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Say I have a page about strawberries and unicorns. I do want this page to be found by the word strawberry, but I don't want it to be found by the word unicorn - though both words are mentioned frequently on the page.

Is this possible?

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No, not really...

If you don't want to be found for the word unicorns then don't publish anything about unicorns (either that or publish the content about unicorns on a private section of your website).

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As zigojacko says, this is not really possible. If the word is contained in the page content then you could potentially be found by that word.

However, and this is just a thought, you could encode these words in the page content and run a script when the page loads that decodes them.

For example:

<span class="encoded">snrocinu</span>

However, there are some caveats:

  • It's less accessible. Some users (JS disabled or whatever) may just see the encoded word.

  • Search engines are getting better at interpreting JavaScript, so your "encoded" words may not be encoded after all.

  • If you have more than a few words to encode, this is going to be time consuming to implement (ie. write content). Unless you automate this process as well.

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A better solution than encoded words is to use images, it's more accessible for users. – Zistoloen May 8 '14 at 15:44
@Zistoloen Images are certainly another solution, however, I'm not convinced they are necessarily more accessible? As I understand it, screen readers will tend to insert the word "image" or "graphic" before reading the alt text. And getting textual images to match the style and scale appropriately with the surrounding text across devices is going to be tricky? – w3dk May 9 '14 at 0:04
I said images are more accessible in relation to encoded words in case of disabled JavaScript, you can't really disable images. But I agree matching images alignment and style with text can be tricky. – Zistoloen May 9 '14 at 7:36

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