Google’s Cutts talks spelling and grammar

Posted on October 16, 2011


In a recent YouTube video blog, Google guru Matt Cutts stated that both spelling and grammar are important for ranking well with the search engine, confirming the wisdom of advice that SEO experts have been giving for years. Cutts, answering webmaster questions in his video blog, urged site owners to be aware of spelling and grammar, for their readers if not for their page rankings.

Improving spelling and grammar is usually one of the basic early SEO jobs undertaken. Cutts confirmed the importance of such an apparently small task, stating that Google had noticed that spelling levels roughly correlated with rankings. Sites with high PageRank tended to have excellent spelling.

Somewhat enigmatically, Cutts stated that as far as he was aware, spelling isn’t one of the signals used to judge page quality, but that it would be a good idea to think about it as one. He later explained that the intricacies of regional spelling couldn’t be reliably analysed, making spelling an unlikely candidate for a quality signal. Cutts emphasised, however, that if a site was able to persuade human readers that its content was of a high quality, generally the site was able to convince Google as well.

Cutts also hinted that the ‘reading levels’ of content was being investigated to some extent by the search team at Google, referring to the classification of content by age group depending on the content’s complexity and sophistication. Cutts wasn’t forthcoming about where such investigations would lead, but did say that the idea would be ‘interesting’ to explore as a quality signal.

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