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Misspelling words can be good for business
Thread poster: LegalTransform

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:46
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Oct 15, 2005

Misspelling words in your "keywords" list can be good for business.

Full article:
http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2005/10/emw295569.htm

Excerpt:
"...Taking the phrase “learn a foreign language” as a prime example, a Google search for this phrase will currently return approximately 36 million results, a host of advertising sponsors and would take a long time to penetrate the top 10 results for such a competitive phrase, but as the websites found under the phrase “learn a foregn language” have found, there is a way to get to the top of Google, but in a completely different way.

The simple misspelling of “foregn” has achieved first page placement for many websites, and although a high search engine ranking is nothing without visitors being returned by it, a Google search for “foregn language” returns many advertisers actually sponsoring this misspelling.

This leads to the question; if it is ok for a website to pay a search engine to advertise under a misspelling then should not the same website be able to use a misspelling to its advantage in the search engines?..."



[Edited at 2005-10-15 22:24]


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Cilian O'Tuama
Local time: 15:46
German to English
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Ochón agus ochón ó Oct 16, 2005

'tis a losing battle...

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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:46
Member (2005)
English to Russian
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Strange way to write an article don't you think? Oct 15, 2005

Did you get the feeling that it is written very poorly, or was it just me? Also, were they trying to plug that website in the process? The url appears twice in the text.

Unfortunately, what this advertising gimmick does it to help generate popular, widespread and easily findable misspellings - which is no improvement for those who rely on Google to do their research, especially for translation work.

[Edited at 2005-10-15 23:06]


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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Leaving aside the actual point of the article... Oct 16, 2005

"foreing" is a much more common non-word than "foregn".

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Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:46
English to Chinese
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Good for traffic? Oct 16, 2005

Lots of people think that manipulating misspelt words/phrases will attract traffic to their websites. That's absolutely true. But what does traffic mean if people only come to your site by mistake to take away your valuable bandwidth?

Worse than that, as a professional, your misspelt words may scare away serious clients.


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hecdan
Local time: 11:46
English to Spanish
and have you noticed how many kudozites rely on ocurrences # Oct 16, 2005

as a measure of confidence for their answers?

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:46
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
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Keywords Oct 16, 2005

Jianjun Zhang wrote:
Worse than that, as a professional, your misspelt words may scare away serious clients.


I understood the article to refer to the keywords list, not the text of the website. While deliberate misspellings may be a poor idea for the other reasons you suggest, at least they would not be seen by ordinary visitors to the site.


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Erik Hansson  Identity Verified
Germany
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Swedish
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Misspelling translator = no good translator Oct 16, 2005

Even if the keywords of course have been misspelled on purpose, I don't think that this idea is very good for us translators. The first impression (3 seconds) the client gets is the most important, and I doubt if a client would choose just you for your misspelled words. The new client would rather decide out of other facts, e.g. your experience, quality and price.

Erik

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 08:46
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Misunderstanding Oct 16, 2005

I don't think the idea is that the client would choose you because you misspelled a word, rather it is that they would be able to find you by one of your keywords even though they misspelled or mistyped it. To cite an example used in the original article, suppose the potential client is looking for something to do with "foreign trade," but a slip of the finger caused them to type "foregn trade" instead. If you have included "foregn" in your keyword list in the metatags on your web page, your site will not be overlooked in the search. Recall that your keywords list is not visible to the normal visitor, so it is not providing a bad impression to the reader. Likewise, if the client genuinely thinks the word is "foreing", they're certainly in need of your English language expertise, and once again, you'll appear in their search if you've also included that "word" in your keywords. For these reasons, the suggestion isn't as absurd or anti-quality as it might seem.

See, for example, this summary of all metatag types. Similar advice is given here for the "KEYWORDS" tag; "Consider adding frequent misspellings. e.g. heirarchy, hierarchy." By doing so, you don't limit yourself to being found in searches only by people with perfect spelling and typing skills. In other words, the point of misspelled keywords is to be found, while the point of a correct, well-written website is to convince the visitor to become a client. These are not mutually exclusive.

[Edited at 2005-10-16 20:17]


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De la Vera Cruz
Argentina
Local time: 11:46
English to Spanish
I see your point Oct 17, 2005

GoodWords wrote:

I don't think the idea is that the client would choose you because you misspelled a word, rather it is that they would be able to find you by one of your keywords even though they misspelled or mistyped it. To cite an example used in the original article, suppose the potential client is looking for something to do with "foreign trade," but a slip of the finger caused them to type "foregn trade" instead. If you have included "foregn" in your keyword list in the metatags on your web page, your site will not be overlooked in the search. Recall that your keywords list is not visible to the normal visitor, so it is not providing a bad impression to the reader. Likewise, if the client genuinely thinks the word is "foreing", they're certainly in need of your English language expertise, and once again, you'll appear in their search if you've also included that "word" in your keywords. For these reasons, the suggestion isn't as absurd or anti-quality as it might seem.

See, for example, this summary of all metatag types. Similar advice is given here for the "KEYWORDS" tag; "Consider adding frequent misspellings. e.g. heirarchy, hierarchy." By doing so, you don't limit yourself to being found in searches only by people with perfect spelling and typing skills. In other words, the point of misspelled keywords is to be found, while the point of a correct, well-written website is to convince the visitor to become a client. These are not mutually exclusive.

[Edited at 2005-10-16 20:17]


Once I translated a book for a client, and some time later she asked me to translate a list of words related to the topic of the book. Some of them were mispelled and when I pointed that out (I didn't know at that point what she wanted that list for), she said she just mispelled those words on purpose so that searches for the book could be on top of google searches. Needless to say that she asked me to mispell the words in Spanish also. It never crossed my mind that I could be a worse translator because of that. I just saw her point and mispelled the words as well (Tough job for some of those words, though).
Verónica


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:46
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Ensure the client knows you knows how to spell it Oct 17, 2005

Jeff Whittaker quotes someone else:
...should not the same website be able to use a misspelling to its advantage in the search engines?


I would not use misspelt words in my web site as if they were spelt correctly, but I would certainly include a section on my web site about common spelling errors, and include the misspelling there. For example, my own language "Afrikaans" is often misspelt "Africaans". I would not use "Africaans" in the main body of my site, but I might include a paragraph saying "The name of the language Afrikaans is often misspelt Africaans, Afrikans, Africans, Affrikaans..." and include some misspellings there. Since this particular misspelling is a very common one, I may even have a subsection on my web site with a H2 or H3 that reads "Africaans or Afrikaans?" and explain the different misspellings in the subsequent paragraph. This will boost my site's ranking for the misspelt word without harming my reputation.


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