I recently optimized some of my web pages by increasing their keyword density and checking over a period of time how my pages performed in the Google's search results page. There were indeed some improvements so I came to conclude that search engine optimization (SEO) does work.
What I did was not SEO per se but just plain and simple optimization focusing mainly on keyword density or the number of times the keyword is repeated on a page. I found out how important it is that the phrase be typed exactly as how it appeared on the page or the results will not be acceptable.
In other words, if the words in a phrase are not typed in exactly the same order in Google's search bar, the search results will not be as expected. The lesson to be learned here is that if there is a possibility that a user will type the phrase with a different word order, then several occurrences of inverted word order phrase must also be present in the page.
I used my name as the keyword phrase in my articles and videos and made sure that my full name together with the middle initial is repeated at least twice on the web page. I found out that using only my first or last name or omitting the middle initial will not produce the expected results. Inverting the order of my first and last name will also not bring about a better placement on the search results page.
Using only either my first or last name did not bring out any of my web pages. With the first and last name in correct order without the middle initial, my web pages managed to come out on page 2 of the search results. With the order of my first and last name inverted, my web pages started to appear on page 4 of the search results. But with my full name in correct order and my middle initial included, my web pages came out on page 1 of the search results.
So if you will be using a phrase as a keyword for optimizing your page, be aware that keyword order can affect the results returned by Google. When choosing a keyword phrase, we must use it in the order that it will most likely be typed by the user.