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What is keyword stemming?

Keyword stemming is something that every person involved in SEO should know about if they want to succeed in a highly competitive environment. While coming up with a list of solid keywords can help your SEO campaign, keyword stemming entails the further optimization of those keywords to maximize your reach.

The Keyword Stemming Process

Keyword stemming is generally accomplished by adding prefixes or suffixes to keywords as modifiers.

For example, you may have the word "large" and want to change it to "enlarge" with the "en-" prefix. You can also add suffixes in many cases to expand your keyword list, such as adding "-ful" to "power" to make it "powerful." You may also want to target pluralized versions of keywords, which you can do easily, such as changing "child" to "children."

Search engines view these similar keywords as synonyms, which can subsequently help extend your reach if you want to make the most of your SEO campaigns. So, if you try to rank for a term including the word "practice," you may also want to shoot for variations such as "practicing," "practices," and "practiced," which all include the same root word.

How Keyword Stemming Affects Google

You should keep in mind that Google doesn't use keyword stemming for all search queries, but instead uses a query-specific algorithm. Ranking for a targeted term will depend on the user's query.

The best way to take full advantage of keyword stemming is to be very careful when selecting keywords to use for your website, as relevant keywords can help you rank higher while bad ones can result in a lower ranking. Once you have implemented keyword stemming in your keyword groups, it's also important to remain patient, as seeing them take effect isn't an instantaneous process.