Purposefully misspelling to get views--Yay or Nay?

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  1. Jeremy Gill profile image95
    Jeremy Gillposted 2 years ago

    For several articles, many keyword tools offer suggestions of spellings that should be capitalized, but are often searched for lowercase. Thus, it's tempting to include a few spellings of yugioh instead of Yu-Gi-Oh or star wars instead of Star Wars.

    So far, I've resisted the urge, but if a few minor capitalization errors meant a boost in traffic, I'm not sure I'd say no. Thoughts?

    1. DrMark1961 profile image99
      DrMark1961posted 2 years agoin reply to this

      I think the search engines are going to recognize it and send you readers no matter which way you spell it. Why not try doing an experiment and see what happens when you capitalize a word incorrectly? Are the results any different? (Be sure to let us know what you find.)
      I do this at times when I write about certain dog breeds. For instance my older dog is a Pitbull, not a pit bull, and (based on my questions) a lot of people will search for the first term. Since most of my articles have been edited though the editors will usually change it. I do not bother changing it back.

    2. Christy Kirwan profile image95
      Christy Kirwanposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Jeremy,

      As many have mentioned, this used to be an effective technique, but is no longer recommended. Search engines will detect the misspelling and send readers to the correct version automatically, and may see your intentional misspellings as a signal of low quality content.

      1. Jeremy Gill profile image95
        Jeremy Gillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the information; with that in mind, I'm glad I haven't been trying it out.

    3. nomadspirit profile image97
      nomadspiritposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting. I would refrain if the spelling was so off that it would lead some potential readers to mistrust the article based on the fact that the writer can't spell. BUT you could argue that the volume of people searching for the misspelt word/s may offset those who get turned off so that in the end you still gain traffic instead of losing.
      Whatever you choose, please let us know the results!

  2. wilderness profile image97
    wildernessposted 2 years ago

    In doing keyword research in the past I've sometimes found the most searched for term is misspelled, so used it that way.  But I think DrMark is right in that advances in the algorithms search engines use are improved enough that it is no longer necessary.  They are "smart" enough to pick up the meaning whether spelled right or not.

    And the title or writing doesn't look uneducated, as if you can't even spell right.

    1. Jeremy Gill profile image95
      Jeremy Gillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Hmm, you guys might be right about capitalization, but I'm less sure when it comes to hyphens another other punctuation. Maybe I'll try an experiment sometime.

  3. Marketing Merit profile image96
    Marketing Meritposted 2 years ago

    I think this is old news Jeremy and something I used to do on my own sites over 7 years ago, by adding the misspellings in the tags. I'm pretty sure Google picked up on this a long time ago and it is considered a borderline blackhat technique.

    As DrMark says, if  you do misspell in the search engine, it usually suggests the correct spelling and includes search results for that term also. So do you really need to misspell it in the article? Do you think professional journalists do this? As Wilderness suggests, your article may come across as poorly researched or badly written.

    Whilst I understand your logic, my advice would be to think carefully about this, as you may end up doing more harm than good.

    1. Jeremy Gill profile image95
      Jeremy Gillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the input. Like you say, the downsides have kept me from doing so yet, but after testing the search results, it seems the hyphens do matter to an extent.

      I'm not sure I'm willing to put misspelled words in yet, but as a devil's advocate debate, some would say that as long as the title and summary (which initially hook viewers) are spelled correctly, you'll get the view even if a reader later dislikes seeing a misspelled version in the text.

  4. lobobrandon profile image92
    lobobrandonposted 2 years ago

    It's simple really. If you think Google sees it differently do a search in incognito for both, the hyphenated and regular term. If the top ten results are ordered differently or different websites rank, it obviously does matter. If not, nope. Remember the rankbrain algorithm should probably fix this issue. But every search term is different so maybe in case of star-wars and star wars it matters but it may not matter for north-pole and north pole (couldn't think of a good example hehe)

    1. Jeremy Gill profile image95
      Jeremy Gillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Good idea. The results showed that the hyphens matter; some results were shuffled around or absent without them.

  5. IzzyM profile image88
    IzzyMposted 2 years ago

    Don't mispell - should that have two "s's"?
    Sometimes we do it accidentally, especially in Google search. I've found my current keyboard dislikes the letter 'y', for example, so my searches, done quickly, exclude that letter.
    Yet Google still sends me to the correct destinatiion.

    We are warned, constantly, to check for incorrect grammar in emails purportedly from genuine sites. Just today I received an email from an Apple site with info that frightened me.

    When I Googled the email address I learned it was often spoofed, but that spelling errors would let me know which was genuine and which was not.

    Mine had no spelling errors.

    I still didn't click on the links within the email, choosing instead to go the long route to the same pages. And we are getting the issue resolved.

    Point being, spelling errors make you look either untrustworthy, uneducated, or a scammer.

    If you really wish to bring alternative spellings into your article, I suggest you dedicate a paragraph to common misspellings, explaining why they are wrong.

    1. Jeremy Gill profile image95
      Jeremy Gillposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Yep, two s's.

      Thanks for the input, I lean towards your opinion as well.

  6. mdgardner profile image93
    mdgardnerposted 2 years ago

    I’ve never heard of purposely misspelling words to get traffic. I would think that any advantage would only be short term. Content with multiple spelling errors are not likely to get return visitors. I wouldn’t jeopardize quality for short term gains. Just my thoughts.


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