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Optimization or Optimisation?
Do legit spelling variations fall under the realm of spam?
seoRank




msg:232640
 2:55 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have heard mixed reactions about including spelling variations in key phrases to be termed as spam. While Americans spell 'optimization' using 'z', some European and Asian countries prefer to use 's'.

Here's an interesting observation -

'Search engine optimization' shows 613,000 results on Google while 'search engine optimisation' throws up 108,000 pages - fairly sizable. Although Google is courteous enough to ask if I meant 'optimization' in my second search, the results were totally different in both searches. Barring one site, none of the top-5 sites in the first search showed up in first 5 pages in the second search. Even title phrases were specific to respective searches, which means that the spell correction of Google does not reflect in the results...it only asks the user if s/he would like to refine the search with suggested spellings.

My question is, given such vast variation, would it not be fair for webmasters to be using both variations of spellings in Title and other key phrases?

 

olias




msg:232641
 3:00 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

It would be fair for webmasters to try for both variations in such cases but possibly a bit foolish - it would make a mess of the title tags and while you are busily trying to rank well under both variation you'll probably fail to achieve good rankings for either.

Or at least that has been my experience from trying this in one of my fields.

fathom




msg:232642
 3:01 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Depends on which country you can effectively fulfill.

English has its barriers...

If you are not use to text copy for one place or the other... you're likely not going to be very effective in reaching that client's "home field advantage" (local) market, which in most cases is the market of easiest fruition.

jeremy goodrich




msg:232643
 3:03 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dude, the optimization spelling is US English.

optimisation is the varaiant they use in the UK, Australia, etc -> basically everywhere but the USA. :)

<added>
To clarify, pick the one that matches the market you are selling to. If you are providing the service in the USA market, optimisation referrals may not get you qualified traffic...</added>

seoRank




msg:232644
 3:14 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

It would be fair for webmasters to try for both variations in such cases but possibly a bit foolish - it would make a mess of the title tags and while you are busily trying to rank well under both variation you'll probably fail to achieve good rankings for either.

In the search example given, one of the top-5 sites in the first search showed up on the 5th page in the second search but with title tag of an inner page. So using spelling variations in titles on different pages makes it legit?

seoRank




msg:232645
 3:17 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

To clarify, pick the one that matches the market you are selling to. If you are providing the service in the USA market, optimisation referrals may not get you qualified traffic

For SEO work, I doubt that service providers (or clients) really care about their location. One can service globally is'nt it?

Mike_Mackin




msg:232646
 3:31 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

When the Brits get back online, this thread will get INTERESTING seoRank.

fathom




msg:232647
 3:37 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

For SEO work, I doubt that service providers (or clients) really care about their location. One can service globally is'nt it?

In practice maybe so... in principle... you obviously do not have international clients.

You simply can take someone elses business in another country and make it fit your culture.

You can optimize globally, but most businesses you may service can not fulfill globally... there is a difference, and in the end you do them dis-service by not understanding their culture.

seoRank




msg:232648
 3:42 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

You can optimize globally, but most businesses can not fulfill globally... there is a difference.

What I meant was that one can provide 'SEO' services to clients globally. All my clients for SEO services are half-way across the world, from where I'm located.

fathom




msg:232649
 4:06 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't means to sound critical... but it seem strange that an SEO must look halfway around the world for clients?

Even though the world is a much smaller place and globalization is in a small way occurring, we are a very long way from this in reality.

I live in Eastern Canada, the bulk of clients are here as well, I do have almost as many in the US and one in the UK.

In saying that, marketing online for them is not so much about my reach, but about their reach, and about what they can fulfill, not what I believe they can reach and fulfill.

Simply target keywords because you can doesn't help clients achieve ROI.

If all your clients "half way around the world" are happy with your work, I'm happy for you and them, but...

Thinking globally is one thing... being global is totally different.

ukgimp




msg:232650
 8:31 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

For SEO work, I doubt that service providers (or clients) really care about their location

True enough to an extent but ceratin issues come into play that make it harder to go to foreign countries for work:

1. It is sometimes very useful to see a client face to face.

2. Calling clients (prospective?) gets costly in the UK, we get ripped off for domestic call charges.

3. Legal issues when there is a dispute (also you can easliy roll up on the door with Dave "Baseball bat" Jones when you have to get a plane ticket for Dave who has been banned from traveling outside of the UK).

