I am trying to optimize a pre-existing website using SEO tactics. I just have one question. What is the best way to optimize if a keyword can be a phrase or acronyms (ie Major League Baseball vs MLB)? Should I try to fit both versions on page / title or is there a preferred method of dealing with this?

1 Answer 1


Search engines are very good at handling acronyms, especially Google. But if you want to help them along you can do two things:

  1. Use the <abbr> or <acronym> tags to indicate an acronym is being used and what it means. <acronym> is being phased out in HTML5 with <abbr> handling both abbreviations and acronyms. So <abbr> is the more future proof way to go.

  2. The first time you mention the acronym in your content use both so search engines and users both know what the acronym means. Then use the acronym going forward. For example, you could say:

Major League Baseball (MLB) is a popular sports league in the United States. MLB has 32 teams...

  • Thanks for your quick response. Seems like a good route to go. I was wondering, though, is this supported in the title tag? What about text-only browsers (for accessibility)? Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 19:49
  • 1
    It works everywhere except in the title tag. If you use in a H1, be prepared to style the combination too 'h1 abbr { .... }'.
    – Itai
    Commented Jul 25, 2011 at 20:00

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