SEO is an interesting problem to solve in regards to product development and engineering. More so than other online marketing channels, SEO is heavily dependent on having access to the engineering queue. Without getting SEO tasks in the engineering queue, a lot of SEO becomes dead in the water. The inability to get into this queue is one reason SEO fails at many organizations.
Google sometimes does phrase matching even if the search query isn’t in quotes. They’ll also include words that are traditionally considered search operators and stop words if it’s part of a popular phrase. It seems Google is getting increasingly better at understanding language.
Understanding how Google indexes and uses a phrase based analysis of language, and semantic analysis of these terms, can help you better understand on-site targeting and link building.