements of the page, being careful not to over-optimize it.

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With repetition, your home page title doesn't appear natural to me. This title appears natural to you? If not, it's not a good idea to implement this solution because it may be keyword stuffing.

If you want seeing your website with Message Board keywords in Google Search, you can add these keywords in pages of your website (for example, by replacing Forum keyword by these two new ones in elements of several pages: <title>, <h1>, some text etc.). Moreover, you can get backlinks with Message Board keywords in links anchor.

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I agree with Zistoloen - it's a little like saying, "ABC Company Store and Shop". If it's not natural to users, then it might not be to the Googlebot either. –  dan Jun 7 '13 at 9:32
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As long as it sounds natural then repeating a keyword (or synonym) once isn't a problem at all. Worry about some real issues instead, like making the site good.

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