Is using obvious misspellings in postings on other sites a solid SEO technique or just SEO spam? Let’s have a look at this Quora question, where the user has perhaps tried to rank for the misspelled term ‘Google Panality’ instead of the correct version ‘Google Penalty’.
We can’t know for sure if the author tried to misspell the word ‘penalty’ on purpose or if it was due to his poor knowledge of English. According to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, the search term ‘Google Panalty’ has very little search volume, just 28 on a global level, and the term ‘Google Panality’ has none at all.
If he did it on purpose, he clearly missed the mark.
However, many online marketers optimize their sites for misspellings, in order to rank at the top if a user enters a wrong spelling in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. So, is it a good idea to exploit misspellings to rank at the top of SERPs? Does it work well even today, as it did five or six years back?
Well, It Depends …
Whether or not you should optimize your website for misspelled keywords or phrases will depend on the kind of target audience you cater to in the first place. If your target demographic is well educated or belongs to a country where English is the native language, inserting misspellings won’t help. On the other hand, optimizing your site for misspellings means you actually have to have misspelled content on your page, which cause a certain amount of lack of respect from readers that know better.
In any case, it’s always important to identify who your target audience is and what they are expecting of you. The more you know about the interests, likes and dislikes of your audience, the better ideas you can implement to bolster your SEO strategy. After all, what really matters is whether you are able to convert visitors that come to your website via organic results.
There are several other reasons that you should look at before you decide to optimize your site or misspellings. First and foremost, search engines are getting smarter each day. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are all smart enough to deal with misspelled searches. As you start typing a wrong spelling, Google Instant suggests you all the related phrases with their correct spellings (if it’s turned on).
Even if you misspell a search term in Google (or Bing or Yahoo) and hit enter, it shows you results for its corrected version by default. However, it offers an option to search otherwise. Very few users will notice that suggestion anyway.
As SEO continues to get fiercer, it’s not wise to try just anything. In fact, it’s time to create a well-planned SEO strategy to outrank competitors in searches and focus on more conversions. Though optimizing for misspellings may help you rank your page or site at the top, such practices don’t go too well with search engines like Google. You would never want your site to be listed alongside ‘spammer’ type sites, would you?
Are misspellings in comments still a viable strategy?