Ampersand Equates To "And"?

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Does anybody know if search engines really see these as the same



and that, somebody searching on, "this and that" could bring up
listings containing the text, "this & that"?

I suspect that searchers will be using the word, "and" in the
queries, but my site currently a lot of, "this & that" text, with
the ampersand.  This involves the names of businesses which
present themselves with that format.

Or is the "and" in their query going to be ignored anyway, even
if they put it "in quotes"?

Thanks for any insight.

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Re: Ampersand Equates To "And"?

Coffee's For Closers wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I hope you understand that your question contains an internal unresolvable
problem: there is no one particular standard all the search engine out
there adhere to. I fact, this being a highly competitive field, I doubt
ranking/search algorithms will even be standardized.  

So, let's say you are only interested in the only search engine worth
being interested in: Google

Google appears to be showing very similar results on phrases with the &
(ampersand sign) and the word "and". They are NOT exactly the same to
them. If you try to type any abbreviation that  contains an & sign, say
"D&M",  it comes up with suggestions that have "D&M" in them. If you try
"D and M", the suggestions do not have an ampersand. So, they do make a
distinction between them.

However, from the search and ranking stand point there is not much
difference: "and" is a stopword (used too often to be worth searching for
by itself) and an "&" is a dividing symbol, so for all intents and
purposes the sample phrases from above would look like a letter D in close
proximity to letter M and will bring similar results. Not the same, just
similar. I have a feeling that the result set from both searches is the
same but the rankings of the pages that come up are different.

So, if you are trying to get ranked on "A&B", you should really have it
written like this on all pages of your site. Or, and the HTML-coded
ampersand is being converted to plain text by the bot so there is no
distinction between plain text and the HTML-coded one.  



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