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English / American spelling of keywords

 12:27 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

One of our most searched for single keyword is spelt differently in English and American English (like colour and color)

The English version appears on the first page of out of nearly 700,000, however we are not indexed on a search of the American spelling.

The site is multi lingual (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish). We have tried duplicating the English pages with American spelling, Google indexes these pages without descriptions.

Is there away to get indexed with the American spelling?

Many thanks




 12:36 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)


Good question.

I think the first thing is to decide if you write your pages in English (UK) or US (USA) and keep to it. But with a few "colour (US: color)" examples here and there in the body text. Then define your language with either;
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Language" CONTENT="en-US">
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Language" CONTENT="en-GB">

I do not know if they intended it, but Google seem to rank sites I have done like this equally well for both variations.


 12:40 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

One of my major clients is in the same boat. Our solution is not ideal - in fact, it can appear downright schizophrenic to some people -- but we use both spellings on our important pages. One single page, not duplicate pages.

On some pages I confine the American spelling to the link text, and on others I confine it to the content section. And I also have pages that focus exclusively on one spelling or the other. We now get good traffic on both spellings, and most of our regulars have no problem with what we have done. That's probably because I take care not to put the two spellings in close proximity on the page.

This is one of the areas where I'm surprised that Google hasn't created something like Overture's match driver. I guess they have their reasons, because at first glance it doesn't seem too hard to implement at a basic level, such as:
grey <<--->> gray.


 1:05 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

It would be easier for google to filter out "color", and say
""color" is an americanism and was not included in your search, did you mean [link]colour[/link]?"

That way everyone could write in English and solve the problems. I am sure that American's can work out how to write in English.


 1:21 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a similar problem with singular/plural and have just had to add a bunch of text to cover both. It has worked.


 4:22 am on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm sure this has probably been addressed before, but since we're on the subject: how do you include special characters in meta descriptions or titles? I have used HomeSite for years and am so used to typing in English - is there a character display option on most HTML programs? Or, do you use the alternate code for including such characters in titles and meta tags i.e.
&#199;? I've seen some pretty strange looking results in SE descriptions when they translate special characters.

I know the language i.e. CONTENT="en-US" dictates to the user any special characters by default, but I've never thought much about me - always working in English - including special characters for a site for - say - a Russian or Japanese audience.


 4:20 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

""color" is an americanism and was not included in your search, did you mean [link]colour[/link]?"

*lol* If we're too stubborn to adopt the metric system, I don't think you'll see an American company trying to get us to change our spelling :)


 6:04 pm on Apr 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've got a UK site but the public due to their constant exposure to US English search as much on the US spelling as on the UK spelling.
I've given up on various clever remedies suggested here and simply do two pages that mean more or less the same but the text is totally different. Its easy and it works but is it spamming?

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