4. Exchange rates, one party is going to lose out, if I have it the right way around based on current rates an Australian paying UKú would have to pay more. He may not like that.

Sure there are others.

As with a lot of things people like local, so it would even pay to get local with your words somehow. <Search Engine Otimisation London>

Cheers

piskie




msg:232651
 8:45 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Those countries that are using the English language under a licence agreement should allow the originators to use the pure unadulterated version without criticism.

We are shortly to be increasing royalty fees to those licensed to use our language and unauthorised modifications will be reviewed at that time.

chiyo




msg:232652
 8:51 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our main business area plus the small amount of web design work we do is 98% in countries other than our own. Basically local clients are not at the stage that they realise the value of our services so they baulk at our prices and they do it in-house or by kids of the boss! We are a bit ahead of our local market.

For us, its been very easy to communicate with remote clients.

1. Dedicated personal email for urgent enquiries
2. Using IM systems like trillian or Y!/MSN/AOL
3. Using customer service chat like Livehelper etc

We very very rarely have a phone call or personal meeting with clients. The above methods seem to be well above satisfactory for quick, fast, (and very importantly automatically documented!)
communication.

Using different spellings is easy. We use english spelling and many clients use American spelling.

eg:

"We can help you with organizational improvement in your organisation".

Also use diff spellings in metatags for keywords and descriptors. It does not hurt, and in some cases helps.

When we have special messages targeted for people from different countries, we just change the spell checker settings, and go on as usual...

I dont think thats spam at all. Its targeted at users, not search engines, and in search engines it helps people fro diff countries find the page in the language they are most confortable with.

IanTurner




msg:232653
 9:04 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmm - I would be of the opinion that two sites to target the different markets would be a better option.

I know that if I do a search on 'examplisation' and I go to the site and it mixes and matches 'examplisation' and 'examplization' I would be less likely to trust the site than if it were consistent all the way through.

Part of what a website has to do in is first few seconds is convince the viewer that the organisation backing it is reputable for me language consistency and good use of the language is a pointer (maybe not a deciding factor in itself but part of what makes the decision)

caine




msg:232654
 9:06 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Without going off the deep end about who's English, English actually is, the simple truth is the majority of the net is US english.

However, its dependant to your target market, if you're aiming at the motherland of the tongue, as in the UK, then using ENGLISH, or as the yanks like to call it International ENGLISH, is acceptable, this would also cover all native/second ENGLISH speaking country's, except the States. IF, you're looking at US only then off course use their variation of the ENGLISH language. BUT, IF you're looking globally then using both, possibly segmented to target the SEO market's seperately, would be advantagous. Hence if the entire documents, / area's of the website or even subdomain, or website(s) are completely one or the other, and targetted visually to that effect, i can't see any problems, as long as the segmentation is strict.

glengara




msg:232655
 9:47 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

At least G gives you the option "Did you mean optimization/optimisation?" when you search on either term.

seoRank




msg:232656
 9:55 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the varied views on whether it makes business sense to market cross border clients or royalties for use of English.

If I were to target UK and US clients for SEO work, (I target and currently have both), do you think it is legit to use 'optimisation' and 'optimization' as my key phrase in the same site?.... or do you feel one has to setup 2 different sites with 2 different domain names to avoid being called a 'spammer' ....and then start worrying about canonicals.

I'm referring particularly to Comment #90 on <snip>

I pasted this URL as I believe the above site is also managed by promoters of webmasterworld.com. I apologise if I have violated any forum rules.

Note from pageoneresults: seoRank, the link that you provided is promoted by me and not WebmasterWorld. I appreciate the exposure but also have a responsibility to follow the board TOS.

The comment that seoRank is referring to dealt with a site that was stacking keywords in their title tags trying to cover all misspellings, etc. Some misspelled words were side by side.

