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ABC’s of SEO – G is for Grammar

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 reason why grammar is important for SEO.

Keywords
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.

Audiences
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.

Search Engines
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.

Grammar for SEOs Pecha Kucha by Alan Cairns from SiteVisibility on Vimeo.

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1 Comment
  • Moosa Hemani on October 6, 2011

    Smart move Alan, I saw on facebook somebody shared the video but didn’t get the time to see it and here you are with the similar topic.

    I think, grammar is really important although its pretty tough game for non English people but I think it is very logical for grammar to be an important part of page rank.

    Keeping the fact in mind that search engine is getting more and more smarter and thinking the way a real human should think and if this is the case then grammar should be the important part because it’s not only good for search engine but real human find it comfortable if the grammar and punctuation is correct and good to go!

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