Spelling and grammar: its impact on your SEO and rankings

We take a look at how spelling, grammar and your writing style can have a significant impact on your search rankings

Spelling and grammar: its impact on your SEO and rankings

Creating high quality content is central to any successful SEO strategy. At the core of any content, there should be a goal of making interesting and valuable material that people trust and want to read. However, spelling, grammar and your writing style can also have a significant impact on your search rankings. Hence, it is vital to get it right if you want to succeed in the fanatically competitive SEO market.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing web content so it ranks more highly in organic search results. It's a complex area to master—Google looks at over 200 factors when deciding which search results are most useful and relevant to you.

Quality and meaning

When creating content of a high quality, there shouldn't be any ambiguity for your reader. Anyone who visits your content should understand exactly what you mean, and find the answer to what they're searching for. Poor spelling, grammar and wording can easily change the meaning of what you're trying to say or obscure the intended meaning of the content. Either way, your reader is leaving your page without achieving what they came to your website for. This added confusion is likely going to stop them from looking at some of your other content, damaging your SEO rankings.

Matt Cutts, a Google software engineer and Google Ads guru found there is a high correlation between spelling and page rankings. From his understanding, the high quality, reputable sites that rank highly within Google searches have mostly correct spelling. Hence, websites with poor spelling and grammar are associated with less reputability.

Watch the video of Matt's discussion here.


Similarly, poor spelling can ruin your keywords and hence your rankings. For example, if you're writing a review on the Microsoft Office Suite and incorrectly type 'Suit' instead of 'Suite', you are completely changing not only the meaning of your content but also the keywords of your work. Therefore, instead of ranking for Microsoft Office, you might end up ranking for 'Office suit'. Not exactly what you were aiming for!

What do search engines think?

Search engines like Google and Yahoo do not actually check the spelling and grammar of your page due to complexities with languages and code switching. They do however, have algorithms that monitor the experience of visitors to your page. As discussed above, poor grammar and spelling is likely to result in a poor reader experience. Search engines can deduce this in various ways which will therefore damage your SEO.

In contrast to Google and Yahoo, Bing has said they do consider the spelling and grammar when ranking websites. They ultimately aim is to serve the searcher and thus believe correct spelling and grammar helps in providing the best results possible.

Does plagiarism affect my rankings?

Whilst it is tempting to cut corners and copy-paste someone else's work onto your site, DON'T! The internet is awash with plagiarism and search engines do not look kindly upon it. In most cases, duplicate content (in any form) will damage your SEO rankings. Search engines are designed to show the original content and plagiarizing content from another site will set your SEO strategy up for disaster. The ideal practice is to write all your content yourself and no copy-paste (also try to limit 'inspirations' and 'that sentence would sound good on my site'). If you are concerned about plagiarism, you can always use a plagiarism checker to avoid any of the issues outlined above.

Outwrite Plagiarism Checker

What can I do to ensure I don't make these mistakes?

Outwrite realizes bloggers, copywriters and content creators don't always have enough time or resources to properly proofread their work before publishing it. Luckily Outwrite can instantly proofread any documents and identify a host of errors and improvement suggestions, both simple and complex. These include both spelling and grammatical mistakes.

To improve the quality of your writing, we've also developed a paraphrasing tool that aims to improve the quality in a variety of different ways. Similarly, our plagiarism detections will help ensure your content is original. Ultimately, Outwrite hopes to make it easier to produce high quality, high ranking content.