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Spelling Mistakes Negatively Affect Google Rankings

More and more studies are indicating that search engines rank sites better when they are error free. Higher search engine rankings result in increased traffic, and more customers obtained.  Therefore, the cost of web site errors, such as misspellings, has increased dramatically as search engines are placing a greater emphasis on proper writing.  Joel Walsh's article below substantiates this view with research on the web's top search terms.

Google's "Good Writing" Content Filter
By Joel Walsh

The web pages actually at the top of Google have only one thing clearly in common: good writing. The usual SEO (Search Engine Optimization) sacred cows and bugbears, such as PageRank, frames, and JavaScript, are less important, if they even matter at all.

I was recently struck by the fact that the top-ranking web pages on Google are consistently much better written than the vast majority of what one reads on the web. Yet traditional SEO wisdom has little to say about good writing. Does Google, the world’s wealthiest media company, really rank web pages based primarily on arcane technical criteria such as keyword density, link text, or even PageRank? Apparently not.

Most Common Website Content Success Factors : I took a close look at Google’s top five pages for the five most searched-on keywords, as identified by WordTracker on June 27, 2005. Here’s what I found.

The web pages that contained written content (a small but significant portion were image galleries) all shared the following features:

  • Updating: frequent updating of content, at least once every few weeks, and more often, once a week or more.
  • Spelling and grammar: few or no errors. No page had more than three misspelled words or four grammatical errors. Note: spelling and grammar errors were identified by using Microsoft Word’s check feature, and then ruling out words marked as misspellings that are either proper names or new words that are simply not in the dictionary. Google almost certainly has better access to new words than the dictionary, with its database of billions of web pages. Supposed grammatical errors that did not in fact violate style rules were also ignored. Google would certainly be less conservative than a grammar checker in evaluating popular stylistic devices such as sentence fragments.
  • Paragraphs: primarily brief (1-4 sentences). Few or no long blocks of text.
  • Lists: both bulleted and numbered, form a large part of the text.
  • Sentence length: mostly brief (10 words or fewer). Medium-length and long sentences are sprinkled throughout the text rather than clumped together.
  • Contextual relevance: text contains numerous terms related to the keyword, as well as stem variations of the keyword. The page may contain the keyword itself few times or not at all.

Reprinted from: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/index.php?p=1874
Joel Walsh is the owner, founder and head-writer of UpMarket Content.

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