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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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