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Why Spelling Matters for SEO

November 21, 2011  

"Spelling plays an important role when it comes to the SEO of a website," notes a post at the Brandignity blog. "Google claims it is not a direct factor they use but it does have some weight when determining the SEO power of a Web page."

To clarify Google's stance on the matter, Brandignity links to a video by Google's Matt Cutts, in which he replies to the question: "Do spelling and grammar matter when evaluating content and site quality?"

Cutts begins by saying that—when he last checked—correct spelling wasn't one of the 200+ quality signals studied by Google. "But I think it would be fair to think about using it as a signal," notes Cutts. And this is why:

  • A page's ranking often correlates with its degree of grammatical polish. "The reputable sites tend to spell better," Cutts says. "And the sites that are lower page-ranked, or very low page-ranked, tend not to spell as well."
  • This also holds true for a page's degree of literacy. For instance, content written at a twelfth-grade level will tend to rank above one written at a third-grade level.

So, although not a direct SEO metric, spelling (and grammar) can influence a page's reputation. That's because visitors will reward a well-crafted, well-edited piece of content with bookmarks and links, and Google will notice that your Web page is a trusted one.

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  • by Al Sefati Tue Nov 22, 2011 via web

    I disagree! I did a test with a site that generates keywords and spells them wrong and they still got good organic traffic specially for misspelled searches. You gotta remember searches misspell too and based on exact match google returns its SERPs.

    Its all about "how users react to your content" which is what I heard a google say in SMX advanced in Seattle

  • by Matt Rinkerman Tue Nov 22, 2011 via web

    I agree with Al, we have been playing with common misspelling of several wines and are getting traffic on that.

  • by Ashley Tue Nov 22, 2011 via web

    I also agree with Al. While working with Google Adwords, we make sure we add in unconventional spellings of our company name etc. People often search with incorrect spelling and we want to make sure we come up every time!

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