blog word cloud on digital tabletThere are some articles floating around the net that Google is judging your grammar and spelling – and that mistakes will be penalised by down-ranking.

To my knowledge, Google has not issued any statements to confirm that misspelt words and poor grammar will count against your SEO ranking. But it does make sense to ensure your blog writing is at an acceptable level.

The only information Google has officially released on the matter was in August 2011 when Matt Cutts confirmed spelling and grammar is not used as a ranking factor.

The company’s search guru did add however, that there is an argument grammar and spelling should be used as a ranking factor. So maybe one day they will.

Having said that, it is doubtful Google will pull you up over the slightest little slip in spelling and grammar. We are human, we make mistakes.

Quality content

It would make sense for Google to use spelling and grammar as a ranking factor, especially where multiple mistakes and poor writing reduce the quality of the content to such a degree it creates a poor user-experience.

Cutts said himself that “the more reputable pages do tend to have better grammar and spelling.”

It makes sense for companies to ensure the content on their website is a good read and error free otherwise readers will not return.

More importantly, if the copy on your website contains errors, prospects will not trust you enough to hire you.

Could Google introduce poor spelling as a ranking factor?

It wouldn’t be beyond Google to negatively rank poorly written content. Before the search engine had auto-spelling on search queries, it was an SEO tactic to purposely misspell words so pages would be found in search queries.

Some of those old pages may still be appearing in results. Time and again, Google penalise marketers attempting to manipulate search. But the auto-spell check already makes that optimisation tactic null and void.

Yet the search engine giant, quite rightly, is pushing for content that is enjoyable to read, and blog posts littered with spelling mistakes is not a good UX.

But there will have to be some realistic leeway. It would be onerous for Google to down-rank a page for slight spelling mistakes the writer missed. Even a pair of careful editing eyes can miss some errors.

For example, mistyping “if” rather than “of” is a common error because the I and O are next to one another on the keyboard and they are both valid words so are not detected by your document’s spell checker.

What if your spelling and grammar is poor?

If you are not confident about your spelling and grammar, you can purchase software that works better than your Word document to check for errors. There are several tools you can purchase.

The other option is to hire a copywriter. If you do not have a good writing style or do not have the time to maintain a blog, hiring a professional to curate content on your behalf is a better option anyway.

Given Google stress the need for quality content and good user-experience, you will have more SEO success if you make an investment and hire a professional rather than writing your own content if your strength does not lie in story-telling, spelling or grammar.