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Does punctuation affect SEO?

 2:45 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

When using keywords in the title and headings does the location of punctuation have an effect?
For example:

"why choose robots?" and "why choose robots ?"

In the first example the question mark is joined to robots. Would this make it less likely to rank well for a search of "who choose robots" than the second example?


Receptional Andy

 11:29 pm on Nov 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi tomhumf,

Minor differences in punctuation won't make any difference to your search engine performance. However, you're well advised to use the same grammatical rules as your target audience, as your language is then much more likely to "connect" with them, and result in a better experience while using your website.


 8:19 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

in the example youve given I suspect G wont mind, although I have heard it said that G gives a minus to numerous typos throughout a site. True or other wise I dont know, so stick with the correct syntax etc


 9:45 pm on Dec 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

gives a minus to numerous typos throughout a site

If that's not true it ought to be, and we would be wise to assume that it will become true at some point if it isn't already.

Think "signals of quality" and take care with your proofreading.


 3:31 pm on Dec 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi, tomhumf.
obviously yeah. this approach may apply for getting PR more.

Robert Charlton

 6:48 am on Dec 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

The hard targeting choice to make, IMO, is whether to use the possessive apostrophe... as in men's widgets vs mens widgets, eg.

These will definitely rank differently, and the incorrect variant, without the apostrophe, gets a lot more searches.


 4:48 pm on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

Does the space character hold weight in organic results? I.e. Is "eye glasses" seen differently that "eyeglasses"?

Robert Charlton

 7:51 pm on Jan 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Is "eye glasses" seen differently that "eyeglasses"?

If you run the searches on Google and take a look at the results, you'll see that there obviously is a difference. You'll also see that the top ranking sites target both. Chances are that misspellings in inbound links also keep the high ranking sites up there for both.

Google does make stemming connections, and it's likely it also makes connections among spelling and punctuation variants.

What's not clear is how much Google rewards the approximations. In general, it appears that Google attaches more weight to spellings or punctuation that exactly match the query.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:52 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2009]


 9:50 am on Jan 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

Yes, Punctuation does makes a difference in the results delivered. To check the same, visit this Google keyword research tool [adwords.google.com] This tool would let you know the search volume and the number of visits of a typed keyword. This means, search engines are recognizing every word with a character added as a different keyword. Therefore, try to avoid adding characters to the keyword in promotion.


[edited by: engine at 10:11 am (utc) on Jan. 11, 2009]
[edit reason] See TOS [/edit]


 7:33 pm on Feb 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think this would not make a big difference but you should always try to write in a way that makes some sense!


 7:53 pm on Feb 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

gives a minus to numerous typos throughout a site

I've not heard that, and find it hard to believe.

Look at it the other way around - the page loses out on plusses, as numerous typos are lost opportunities for those terms.

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