Well call it synchronicity or opportunism, but the day I come to write my blog post about grammar in SEO, is the day on which Matt Cutts, Google’s content overlord, published a video about the correlation between good spelling and page rank. But there are a variety of good reasons why grammar is important for SEO.
I think that an interest in words, punctuation and grammar can really help an SEO when thinking of keyword synonyms, acronyms, misspellings and such. It’s the same eye for detail which can help you to use those keywords and phrases naturally and correctly within copy.
Working in search, it’s sometimes too easy to forget that content is for readers. We spend so much time trying to manipulate search results with highly targeted content, sometimes we risk sacrificing quality for exposure. When creating a website, the written word is the most popular way of communicating, and making it clear, concise and sensical should be paramount.
The Matt Cutts video admits that despite the correlation between good spelling and grammar and high page rank, they are not currently being used as “direct signals”. It will probably be quite tricky to give a website score based on its spelling and grammar, but he has indicated that it is something he would support. Google have admitted that they use testers to manually score sites’ quality, asking questions like “Would you trust this site with your credit card?”, so it is possible that a site can be penalised for poor grammar.
There are many reasons to value grammar in SEO, to identify and execute keywords, connect with audiences, and get great search results. Great content is at the core of any great website, so don’t let poor spelling, punctuation and grammar let it down. It’s not just readers who will notice. Some years ago I gave this presentation about grammar for SEOs for our season of pecha kuchas.