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This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >     
Does Google care about quality of writing?
ToyTalk




msg:3450844
 3:24 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have noticed several sites in the same area that I work in having higher page ranks than me despite being littered with spelling mistakes, badly written sentences and sometimes plain gibberish.

One site has not had any updates for over a year, has brief, one- or two-line stories that are badly written and often badly spelled and yet has a higher page rank.

Does Google have a way of screening writing for quality? This may be hard, but surely it's easy enough to see when spelling is all over the place?

Should Google be concerned about the quality of writing? A spelling mistake doesn't automatically make a page or a site bad, but repeated mistakes suggests a site isn't being put together with care.

 

jakegotmail




msg:3451168
 7:58 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

No. I wish they did however.

pageoneresults




msg:3451170
 8:01 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does Google have a way of screening writing for quality?

Yes they do, user behavior. If those SERPs are being clicked and then the back button hit within a certain time period, that is one way to measure the quality of the page. Poor spelling, grammar, etc. is surely going to cause a bit more of those back button responses. High Bounce Rates are one way to assist Google with determining the quality of the page.

frup




msg:3451177
 8:11 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't have any inside information one way or the other, but it's entirely possible that Google does textual analysis to determine the "quality" of writing and that can affect ranking. Certainly they do some type of analysis to determine if it's natural text vs. computer generated.

Anything you can think up, the Google people have also thought up. They may or may not have implemented it. That is the best rule of thumb.

jakegotmail




msg:3451185
 8:21 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Yes they do, user behavior. If those SERPs are being clicked and then the back button hit within a certain time period, that is one way to measure the quality of the page. Poor spelling, grammar, etc. is surely going to cause a bit more of those back button responses. High Bounce Rates are one way to assist Google with determining the quality of the page. "

Just because its in a patent doesn't mean they are using it. Have you tested this? Are you certain this data is used currently in the algo?

pageoneresults




msg:3451187
 8:24 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just because its in a patent doesn't mean they are using it. Have you tested this? Are you certain this data is used currently in the algo?

Hmmm, I didn't reference a patent on this one but I think I can find a few that are pertinent. ;)

Tested what? Landing Page quality? Of course I have. Google does it every second of the day, millions and millions of times.

Okay, if they are not using this data, why is it such an integral part of AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, etc.?

Marcia or tedster will probably be along shortly to include the patent references. :)

Atomic




msg:3451188
 8:28 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

What about ebonics? Is there a single type of grammar that's always correct? I don't think this should be something Google cares about. If a page is found useful, it's linked to. Sometimes what I might consider terrible grammar makes perfect sense to someone else.

Calogero




msg:3451190
 8:29 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Different factors award a web site, and in all probability web sites having higher page ranks, that you noted, observe a lot of those factors.
Google is trying to damage nonsense pages like spam engines or door pages... but it isn't easy to distinguish who badly writes from artifial writing.

When you make a search, Google is able to recognize when a word is wrong and suggest you to search the correct form.
Unfortunately Google is not always right, expecially in the presence of not common word.
If Google has problems with single words or short senteces, situation certainly is getting worse and worse on long texts.

I think that nowdays Google cannot damage too much bad written pages.
It could make confusion among bad writted pages and pages that are well written but using not common word or using a syntax not popular but very correct.

loner




msg:3451258
 9:48 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

I had incredible luck with a word that is commonly misspelled. Sometimes I wonder about people.

Lorel




msg:3451270
 10:03 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the most common grammar mistakes is the verb tense not agreeing with the noun (the dogs is crossing the street). that should be easy for google to pick up on with a threshold level that indicates this page isn't good quality.

simey




msg:3451274
 10:12 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Would google remove algo points from a forum where some of the members had particularly bad english or it wasn't their native tongue?
What about google.ru, google.dk, etc?

tedster




msg:3451276
 10:19 pm on Sep 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

At the 2005 PubCon in New Orleans I had an interesting discussion on this thread's topic with several Google engineers. Yes, they were working experimentally with this kind of automated analysis, but at that time they felt that a full fledged implementation in the active algo was many years in the future. However, just the developmental work is likely to create smaller, useful bits that can find immediate usefulness.

Rather than finding obvious poorly written pages, as a sometimes professional writer, I was focused on the kind of polished copy that takes much writing and editing and re-writing and re-editing to create. I was wondering if this kind of polished copy had any semantic signs that made it stand out from casually written copy, or even auto-generated junk. And, again, the answer was "we're working on it, but it's nowhere near ready for prime time."

Atomic




msg:3451338
 12:01 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

One of the most common grammar mistakes is the verb tense not agreeing with the noun (the dogs is crossing the street). that should be easy for google to pick up on with a threshold level that indicates this page isn't good quality.

If Google acts in this way, they will be saying that one culture's grammar is above another a la ebonics. Are you saying that Google wants to take steps that could be construed as being racist?

Yikes.

