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Can Bad Grammar Influence Google Rankings?

In the world of modern SEO so much time is spent keeping up with Google’s newest algorithm updates – whether they be called Penguin, Panda, or after some other furry animal(!) – that some of the other important aspects of gaining high rankings for valuable keywords are overlooked. One of these factors, highly worthy of further examination, is whether or not proper grammar has an effect on your rankings in Google. After all, with the majority of SEO’s so immersed in the “rat race” of gaining an ever greater number of links, wouldn’t it be great if an advantage was attainable by producing more grammatically correct content than your competitors? In the following few paragraphs the answer to this important SEO question is revealed, alongside a strategy for dealing effectively with its ramifications for content creation.

A Correlation Between Good Grammar And PageRank!

According to Google themselves (Source), it seems that – at the very least – good grammar and spelling are related to PageRank. PageRank, updated every few months, is a link analysis algorithm named after one of the Google founders (Larry Page) which helps Google to decide how much ranking “weight” is given to each individual page on the Web. Simply put, in general, the higher the PageRank of your main domain and individual pages the greater your chance of securing high rankings for competitive niche keywords. Given that Google’s own detailed analysis has found a correlation between correct grammar and spelling and the PageRank rating given, it would seem fairly certain that you should make efforts to ensure your site’s content possesses these qualities.

Google’s Emphasis On User Experience = Correct Grammar Can Only Help!

In today’s search engine “wars” in which Google competes with Yahoo and MSN and other smaller search engines to capture as large a percentage share of worldwide monthly searches as possible, Google fully understands that it needs to provide the best user experience as possible, in order to make people want to use it above all others. What’s more, with Google’s responsibility to shareholders largely dependent on the revenues generated by its AdWords platform – which depends on hundreds of millions of users using its search engine – Google is both fundamentally and financially 100% dedicated to creating a great user experience. Commonsense dictates that the correct use of grammar, syntax, spelling and punctuation are all important factors in making your visitors’ time spent on your site enjoyable. Content with grammatical errors all over the place will only serve to deter visitors from returning to your site and make them stay for shorter lengths of time when they do. Therefore, it could be deemed that using correct grammar and spelling is essential to your long-term SEO success. It is already known that Google pays attention to the length of time spent on site and is, as of 2013 and beyond, increasingly paying attention to social signals. To reduce ‘Bounce Rates’ and increase the chances of your content being shared (thus sending positive social signals to Google) it is important to not let your overall content be let down by bad spelling and poor grammar.

Good Grammar = Essential For Your Long-Term SEO Strategy!

While Matt Cutts – Google’s leading spokesperson on all things concerning SEO – has stated that correct spelling and grammar do not send “direct signals” to Google, he has stated there is undoubtedly a correlation. However, with Google’s seemingly never-ending updates to its algorithm, that is not certain to always be the case. In fact, as Google’s technology and ability to “read” the actual content on a page improves – leading to a lessening in the absolute value of links alone – it is quite possible that correct spelling and grammar may be factored in. The only way to prepare yourself fully for this type of algorithm update possibility is to make sure that every piece of content you produce has excellent grammar and spelling. That is the best way to ensure that your content strategy is “evergreen” – i.e. ensuring your levels of traffic will continue for many years to come.

The Most Valuable Sites Won’t Link To Articles With Incorrect Grammar And Poor Spelling!

Ever since Google came on the scene the most valuable commodity on the web has been links. Purely and simply, links – the volume and quality – are still the main method of determining the value of any particular website and any particular page on the Internet. Despite the release of ever more sophisticated algorithms, that looks highly likely to remain the case for a long time to come. So, you may ask, what do links have to do with using proper grammar and spelling? Well, the straightforward fact is, most of the leading websites on the internet will not link to your articles – no matter how useful or informative the intrinsic content is – if you do not use grammar in the way it is expected to be used. Given that these leading websites have the highest PageRank and will, therefore, pass on the greatest quantity of ultra-valuable “Link Juice” to your own pages, it is essential that you use the required level of grammar, spelling and other important facets of the English language that they expect. For example, suppose you write a tremendous thought-expanding article on your niche blog that attracts the attention of extremely influential websites such as “The Huffington Post” or “The Guardian”. What if they were considering linking to your site only to decide – due to poor grammar, spelling and overall use of language – that they simply couldn’t credibly recommend your site to their readers? Surely, that would be a huge letdown to your blog and your own content and doing a huge disservice to your brand. What’s more, you would be missing out on valuable links that could, over time, skyrocket you up the rankings for your most prized keywords. Seems like a compelling case for spending that little extra time needed to ensure your grammar and spelling are up to scratch. What do you think?

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