Over the past few days we’ve noticed an interesting change to the way Google’s search engine query broad matching function works.
For example, in the past a Google search for the phrase www.webmarketinglondon.com would only have ever returned pages with the full phrase in it.
Now, however, it will return any page with the keywords www web marketing london and com, for example.
if you try that search, notice how Google emphasises in bold individual keywords in search results even when there were not separated by spaces, full stops or other punctuation. This appears to be a refinement of their keyword-within-a-phrase matching algorithm and first came to my attention because my Google Alerts for urls recently started returning pages that have never contained the full url.
For me, at least, this isn’t a particularly helpful change although placing quotes around the phrases help a bit, Google’s new within phrase matching persists for deeper SERPS.
It will be interesting to see what these changes mean for Google SEO.