One SEO professional asked John Mueller during his Question and Answer segment about the use of keyword synonyms and how they might impact search rankings.
Their question was: why might there be tiny differences in synonyms or search terms that make a big difference in ranking position?
They gave an example: “edit video.” However, for the synonymous query, “video editor,” the page is nowhere to be found.
John answered that from Google’s perspective, this can be completely normal. And that’s something where, on the one hand, they do try to understand the synonyms of the query, but they also try to understand the full context of the query.
Especially when it comes to synonyms, we might assume that something is mostly a synonym. But that doesn’t mean that it’s completely a synonym.
And especially when you’re looking at something like “edit video” vs. “video editor,” the expectations from the user side are a bit different.
On the one hand you may want to download a video editor. And it seems very similar, but the things that users want from the query are slightly different.
From John’s perspective, it makes sense that Google would show different rankings here.
And they have the same thing for slightly different spellings of words, such as if you have the British or American version of an English word.
If you have a word or a letter with an accent, and it doesn’t have an accent, Google will understand these are mostly the same. But they will also understand that they are slightly different.
And then Google will show search results that take this into consideration.
This happens at approximately the 39:35 mark in the video.