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How Do You Handle Multiple Spellings Of Words?


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30 replies to this topic

#16 cline

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 01:11 PM

My approach depends on how much traffic is involved and what the competition is for that traffic. I have one client whose #1 keyword is frequently misspelled, and in many different ways. For the most common misspellings I have duplicate homepages systematically misspelling the word -- with a note that the page exists because so many people use this wrong spelling. Of course, there has to be a lot of traffic to go to this trouble.

In other cases, I just buy PPC on those terms. It's usually cheap, and the CTRs are sky high. This is especially true when the client would be embarassed by a misspelling or lack of consistency.

Other times, I find ways to work it into the text.

#17 bwelford

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 05:28 PM

If there are only two spellings you are trying to cover, one possibility is to use the less frequent spelling in those parts of the "web page" that are less visible.

For example, the Title could include both spellings. You then use the more frequent spelling in the page text and the less frequent spelling, if appropriate, in the ALT entries for images.

You may also wish to have both in the Description and Keyword metatags for those Search Engines that use these.

Barry Welford

#18 falcon

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 04:34 PM

Hi.

My company has a product with "E-mail" in the name. Thus, "e-mail" was included multiple times in our page content. My concern is that "email" seems to be a more popular, and widely accepted, search term.

If we rank highly for "e-mail", would those searching for "email" find us, too?

Thanks for any and all feedback and...

:lol: HAPPY NEW YEAR! :cheers:

#19 Paul J

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 06:45 PM

There have been cases where I would sprinkle misspellings below the fold. The consumer then has to scroll down to see it. Although, I think I like Karon's "multiple page" idea better.

Some people do place misspellings in their meta tags, but I wouldn't necessarily advise it. Sometimes the meta "description" tag is the text read in the SERPs, and I wouldn't want users reading that. I doubt putting them in the meta "keyword" tag would work since no SE really puts any relevance in that.

Falcon, I'm pretty sure most engines will read "e-mail" as "e mail", so it wouldn't pick up "email".

It's funny how "misspelled" is one of the most misspelled words...

Paul

#20 copywriter

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 08:10 PM

Welcome Falcon! ;)

I don't have an exact answer, but when I'm in doubt, I go to the engine and type in the various versions.

In this case, e-mail and email (no dash, no space) brought up almost the exact same results. However, e mail (with a space) returned different results.

If Google were reading them all the same, they *should* bring up the same results... yet they don't.

#21 Steve Sardell

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 10:07 PM

Unfortunately, I have been facing this same dilemma for a few years.

Time share or timeshare- It can get more complicated when trying keyword phrases for locals--"Saratoga villa rentals" or "Saratoga Springs villa rentals." The best way I have found is as K stated, non duplicated multiple pages. Hopefully, with the advances in stemming and ontological search this will soon be unnecessary.

#22 Randy

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Posted 31 December 2003 - 11:30 PM

Why not have a little fun with it while you're covering both bases Falcon?

Here's what I'm thinking. Let's say your product was named "Black Widow E-mail Zapper" for the sake of discussion.

And on one page you have copy that says something like "Our Black Widow E-mail Zapper is the greatest thing since sliced bread!"

The idea I have in mind is to make either just E-mail or the entire product name a hypertext link to another page. On this other page you can tell a brief story about how a debate has been raging whether it should be "E-mail" or "Email". You can make the copy serious/professional or slightly goofy, depending upon which best suits your target customer.

Nothing too lengthy mind you, just enough to get the "Email" in there, along with your product name and explain why you settled on E-mail. That way, if someone has been told about your product but searches for it with "Email" they should still find your site ranked right up there at the top of the SERPs.

#23 copywriter

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 05:50 AM

debate has been raging whether it should be "E-mail" or "Email".


Good idea, Randy! I did that once for a limo rental company.


Limousines (often spelled “limosines”) are generally used by those who have distinctive considerations when traveling via automobile. (And it went on to tell some more.)

#24 falcon

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 09:42 AM

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I certainly have a number of good ideas to work with now.

:drunk:

#25 Steve Sardell

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 10:50 AM

Why not have a little fun with it while you're covering both bases Falcon?...
... On this other page you can tell a brief story about how a debate has been raging whether it should be "E-mail" or "Email".  You can make the copy serious/professional or slightly goofy, depending upon which best suits your target customer... Nothing too lengthy mind you, just enough to get the "Email" in there, along with your product name and explain why you settled on E-mail...

Randy,
Nice creative touch :raspberry:
(emp added)

#26 catspaw

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 09:30 PM

Hello there everybody - this is my first post ... so be nice!

