What is Keyword Stemming?

Keyword stemming is often talked about in terms of SEO. But what exactly is keyword stemming and what does it have to do with SEO? This post will explain what it is and how it can help with your SEO efforts and strategies. 

What is Keyword Stemming?

Keyword stemming is the strategy of modifying different keywords through the use of their variations. These variations come from adding prefixes and suffixes to the root of the keyword as well as pluralizing the keyword. Google is extremely smart and has the ability to understand these different variations. This ability enables the search engine to identify keywords and their variations and understand that they’re being used in a similar context in your content when being searched. 

When should you use keyword stemming?

Keyword stemming helps your content become more searchable when using variations of the original keyword. While your website’s content may not have the exact keyword that someone searched for, Google will be able to link that keyword with variations of the keyword used within your content. This would certainly drive more organic traffic to your site. 

However, there are instances where keyword stemming would not drive traffic and that is if the keyword variant does not fit in with the content on your website. Here are things to consider when applying keyword stemming to your website’s content. 

Does it still fit the context?

It’s important to make sure that the variant keyword still fits the same context as the original keyword you want to optimize. If the variant is used in another context, keyword stemming simply will not work. Your content will end up being inconsistent and will not be of interest to readers. Google can pick up on this inconsistency which could cause your website to rank further down rather than rank up. For example, “play” and “player” are different things. One refers to the act and the other refers to who is participating. This can heavily affect the context of the content. 

Is the variation still related to the original keyword?

The example above uses keywords that are still slightly related to each other. However, there are certain instances where the variation of a word gives it a completely different meaning. Within SEO, the goal is to use variations to get more website traffic and get more opportunities to be found on search engines while still retaining the meaning of the root word. 

Does keyword stemming work?

With Google’s extreme knowledge, keyword stemming can certainly work as long as you follow the rules stated above. Google’s knowledge allows the search engine to identify user intent and bring them to the search results they are looking for. 


If you’re looking for professionals to assist with your keyword optimization and organic search results, contact Boston Web Marketing! Boston Web Marketing specializes in getting websites found organically on search results. Contact us today by filling out a contact form or giving us a call at 857-526-0096

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