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This question already has an answer here:

If I wanted to rank for "Christmas Coffee" does it matter whether my title is

A) 2015's Best Christmas Coffee

or

B) 2015's Best Coffee of Christmas

How much weight is put into this?

marked as duplicate by John Conde seo Nov 12 '15 at 23:27

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  • Definitely order matters! Try searching same phrase for last year and you'll see difference or suggestions... – mario ruiz Nov 12 '15 at 22:49
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While both are close, I prefer option C) Best Christmas Coffee 2015. Here is why.

I advise that you read: Well structured URLs vs. URLs optimized for SEO I will not get into to much from this answer, but it still really applies and why I strongly recommend reading it.

In this answer I list some of how Google weighs keywords. Keep in mind that Google is a semantics based search engine far more than people realize. While semantic weighting can be applied, these general rules still apply. I discuss this mostly in regard to search queries, but can also apply to anywhere where semantic clues can be short. This includes title tags, header tags, description meta-tags, links, and the like where semantic subject, predicate, and object do not exist. Since none of the options in your question fall into this category, I will list them here again.

  • Google weighs keywords from left to right with some exception.
  • Google weighs known keyword phrases more heavily.
  • Google weighs URI keyword phrases/clusters separated by a slash [/] from left to right.
  • Google weighs keywords used more frequently overall less than keywords that are more specific.
  • Google weighs keyword modifiers more heavily.
  • Google weighs keywords based upon popularity trends.
  • Google will remove all special (non-alpha-numeric) characters when weighing keywords.

Your use of 2015's would likely drop the 's making it useless. If you search the net, you will find that often if the year is added, it is added at the end of the title tag.

The use of terms such as of are of little semantic value and would likely be totally ignored in your example.

In English, Christmas Cookie, as a phrase, makes sense. The term best is a modifier which only makes sense before the phrase Christmas cookie since that is how people would think and speak.

Remember two things: one, Google does not make keyword matches and that any keyword match found in the SERPs is a byproduct; and two, it is always better to create short content such as title tags as close to how people think and speak as possible.

Also remember two more things: one, it is always far better to use a semantically complete sentence or partial sentence with a subject, predicate, and object; and two, that Google fundamentally weighs in order the title tag, description meta-tag, link text, and content using parallel searches of each and blending results using an algorithm.

Weighing option C semantically, your keywords would be ordered as Christmas, Cookie, Best, 2015. This is because Christmas Cookie would be seen as a known phrase, best would be seen as a semantic modifier of Christmas Cookie but not as valuable, and 2015 a lesser modifier. You can reorder them any way you want and the semantic weighting will not change. Remember my list above??

Option C is best because it closely matches how people think and speak as well as more closely matching semantic weighting.

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Exact match always work better. I'd go for the A every time!

The amount of weight the title along carries depends on the site as a whole. Avoid repeating the exact keyword on other pages. If you do, link to your target landing page. If you create similar pages simply vary the order - use B.

Make sure the keywords, both exact match and variations, aren't in the content too much and you should be good.

  • Semantically speaking, the page title always weighs more than content and has from the very beginning. However, the weighting can be muted somewhat during the displaying of blended results. This makes the title tag, description meta-tag, and any link tags much more powerful than content itself. – closetnoc Nov 12 '15 at 22:50
  • The reason I ask about order is because there may be situations where I can't use specific phrases for branding and/or legal purposes so should I be worried about the potential for my content to rank if I had to use option B? – Sajad Nov 12 '15 at 23:10
  • @Sajad This is important information and can radically change the question and answer. Can you make-up a good and close example?? – closetnoc Nov 12 '15 at 23:31
  • Sure thing, I'll try my best. – Sajad Nov 12 '15 at 23:51
  • As an added note, I can't disclose the exact keyword on here. I hope you don't mind. I'll provide a keyword that's similar. 1. I'm optimizing a page for the keyword "Car Insurance" 2. The clients brand name for this policy is "Brand Car" so they said from a legal perspective we shouldn't use it since the keyword refers to an insurance policy. 3. Their suggestion was going with a title like "Insurance overview for Car" The sentence still refers to that keyword and both parts of the keyword are included but not together, will it still be effective? – Sajad Nov 13 '15 at 0:02

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