Why does Google Search give me different result when I use the prefix "how to" when compared to only using keywords?

For example: I searched "how to lose fat from tummy" and excluded the common keywords "lose fat tummy" without quotes.

I get different results. I thought Google excluded common keywords.


1 Answer 1


As @danlefree pointed out in another of your questions, you're referring to stop words, and the situation just isn't that simple anymore. "How to" might be common, but is still important and even interesting from a search perspective, since how-tos are a specific kind of article that someone using those terms is probably looking for. So while "some search terms" might get you pages about that topic in general, "how to some search terms" may try and specifically weight for tutorials, or at least pages with that phrase in their title/headers.

  • So what is best to use - do we target the pre-fix as well in titles and heading or leave it.
    – itpian.com
    Nov 30, 2011 at 10:34
  • Who is "we?" Target the prefix in what?
    – Su'
    Nov 30, 2011 at 11:27
  • Its my team, I am referring to as "we". I am stuck between these two.
    – itpian.com
    Nov 30, 2011 at 11:30
  • target the pre-fix in the keywords.
    – itpian.com
    Nov 30, 2011 at 11:30
  • I don't think I understand the question. Target whatever it is you're trying to get results for. Are you actually writing how-to articles? If not, then no. The two options probably won't get you wildly different results, anyway; it's a matter of which ones are going to be emphasized.
    – Su'
    Nov 30, 2011 at 16:52

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