Atomic




msg:3451343
 12:10 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

And if Google does make their own value judgements universal what about fiction and text meant to have it's own style? What about artistic license and speaking to a particular audience. If Google wants to tackle that I say good luck.

Samizdata




msg:3451360
 12:59 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if this kind of polished copy had any semantic signs that made it stand out

With apologies to Oscar Wilde, a search engine knows the content of everything and the value of nothing.

Without human assessment, results will always be based on probability rather than understanding.

The DMOZ and Yahoo directories, however flawed, remain important for good reason.

edd1




msg:3451428
 3:37 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

"If Google acts in this way, they will be saying that one culture's grammar is above another a la ebonics. Are you saying that Google wants to take steps that could be construed as being racist?"

Hang on a second. What's the difference between this and the use of proofreaders in any other kind of professional publishing?

Bookshops insisting that books are proofread isn't racist, this is about quality. Good spelling and grammar means quality.

I can't wait till the day illegible rubbish is kicked out of the search results. And it will be user driven because the public wants quality and the search engines just haven't worked out how to service that demand yet but they will.

jomaxx




msg:3451439
 3:58 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

it will be user driven because the public wants quality

The public is demanding grammatically correct sentences in their search results? Pardon my laughter.

Correct writing is a sign of quality, of a sort, but I don't think it's very highly correlated with people finding what they're currently searching for.

Atomic




msg:3451447
 4:24 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Bookshops insisting that books are proofread isn't racist, this is about quality. Good spelling and grammar means quality.

Grammar is not static. It changes. Choosing one form of grammar over another is a value judgement.

europeforvisitors




msg:3451466
 5:28 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Correct writing is a sign of quality, of a sort, but I don't think it's very highly correlated with people finding what they're currently searching for.

Thay's something that Google would be in a better position to judge than we are, simply because it has so much statistical data at its disposal. But I do think it's certainly possible--even probable--that there's a statistical correlation between correct (or at least adequate) writing and user satisfaction.

jomaxx




msg:3451472
 5:47 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

...or at least adequate...

Exactly. I don't know how a computer program could determine what "adequate" means in any context, but that's a better standard than assuming perfection is what is required.

For one thing, favoring correct grammar would introduce a huge bias against forums. Almost nobody writes accurately when they're in conversational mode. That's right, I'm looking at almost everyone who has posted in this thread so far! Typographical errors, run-on sentences, missing apostrophes, etc. Sentence fragments. It's quite scandalous.

Atomic




msg:3451474
 6:09 am on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Huckleberry Finn has atrocious English. Google would make sure no one ever found it again. Just terrible writing in general.

europeforvisitors




msg:3451920
 11:30 pm on Sep 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

Huckleberry Finn has atrocious English. Google would make sure no one ever found it again.

But HUCKLEBERRY FINN also has links from libraries, English departments of high schools and universities, etc., and those links comprise a "signal of quality" that can easily override any concerns about on-page English usage.

If grammar were used as a ranking factor, it would be just one of many.

Atomic




msg:3451974
 12:49 am on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I was kinda kidding. My point was that this is an example of something with poor grammar that some people have found useful or interesting.

Lorel




msg:3452298
 4:08 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would think that any website owner that wants to rank well in the American market should learn good English Grammar. It shouldn't be that hard for Google to do the same in all other languages either and that may be why this won't happen right away because they will have to set this up world wide when it is implemented.

BTW, I haven't seen Grammar changing that often. Slang changes often, but not good grammar.

Eric




msg:3452310
 4:21 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

grammar, no matters
misspelling, matters, use common mispelling can increase the visitors from search engine

FattyB




msg:3452368
 7:15 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Quality is a difficult thing to define, I mean it sounds easy enough but when you try to define it...

Did Robert Pirsig not write a couple of novels looking at how to define it and came to the conclusion you could not.

idolw




msg:3452369
 7:26 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does Google have a way of screening writing for quality?

we made some tests and sites featuring auto-generated BS content get banned pretty quickly.
so i believe they are on something here

jomaxx




msg:3452385
 8:00 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well they do have teams of real-life surfers rating sites, and end users are invited to provide feedback as well. This, plus the inability to build organic backlinks, should take care of the ridiculously bad sites.

But for the mainstream of websites, I doubt spelling and grammar will ever be validated algorithmically, and I doubt these kinds of errors have a noticeable impact overall.

whitenight




msg:3452399
 8:44 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

lol wth ru saying?
mbff and i youz myspace w/ this type of grammar att...
ev1 does.

pwned!

Seriously, will all the English teachers read this.
(and all related links)
[en.wikipedia.org...]

-----------------
The answer to the OP is:

To no degree worth worrying about.
Entire pages with no grammar at all rank well.

trimmer80




msg:3452408
 9:39 pm on Sep 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

IMO absolutely worth the attention. If you think Google would have motivation to use it as a factor when ranking then consider it when you are creating pages / sites. This is regardless of whether the factor is currently used or not.

Personally I would think this is not currently used as per the cost of resources required. However if it is not used you can bet Google is planning for it in some way in the future.

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
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