Content Marketing Blog

Does poor grammar affect your search ranking?

In order to keep the content marketing wheel spinning, brands need to churn out a fairly large amount of content on a regular basis, which in turn needs to be engaging and useful. Needless to say, occasionally a spelling mistake slips through the cracks undetected.

But what if a site regularly publishes content ridden with poor grammar? Will this affect its search ranking?

Major search engine Bing says it does. According to a recent blog post by the company’s Senior Product Manager Duane Forrester, their search engine picks up on typos and bad grammar, then ranks the sites accordingly.

He went on to say that the search engine favours content with high-quality grammar, explaining that if humans struggle to get past bad spelling, then so does the search algorithm.

But down here in Australia, Bing is hardly as influential as it is the US, answering only 4.14 per cent of search queries, compared to Google’s 93.41 per cent, according to Stat Counter.

So does Google pick up on bad grammar? The leading search engine hasn’t spoken of the topic since 2011, when Google’s head of Search and Spam Matt Cutts said its algorithm has over 200 different signals that measure a site, and spelling is not one of them.

However, Cutts did say Google has found that sites with top rankings generally have high-quality spelling, which often indicates that the writer spent more time on the content than, say, someone who quickly slapped it together.

Earlier this month in another Google Webmaster Help video, Cutts spoke about blog comments on blogs with poor grammar and whether or not they affect search rankings.

He concluded that since people post grammatically incorrect comments all the time, this is not going to affect a site’s ranking.

Although it is clear that the odd spelling mistake is not going to affect rankings, search engines do pick up on the quality of content using a range of different signals. Therefore, it is important to dedicate your content marketing strategy towards producing well-written and useful material.

Posted by Dylan Brown