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How Do You Handle Multiple Spellings Of Words?

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#31 mcanerin


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Posted 15 June 2005 - 09:39 AM

I'm starting to get initial data back from MSN (all the pages are not indexed yet so it's incomplete). Yahoo and Teoma are still no shows, for the most part.

There are only 8 pages indexed so far, but when I do a search for altwrittén and altwritten, all 8 pages come up for both. When I search for the other misspelling, altwriten, only 4 pages show up:

Page 1 - The main page (contains all words in the visible body content)
Page 9 - with the misspelling in the title (this shows up as the first result)
Page 10 - the misspelling is in the filename (testpage10-altwritten-altwriten.htm)
Page 6 - noscript tag.

This means that MSN will look for misspellings in the above areas.

So far it looks like MSN DOES STEM altwrittén as altwritten and return results for both. The é is being stemmed, because the other misspelling (altwriten) is not showing up for some pages that it would if the é was not being stemmed.

This also shows that MSN DOES NOT look for misspellings in:

The object tag
The Dublin Core Tags
Image ALT tags (with links)

I don't have data on the rest of the pages: image alt without links, keywords metatag, comments, bookmark, CSS, and Incoming anchor text. I'll post a full report when I get them.

So far, the only tactics that work on both engines are:

Body content (obviously)
Title Tag (this works really well)
File Name (ie misspelling.htm)
noscript tag (and, I assume, noembed and noframes)

This is incomplete - when I finally get full data for all of them I'll post it somewhere.

At this time, if you were looking for a word that contained accented characters, MSN would probably give you a better result (all other things being equal).


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