Spelling and Grammar Impact Your Website’s SEO & Credibility
~June 28, 2013 / By Erik Kielisch / Optimal Web Consultants Inc.
Search engines are getting smarter. As they get better at finding and devaluing low-quality, suspicious sites, they’re starting to consider spelling and grammar in their algorithms.
Misspellings, extra words, missing words, and all around bad grammar are automatic warning signs to human browsers that a site may not be credible.
Expect Lost Rankings
Search engines know this, too. In the coming months you can expect to see sites with misspellings and bad grammar lose their ranking in search engine results.
Correct spelling and grammar are now essential parts of effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Consider Your Credibility
Even if a site doesn’t lose ranking for misspellings and bad grammar, how can anyone take such a site seriously? Would you buy from a company that reads like a machine wrote their content?
I doubt it.
To preserve your rankings and credibility, here are 2 ways to improve your site’s spelling and grammar:
1. Use A Spell Checker
This is obvious. Word processors and Content Management Systems (CMS) likeWordPress include a spell checker. Use it. It will prevent you from misspelling a word, but it won’t save you from using the wrong form of the word. For that you need an editor.
2. Hire An Editor
Only a human can know what form of a word you meant (ex. fair, fare). An editor is also invaluable for helping you structure your thoughts, rephrase sentences for maximum impact, and revise words and sentences to be more understandable.
Does spelling still matter?
Are your spelling skills in Jeopardy?
~Olivia Barker and Maria Puente, USA TODAY 12:35 p.m. EDT August 6, 2013
Y-E-S, say the experts in the laws of linking letters correctly.
“Spelling absolutely counts,” says Paige (yes, that’s “Paige” with an “i”) Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee and the contest’s 1981 champion. “What we know is that good spelling is a tremendous reflection on an individual’s overall knowledge and attention to detail.”
But spelling stumbles don’t just induce cringes; in everyday life, they can have real repercussions, from landing a job to landing an online date.
“We still evaluate people based on how we present ourselves in writing,” says Mignon Fogarty, aka “Grammar Girl,” an author of books on grammar and spelling and the founder of a popular website, Quick and Dirty Tips. “It suggests how detail-oriented you are, how rushed, how much care you put into your writing.”
And even if the rules don’t necessarily apply to texting teens, grownups are paying attention. “Employers are checking your Twitter feed and Facebook accounts when you apply for a job,” she says.
Spelling doesn’t just bother schoolmarms. “I see complaints every day, from a spectrum of people — young, old, highly educated, less educated people,” Fogarty says. Though Fogarty is a grammarian, the majority of questions she gets are about spelling. “People who have learned English as a second language are the most frustrated with lazy English. They say, ‘We learned the rules, why aren’t Americans using them?’ “
It’s about prioritizing when spelling doesn’t count — on a shopping list, for instance — and when it does — on a neon restaurant sign or a tattoo. Or a game show. (Thomas Hurley III’s misspelled answer was deemed incorrect during an appearance on “Jeopardy Kids Week.”)