I am currently doing some SEO for a company in Sweden. Most of their keywords contain special characters such as ö, ø and å.
If the Search Engine was to crawl the HTML it would see those three characters as ö, ø and å respectively.
I know that the majortity of people using search in Sweden use the special characters when performing a search query, but i'm not sure how the special characters are processed by the search engines.
For Example, if a user was searching for Malmö, could I use either Malmö or Malmö for keywords, would it make a difference, I guess it would to some extent as Malmö in my HTML reads like Malmö. I guess I could go in the HTML and change Malmö to Malmö, but I hear this is not good practice.
If anyone has any input on this I would really appreaciate it.
Msg#: 3017155 posted 2:20 am on Jul 23, 2006 (gmt 0)
The search engines generally use transliteration, in that an accented character is seen as synonymous with the non-accented version. The way that you choose to handle the extended character in your markup is more to do with your declared charset - you can use ö or ö and the search engine will handle it just fine.
My personal preference is to encode the site as UTF-8 and use the accented character rather than the entity reference, but if you stick to ISO-8859-1 and use entity references throughout you won't have any problems either, other than the slight increase in page weight.
I avoid using anything other than US-ASCII filenames (page names) as anything outside this range is URL-encoded for transmission - so use the non-accented character instead for page names.