Spell Check: Low PageRank Value May Be Caused by Spelling Errors

A relationship between low Google PageRank and bad spelling and grammar has been revealed in a video just made public. In the video, shown below, Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google makes a correlation between site content littered with poor spelling and grammar structure and low PageRank value. In a response to a question about whether or not spelling or grammar matters when Google evaluates websites, to which Cutts responded:

“We noticed a while ago that, if you look at the PageRank of a page — how reputable we think a particular page or site is — the ability to spell correlates relatively well with that. So, the reputable sites tend to spell better and the sites that are lower PageRank, or very low PageRank, tend not to spell as well.”

Cutts says grammar and spelling issues are not currently used as “direct signal” for search ranking; your page may have a perfectly edited content but still fail to rank prominently especially if the page fails on other aspects such as lack of focus on keywords, relatively fewer inbound links or poor navigation structure.

Yet, he said it would be fair to use them while explaining some challenges involved when determining what good spelling means. In fact, in the video Cutts adds Google has studied ways to determine reading level of pages on the web and says that kind of analysis “would be pretty interesting to explore as a potential quality signal.”

Even without this announcement, I think it is expected that Google will definitely look at this factor when evaluating pages. That’s because Google has been very vocal about overall site quality and usability as a big factor on how it ranks pages.