Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Search engines: how to they handle misspellings?
What happens with misspelled words or typos on websites? My own experience is that usually they don’t get indexed, but sometimes they do. With a large volume of blogs, some unnoticed typos seem inevitable. Sometimes they creep into posting titles. When caught, the title is corrected, but the posting name is stored in a search engine with an incorrect spelling, which could make some visitors suspicions. But this is just a “typing” and timing problem.
I found an old article by Christopher Weng on the spelling issue and how to address it. Don’t depend on meta-tags (search engines today don’t pay much attention to them, I don’t even think they did as long ago as the year 2000), and don’t hide with color schemes (or CSS coding), which search engines may consider deceptive. Here’s the (wesbite url) link.
Here’s a newer article from 2009 on “Nine by Blue”, link.
Search engines do massage misspellings by users even when they don’t do the same for websites.
Webmasters may sometimes misspell names out of a bit of dyslexia, particularly with hard-to-pronounce words, or foreign names (with unusual use of letters not common in English or closely related languages like French, Spanish, or German). The eye tends to correct misspellings when proofing them and not catching them (note how hard the correct acronym for “CISPA” is to pronounce). But too many misspellings (or variations of one word) may make a search engine suspicious of spam intentions. Here’s a little advice from “Search Engine Genie” (link).