Does Grammar Matter to Google and Bing?

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With such a large emphasis on quality content, especially in the wake of the Helpful Content update, you might be wondering how spelling and grammar mistakes factor into your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). Do search engines factor typos and spelling mistakes into their assessment of low-quality content? Spoiler alert: the answer is yes, but there are other reasons to care about spelling and grammar beyond what the search engines think.

How do search engines approach spelling and grammar?

In the past, spelling and grammar weren’t listed as direct factors in search engine algorithms. That’s not because they weren’t important to search engines, but rather that language is incredibly complex and hard for the bots to understand. Google classifies grammar and spelling mistakes in one of two ways: conceptual or slip-of-finger. Conceptual mistakes occur when searchers don’t know the correct spelling of a word. Slip-of-finger errors are also known as typos – hitting the wrong key on your phone or computer keyboard. In the past, Google’s search algorithms weren’t able to accurately parse these mistakes – consider how many words have multiple accepted spellings and meanings and you start to see how complex it would be to build an algorithm that can understand them.

However, as of 2021, the Google algorithms are using deep learning to parse spelling and grammar mistakes, and they are now sophisticated enough to accurately model and learn from spelling mistakes. According to a recent article from Google, “This advancement enables us to run a model with more than 680 million parameters in under two milliseconds — a very large model that works faster than the flap of a hummingbird’s wings — so people can search uninterrupted by their own spelling errors.” This model even has the ability to parse things like context and replace misspelled words. 

Spelling and grammar mistakes are signals of a low-quality site in the eyes of a search engine. Coupled with content that doesn’t make sense and is low in authority or usefulness, spelling and grammar mistakes can earn your website exceedingly low quality ratings. That’s not the only reason to pay attention to your copy, however.

How do users feel about spelling and grammar mistakes?

If typos set your teeth on edge, you aren’t alone. According to a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, 59% of respondents said they wouldn’t buy from businesses with spelling and grammar errors on their websites. This is just one example: there’s a ton of research across the Internet that backs up this claim. Users dislike typos or low-quality content so much that they can actually make you lose out on business. 

Search engines want to serve users the best, most authoritative content. So, as with most things related to SEO, doing what’s best for the users of your website will serve you well if you also want to rank well. In this case, that means eliminating the typos and the grammar mistakes from your website, your online content, your social media posts, and any other place you utilize words to do business.

We Can Help 

We hate typos too. If you’re struggling to create high-quality content for any area of your business, schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our marketing experts to see how we can help. 

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