Facing this particular difficulty at the moment with a client who wants me to optimise (s not z ... I'm an Aussie and we speak English!) for the misspelling of the keyword "accommodation" - commonly misspelt "accomodation".

I created a similar looking index page with the misspelling featured through the text but he doesn't like it because it's not the correct spelling ....

"The front page has all the 'accommodation' words spelt incorrectly -
should perhaps the first paragraph have it spelt correctly so it does
not look too much like poor spelling to web site visitors - can it be
done in the meta tags so it is not a visible" (his quote)

www.accommodationadelaide.com.au/index2.htm is the page

I don't think making any comments about how 'accommodation' is often misspelt would be appropriate for this site as it is more commercial sell than providing information.


Any other suggestions?

eek.gif 'the eye never tires of seeing'

Edited by Jill, 15 June 2005 - 07:12 AM.


#27 mcanerin

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 10:08 PM

There are lots of ways to do misspelling optimization - I'm doing some research right now and the results from Google are back (reprint from my blog, which is currently broken...):

The word "altwrittén" was chosen because it allows me to test the two most common spelling issues on the internet: 1) spelling of non-English words using the English alphabet/keyboard (ie whether the "é" is stemmed into an "e"), and 2) actual misspellings. It will also allow me to test the ñ by changing the last letter for the next test.

The keyword misspelling test contains the following pages. All searches using Google:

Page 1: Main Page. Contains all three words in body text, title and keyword metatag, and I will link to it using the misspellings, as well. It should show up for all three versions.

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

Page 2: The proper word is used in the content and title, but with no mention of misspellings anywhere, and is not linked with misspellings. This is the control page. It should not show up for any misspellings unless the search engine stems or makes a decision to include a misspelling for it's own reasons.

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: No Result
altwriten: No Result

Page 3: The keyword misspellings are used in image "alt" tags only (unlinked)

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

Page 4: The keyword misspellings are used in image "alt" tags only (linked)

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

Page 5: The keyword misspellings are used in the keywords metatag only

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: No Result
altwriten: No Result

Page 6: The keyword misspellings are used in <noscript> only

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

Page 7: The keyword misspellings are used within <object> only

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: No Result
altwriten: No Result

Page 8 : The keyword misspellings are used in incoming anchor text only (no on-page use)

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: No Result *** I'll check this later

Page 9: The keyword misspellings are used in the title only

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

Page 10: The page path (i.e. domain name/directory test) contains the misspellings, but the content does not.

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

Page 11: The misspellings are hidden using CSS within the body.

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

Page 12: The misspellings are within comments only.

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: No Result
altwriten: No Result

Page 13: The misspellings are only within a Dublin Core tag intended for the purpose.

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: No Result
altwriten: No Result

Page 14: The misspellings are within a bookmark (ie domain.com/page.htm#keyword") link on the same page, but not otherwise on the page.

altwrittén: Result
altwritten: No Result
altwriten: No Result

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Conclusions For Google

One interesting thing is the order that Google listed these in, though I wasn't testing for it. Feel free to check the listings and draw your own conclusions.

All pages in the test are indexed and show up for the control word. At this time they are the ONLY pages that show up - which is good for this test.

Contrary to popular belief - Google apparently checks and indexes unlinked alt tags. There is another possible explaination - I deliberately used the misspellings as the image file names - I'll check this in the next round. Inconclusive.

Google does NOT index the keyword metatag or other metatags like Dublin Core.

Google will index misspellings in the filename and URL, but not bookmarks (which are technically part of the URL)

Google indexes hidden CSS

Google does NOT index comments

Google will index <noscript>, but did not index misspellings in the <object> tag. This was not the ordinary usage of alt text within an object, but a custom experiement, which has now provided me with useful (though negative) data.

There was absolutely no indication that Google will expand it's search to include an "e" when a search term includes an "é".


Ian

#28 leadegroot

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 10:43 PM

Great study, Ian!
QUOTE
Page 11: The misspellings are hidden using CSS within the body.
altwrittén: Result
altwritten: Result
altwriten: Result

QUOTE
Google indexes hidden CSS

You might want to rephrase that more along the lines of:
"Google ignores CSS to hide content" or
"Google indexes content despite it being hidden with CSS"
The current report might mislead folks smile.gif

#29 robmarketshare

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 01:52 AM

Thanks for sharring appl.gif

no more need to have different spelling showing up in one page appl.gif again!

Rob

#30 Jill

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 07:14 AM

QUOTE
Contrary to popular belief - Google apparently checks and indexes unlinked alt tags.


It's not contrary to popular belief; it's something they keep changing! They started indexing them again about 2 or 3 months ago. They just LOVE to keep us on our toes! (Kinda like the meta description thing!)




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