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Matt Cutts Says Grammar Issues in Comments Don't Impact Rankings: Should It?

     

RankNFile

1:48 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)



[youtube.com...]

The gist: Cutts is asked whether funky spelling in comments impacts a page's ability to rank. The answer is no. My question: Should it?

Consider that spambots aren't usually the best of spellers in their comments - so it stands to reason that a lot of the bad spelling comments are spam. Then consider that any Webmaster who doesn't clear out their spam comments is not really offering the best website experience (we'll ignore that this can be onerous...). So by default, shouldn't a page that's at best being undertended suffer in rankings?

I could see lots of arguments for or against...

[edited by: goodroi at 2:06 pm (utc) on Feb 11, 2014]
[edit reason] Changed link to original source [/edit]

goodroi

2:21 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Before responding, PLEASE watch the 58 second video to listen to Matt's own words.

To be honest most people make slight grammar mistakes all the time. I was not a perfect student in my high school English class. Don't forget that Google is fighting a flood of automated content generators. Computer programs can be taught perfect grammar. So it is possible that having the occasional grammar mistake proves you are human and should be allowed to pass through the spam filter.

Matt does not appear to be saying that horrribbblle, grammer, is, a good, idea? :)

Even if grammar does not directly impact rankings, it can indirectly impact rankings by scaring away potential partners looking for authority websites. So I would say it is probably best to ignore the small mistakes but fix the really ugly ones.

Rosalind

3:26 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm conflicted about this. At the moment bad grammar in comments doesn't indicate that the original article is better or worse, merely that lots of people find it interesting enough to comment on. And the only time I come across great grammar in comments is on highbrow sites which are mostly visited by pro writers.

However, Google has the power to change the web profoundly. Think how many times you're advised not to read the comments because they're basically poison, and imagine how different it would be if they were all moderated.

Then again, whose grammar? British and Australian authors routinely find their books marked down for poor editing and grammar by reviewers who don't realise that what they're looking at is regional variations rather than spelling errors, and these variations exist on a county level as well as for different countries.

RankNFile

4:06 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)



You're both bringing up some of the points that occurred to me as well - that creating a standard for what constitutes "bad grammar" could actually become discriminatory against people for whom English is a second language pretty quickly - not to mention native speakers who are just rushing or are on a mobile device, etc.

I still wonder though if there's not something good in there - an algorithmic change that can tell rubbish from natural - if flawed - comments?

It may have already happened and I just don't know lol

Shepherd

4:37 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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To be honest most people make slight grammar mistakes all the time.


ALL the time! I know when I see websites that have comments/reviews with perfect grammar/spelling they are fake. Very few of the real comments/reviews we get on our sites have no errors.

EditorialGuy

4:42 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'd ban any site that allowed "u" for "you," "peeps" for "people," and "kinda" for "kind of" in comments. But that's just me. :-)

mrengine

4:50 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Too much bad grammar/spelling is a sign of spun content. Whether it be an entire article or blog comments, in this day and age I see no excuse to NOT demote pages that can't adhere to some language basics.

Because I'm seeing a lot of spun content ranking these days, above legitimate websites maintained by humans, and would love to see this area addressed by Google. Some spelling penalties dished out in extreme cases could help rid the serps of some garbage that is slipping by Google now.

BeeDeeDubbleU

5:20 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Then again, whose grammar? British and Australian authors routinely find their books marked down for poor editing and grammar by reviewers who don't realise that what they're looking at is regional variations ...

Ermmm, British is the correct version. All others are regional variations! ;)

zeus

5:55 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member zeus is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I think it would be sad if gramma would play a role, MANY good "writers" dont have the best gramma, but still have something to say, also what about the foreign writers, which have there blogs/sites in English.

lucy24

8:56 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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creating a standard for what constitutes "bad grammar" could actually become discriminatory against people for whom English is a second language pretty quickly

Any literate adult can distinguish between a non-native speaker and an undereducated native speaker at least 95% of the time. Sometimes you can even tell where and when they learned English-- with some interesting quirks if the writer's first language is AMESLAN or equivalent.

Samizdata

10:11 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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British is the correct version. All others are regional variations!

English is the language of England, and has many regional variations within that country.

It is freely available for use by anyone anywhere with no licence required.

It is constantly changing and there is no definitive "correct" version.

As "Google" is itself a spelling error I doubt that the company worries too much.

...

BeeDeeDubbleU

10:52 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



English is the language of England, and has many regional variations within that country.

Sorry, but English is the language of the United Kingdom, NOT England and there are no regional variations in written English in the UK. Some people use local dialect but that is not English.

Samizdata

11:23 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, but English is the language of the United Kingdom, NOT England

The clue is in the name.

Scotland, Wales and Ireland all have their own distinct languages.

And the only legally official language in the UK is Welsh.

...

CaptainSalad2

11:53 am on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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>>>Sorry, but English is the language of the United Kingdom<<<

funny but when I walk down the street, or take my kids to school and stand in the playground, it doesn't sound like it is ;)

BeeDeeDubbleU

7:07 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The clue is in the name.

Scotland, Wales and Ireland all have their own distinct languages.

And the only legally official language in the UK is Welsh.

Some quaint views here. I wonder how I get by without speaking Welsh when it is the only official language in the UK?

Samizdata

8:21 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Some quaint views here.

There is no language named United Kingdomese.

I wonder how I get by without speaking Welsh when it is the only official language in the UK?

Perhaps you speak Polish (the language of Poland).

It is the second most common language in the UK after English (the language of England).

...

BeeDeeDubbleU

8:34 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



OK, you win. Now where do I get a Welsh language dictionary? ;)

Samizdata

10:19 pm on Feb 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Now where do I get a Welsh language dictionary?

Chwilio'r Geiriadur Cymraeg ar-lein

[bbc.co.uk...]

Or you could just googol it.

...
 

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