Google head says accurate spelling and grammar counts

“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.”

That’s the latest from Google’s Matt Cutts. Which is great news for freelance writers like me. It justifies our obsession with getting spelling and grammar right! And it’s good news for consumers too. After all, we deserve the best.

Does grammar matter to Google?

Asked whether poor spelling and grammar affects Google’s evaluation of site quality, Cutts confirmed that spelling and grammar are not used as ‘direct signals’. But three of the 23 key questions webmasters should ask themselves, according to Google guidelines, are (verbatim):

  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?

What does the news mean to online businesses? Accurate spelling and grammar has a positive effect on your Google Page Rank. Page Rank directly affects site visibility in the search results. The higher your visibility, the more visitors you get. The more visitors you get, the more you sell. Ergo, fill your site with beautifully-written copy and your business will do better.

Thanks to Google for continuing to take quality seriously. And thanks to Matt McGee from Search Engine Land for the breaking news via Twitter.