Anyone who understands how SEO works knows how vital keyword research is in creating an effective SEO for his business and its marketing. The truth is you can’t perform well with SEO without the right keywords. As customers use keywords in search of products and services, websites and brands also make use of keywords in creating their content, which is then used for SEO. Otherwise, your webpage may feature quality content but with little or zero visibility.
However, beyond getting the right keywords to use in creating your content, you must also get it right when you type in the keywords, which brings us to the question: are SEO keywords case sensitive? We will answer this question in this article. Does capitalization matter?
Google says no, it doesn’t.
What are SEO Keywords?
Are you new to SEO or do you take advantage of SEO? You must be adept with keywords and how to use them. In essence, your knowledge of SEO is not complete without the understanding of keywords.
You see, before content creators, SEO experts, website owners, eCommerce experts, Digital Marketers, etc. put up their webpage content or brand on the internet, they do keyword research. What does this mean? They search for the words and phrases that users use often when they type in their query (relating to the content in question) in search boxes of search engines. Then, they make use of these words and phrases in creating their content.
To what end?
Should the keywords used in creating their contents match the often used keywords in search queries, their web pages are more likely to see the light of day. By the light of day, I mean, it increases their ranking on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), consequently increasing the traffic of visitation or potential customers, as the case may be.
For instance, say you are into the hotel business in Alabama. Travelers or residents who would like to lodge in Alabama and are not certain of suitable places may use search engines and search with phrases like, “Best / Top (ten) hotels/guest houses in Alabama”. So, in creating your content, you’ll be wise to play around with these keywords to ensure search engines recognize your webpage as one of the possible sites where users can get their answers.
What is Case Sensitivity?
I’d like to think that grammar is not an issue if you’re on this webpage right now. From the onset of our educational journey, everyone was taught uppercase and lowercase characters, but perhaps you were not taught that the difference between the two types of characters explains the phrase “Case Sensitivity.”
As simple as that is, they are more important than you know. In computer programming, for instance, some characters are said to be case-sensitive and some are case-insensitive. In case-sensitive programming, even if they are the same letter, you can’t interchange an uppercase character for a lowercase one. For instance, ‘ChaSm’ is not the same as ‘cHaSM’. On the other hand, case-insensitive programming couldn’t care less about stringing uppercase and lowercase characters together or interchanging the characters. In such a case, a user will experience no hassle irrespective of what case he types his query. For example, ‘[email protected]’ will return a positive result.
Now, coming to the main question…
Are SEO Keywords Case Sensitive?
Having explained what case sensitivity is, you might begin to wonder if search engines, which are also computer programming, employ case-sensitive programming. In other words, does it matter if the keywords are in capital letters? Does it affect SEO in any way?
Interestingly, SEO is not case-sensitive. Our focus will be on Google. It doesn’t matter whether your search query is in uppercase or lowercase, Google can read it and identify it. When it comes to keywords, whether the search query is in uppercase or lowercase is irrelevant to Google (although there are arguments that this may not be the case when it comes to content as capitalized titles are easier to read by search engines. If so, how come Google considers sentences that are all in uppercase as poor quality content? Note that an all-cap title is different from a title beginning with a capital letter. Titles that begin with capital letters are given more preference by search engines. Other than that, capitalization plays no role.)
Google, per its updated search algorithm, states that capitalized and non-capitalized keywords are considered equal. If you’re having doubts, it’s a thing you can prove for yourself. How so?
You’re going to carry out two tests:
- The first test is to use the Google Keyword Tool. Find the ‘Find Keywords’ section; here, the tool asks for ‘Word or Phrase’. Search for both types of characters we’ve mentioned. Click on search and evaluate the entire result.
- The second test is to use the search engine query box to search for uppercase and lowercase keywords. Evaluate the result and you’ll observe that the results are the same.
It is also important to note that even though results don’t vary due to capitalization, they may vary due to differences in location. That is, if someone in Brazil searches for the same keyword with someone in New York, America, the result will vary – you’ll agree with me that that’s logical. But on a large scale, there’s nothing to worry about.
The truth is Google updates its algorithm from time to time – every brand wants to get better and more user-friendly. So, bringing yourself up to speed with recent updates and being skillful to always avoid avoidable errors will make a huge difference for anyone who makes use of SEO.
In A Nutshell
Using the right keywords in SEO cannot be overemphasized as it is vital to how well your website or content will perform and the awareness you’ll invite to your business.
The question of whether these keywords, when they are in uppercase or lowercase, affect SEO has seen diverse responses, even from experts. I think the most reliable source should be from search engines that make use of these keywords.
Google says SEO keywords are not case sensitive, and I think that settles it.