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Re: Apostrophe
From Matthew on 21 January '98
adding to Re: Apostrophe posted by Jim

I guess you are right... in most cases words with apostrophes make horrible keywords. However, I am just curious about the actual technical behavior with useage of keywords that contain apostrophes. I'm wondering if they are rendered completely useless in search engine databases. I'd like to know, if I ever felt it was necessary, whether there would be any point in including the word's apostrophe. Because if I include "robert's" as opposed to just "robert" as one of my keywords, does that not mean that someone searching for either "robert" or "robert's" make a match? Whereas with just "robert" as my keyword, a search for "robert's" would prove to no avail... much like the way the adding plurals scheme works. Then on the other hand, will the apostrophe hinder the search, by preventing a search for "roberts" by breaking "s" away from the rest of the keyword? And if search engines totally ignore apostrophes altogether, then that could mean two things could happen within the search engine's matching pattern #1. The "s" after the apostrophe is totally forgotten (truncated), thus making the keyword less effective by making it singular rather than plural (defeating the plurals scheme). #2. The "s" is added to the rest of the keyword (pretending the apostrophe never existed), making it no more effective than using a plural keyword without an apostrophe (maintaining the plurals scheme). This is why I'm curious as to whether they are ignored. Because if apostrophes are ignored, they become useless... and possibly even hindering. But if they are not, they may have some advantages in some cases. I'm just curious as to whether the option is available if it ever needed to be used.

But yes, I will probably never use a keyword with an apostrophe... just curious whether it's damaging or not :) 'tis only hypothetical

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