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Mis-spelled keywords
can I get them on my pages without penalty?
RobBroekhuis




msg:188634
 6:12 pm on Oct 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Okay, I've read a number of the threads around here that say not to hide keywords (or any other text) on your web pages. And I see why. But I'm trying to figure out how to better serve my intended audience. My site presents info pages about garden plants. Most searches are done by botanical name. Many botanical names are easily misspelled (I can't help it that one botanist names a plant ... pensylvanica, while another names a different plant ... pennsylvanica - note the number of n's), and I'd like to be able to serve up my page in case of minor misspellings like that (Google's "did you mean?" feature is nice, but doesn't always address the issue). I also gather, from posts here, that Google doesn't care about meta tags, so that's not a good place to put the misspellings. So how can I unobtrusively put the mis-spelled names on my page without causing spam traps to activate?

 

RobBroekhuis




msg:188635
 3:37 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've read that color tricks are bad. I've also seen references to "layers", which I'm not familiar with, or deliberate off-screen placement. Will those still work?

DerekH




msg:188636
 3:59 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, my surname is invariably spelled wrongly (no, I'm not Mr Wrongly!)

What I did on one or two pages was to add a footer that read

"You can probably guess that a lot of people aren't quite sure how to spell my name, but whether you've typed Wrongly, Ron Leigh or Wrong Lee, you'll still find this page via a search engine"

That seemed open and honest enough to satisfy both the search engine community and my visitors, and it most certainly works!
So, as you can see, the last thing I tried to be was unobtrusive!
DerekH

steve128




msg:188637
 5:33 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I like to use image alt tags (widget name botanical name popular name common misspelling etc)
Works ok without making the page look like a spelling competition ;-)

your_store




msg:188638
 5:50 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

If it's an noncompetitive misspelling, one incoming link with the misspelling as anchor text should do the trick.

RobBroekhuis




msg:188639
 8:16 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Your_store,
Hmm, that's an interesting approach. So I could have a page on my site dedicated to misspellings, consisting of nothing but links to my other pages with the misspelled versions as anchor text? I guess I'd have to have a link to that page from one other page on my site. It would at least be a non-sneaky way of accomplishing my goal.
I can use the alt-tag approach, but I hate to adulterate its function as a tooltip (and I think search engines also frown on alt-tag stuffing?). I'll have to think about this some more...
Thanks for your suggestions

your_store




msg:188640
 8:23 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

So I could have a page on my site dedicated to misspellings, consisting of nothing but links to my other pages with the misspelled versions as anchor text?

I've only tested using external links for misspellings, but your idea seems plausible.

steve128




msg:188641
 10:49 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

>(and I think search engines also frown on alt-tag stuffing?).>

Stuffing yep, controlled err controled nope ;-)

Spica




msg:188642
 11:09 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I would add a little table (as unobtrusive and decorative as possible) at the bottom of the page saying something about how difficult latin plant names are, and here are for example the most common mistakes people make: pensylvanica: pennsylvanica, pensilvanica... etc.

Neither your human visitors nor the search engines should see anything wrong with that.

WebFusion




msg:188643
 3:09 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

So how can I unobtrusively put the mis-spelled names on my page without causing spam traps to activate?

Or why not simply have a small text box on each page that reads "Some common misspellings of this plant's scientific name are:" with a couple of the most common misspellings.

minnapple




msg:188644
 3:47 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

If google says "did you mean . . . "
And if google's logic is confused.
put . . . @ the end of your title tag
Product ids often fall into this category.

matt21811




msg:188645
 5:14 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

"If it's an noncompetitive misspelling, one incoming link with the misspelling as anchor text should do the trick"

This may not work.
Lately I have found that the page doing the linking may be at the top of the SERPS and not the target page.

Green_Widge




msg:188646
 5:24 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebFusion hit the answer on the head.

Just put a table up that says "Did you mean:"
and then give a list of all the possible spellings and a link to that page. Heck, google does it.

The beauty of it is, that you could then list common misspellings on the page just to help the poor "common folk" doing their 8th grade science papers out there. I know I forgot how to spell in 1988 when I got my first copy of spell checker, and would love to be able to type in "bannanna slug" and still find what I'm looking for. LOL

RobBroekhuis




msg:188647
 11:21 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Thanks for all your suggestions! For now, I've gone with a hybrid approach - the misspellings appear on-screen, in a color that's visible but not distracting, at the bottom of my page, with the simple statement "Some common misspellings include ..." I'll see how that works for me - may go for one of the fancier approaches at a later date.
Cheers
Rob

your_store




msg:188648
 7:00 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Lately I have found that the page doing the linking may be at the top of the SERPS and not the target page.

Interesting. I've only used the linking strategy for targetting the misspelling of one word in a two word phrase. I imagine my juice for the correctly spelled word keeps me ahead of the linking site.

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