[edited by: pageoneresults at 5:08 pm (utc) on Jan. 30, 2003]
[edit reason] No URLs Please - Refer to TOS [/edit]

chiyo




msg:232657
 10:02 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

i agree with Iam Turner about having two sites in some ways, but that then brings into the equation a heap of duplication problems, and keeping up continually with another way in which SEs continually change their algos to account for it. I know there are simple to complex procedures to minimise damage, but none are prefect, and will be less perfect a couple of months down the line.

georgeek




msg:232658
 10:03 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

...the simple truth is the majority of the net is US english.

Not so sure about that. Largest language segment yes but majority....?

Anyway the difference between US English and UK English is not just the spelling. It is the whole vocabulary and even the style. If your site contains a significant amount of prose or there is a national difference in the spelling of your keywords, it is better to have two targeted websites in my opinion.

fathom




msg:232659
 10:07 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

After reading other posts seoRank, I believe I am a little off base.

I don't believe variation in spelling is spam, but I do believe the profession of Optimization or Optimisation can not be taken lightly.

It's great to advertise and target across the board but there are grave limitations - particularly with cross-cultural differences, that I suppose have less to do with spelling and more to do with meaning.

Some examples

"chips" >> "crisps" >> "fries"

"shopping cart" >> "basket"

"football" >> "rugby" >> "soccer"

Everyone in their local cultures known precisely what these mean but globally they may or may not be what you think, and targeting keywords do not spell it out.

These are trival as long as you are not specifically - Optimizing or Optimising for, but in principle if the opportunity arouse where your Optimized or Optimised site brought in one of these as a contract would we know the difference - or would the client think to ask?

How many more similar variations are out there - lots!

<added> I personally do not manage, operate, or link from a SEO web site, first too much maintenance required.

I believe every web site must be tweaked daily and I don't have time for this, while managing client sites.

WOM is paramount in SEO - a web site is not. Viral marketing is exceptional in SEO circles.

What is more paramount is remaining current to new trends, the more tied you are to a web site targeting the globe the less likely you are to catch "what's new".</added>

[edited by: fathom at 10:49 am (utc) on Jan. 30, 2003]

glengara




msg:232660
 10:43 am on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

On checking Y! for both terms, only one site appears for both in the top 20, as for the comment by SEOconsultants, their view may have been less jaundiced if everything else on the site had been OK.

makemetop




msg:232661
 2:16 pm on Jan 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have tried targetting both spellings in the past (and still do in a minor way). When I had fairly uniform results for both, purchasers using Queen's English outnumbered actual purchasers using American English 10 to 1. Sort of makes sense seeing I'm this side of the 'pond'. However, when US companies are looking for an SEO company in the UK - I win on UK searches using the US spelling :).

So my main bias is towards my local market but I take into consideration the world-wide nature of SEO.

Powdork




msg:232662
 5:34 am on Jan 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

One thing you should consider is whether you're spelling will send people away. If I'm searching for someone to do some SEO and I come across the word 'optomise', I'm going to assume its not for me and go back to my search. You can please some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all the time.
As an aside, wouldn't it be rather easy to insert a little js that would determine the country of origin and then replace the english words with the english words?;)

seoRank




msg:232663
 12:16 am on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

As an aside, wouldn't it be rather easy to insert a little js that would determine the country of origin and then replace the english words with the english words?

That can be done for visitirs who visit the site but if you do that for Search engines, it will be termed as 'Cloaking' which is an unfair practice!

jeremy goodrich




msg:232664
 3:58 am on Feb 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Dude, cloaking 'unfair practice' hardly...but let's not go there.

Best case scenario seems to be ->

  • Target the market you are going after

  • Seperate the demographics and language involved

  • Leverage those differences to sell more often through better communication.

This way, when you are using optimization - you will get the people that want that. And when you are pitching to somebody looking for optimisation, they will respond appropriately, as well.

Too many (even small) differences in the language might confuse the audience you are trying to sell...you want them agreeing with your bullet points and then contacting you to pay you some cash and not sitting their, scratcthing their heads, wondering what you were trying to sell them.

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