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Bad Grammar or Broken HTML: Which Does Google Care about More?

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bad-grammar-or-broken-html:-which-does-google-care-about-more?

Imagine this…

You’re checking out a site that has two flashing, neon-red issues that need fixing:

  • Multiple spelling errors and grammatical mistakes
  • Broken HTML causing some funky spacing issues

You know that both issues can spoil the reader’s experience. Broken HTML can mess up how a page renders — and grammatical boo-boos are just…bad.

But, are both issues equally “bad” in Google’s eyes? Or, is one of the issues a bigger SEO deal?

In the immortal words of BuzzFeed, the answer may surprise you.

Here’s what Google says about broken HTML.

Google’s John Mueller, during a recent hangout, made the distinction between HTML (a technical issue) and content (a quality issue.)

Broken HTML is a pain, yes, but according to Mueller, “for the most part, we don’t care if HTML is broken or not.”

Sure, if your HTML is so bad that Google can’t crawl it, you WILL have Google issues.

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But if you have the occasionally broken code snippet and weirdly-rendering page? You’re probably OK.

Are grammar and spelling more important than HTML? Yes.

According to Mueller, “I would almost say …like… spelling and grammar is probably for most websites a higher priority than broken HTML.”

Why? Because bunches of spelling errors make a page read poorly. It’s a quality issue — and Google only wants to reward high-quality pages.

Mueller said, “we try to find really high-quality content on the web, and sometimes it can appear that a page is lower quality content because it has a lot of …kind of… grammatical and technical mistakes in the text.”

Here’s the write-up by Roger Montti for Search Engine Journal if you want to read the entire scoop.

Plus, think about typos and grammatical issues from your prospects’ experience. How much will someone trust your firm if they see mistake after mistake?

Especially if you’re trying to establish yourself as an expert?

What do other SEO writers think about this news?

The news seems to have put a smile on many writers’ faces.

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I posted the Search Engine Journal article to my SEO Copywriting Certification training Facebook group. The feedback was fun.

Michelle Lowery, a digital content editor, posted the single word, “VINDICATION!”

Helen McCrone, a freelance translator, pointed out machine-translated content is often chock-full of huge grammatical mistakes. If you’re translating your content into multiple languages, working with a person is a smarter bet than running your copy through translation software. 

Deb Ferguson, the in-house writer for a law firm, commented, “Grammar and spelling issues make the company or writer seem less of an expert. They can ruin a company’s credibility in the industry and amongst its clients.”

That’s true. Can you imagine visiting a legal site with lots of typos? After all, if the legal firm can’t handle little details like site spelling and grammar — how can you feel good about them taking your case?

So yes, know that any broken HTML will eventually need a tune-up. But if it’s between rewriting pages with lots of spelling errors and fixing minor HTML issues, making the content better for your readers should win. 

Every time.

What do you think?

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Does this latest bit of Google news surprise you? Leave a comment and let me know!

You can also keep up with the latest SEO writing news by signing up for my newsletter, or joining the SEO Writing Tips Facebook group. See you there!

Source: Heather Lloyd-Martin

SEO

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile Search

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Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile Search

At today’s Google’s Search On conference, the company announced it’s rolling out five significant changes to how people search on mobile.

Starting today on the Google app for iOS, you’ll see shortcuts to various actions you can perform other than typing in a traditional search query.

In the coming months, Google is upgrading the mobile search bar with features that will help users find more relevant resultHowway Google displays results on mobile is about to change, becoming more visual with a greater focus on images and video.

Here’s more information on the updates rolling out today and in the near future.

1. Google Search Shortcuts

There are many ways to search Google beyond typing in a text query.

You can find products by uploading screenshots, translate text with Google Lens, or even find songs by humming into the microphone.

Now, on the Google app for iOS, all the advanced methods of searching Google will be more apparent with tappable shortcuts.

See an example below of what they look like:

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2. Results In The Search Bar

Google is making finding things in mobile search even faster by displaying links to results in the search bar.

When you start typing, Google will begin populating results before you submit the query

In the example below, you can see Google displaying a link to a location page in the search bar:

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

This feature is scheduled to roll out in the coming months.

3. Enhanced Query Refinements

Google is making it easier to find the most relevant results by displaying an assortment of query refinements.

As you type a query into the mobile search bar, Google will offer ideas to make your question more specific.

In the example below, you can see Google suggesting different ways to expand on the query “best Mexico cities”:

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

4. Google Web Stories

Google is making mobile search more visual with deeper integration of Google Web Stories

Google states in an announcement:

“So we’re also making it easier to explore a subject by highlighting the most relevant and helpful information, including content from creators on the open web. For topics like cities, you may see visual stories and short videos from people who have visited, tips on how to explore the city, things to do, how to get there and other important aspects you might want to know about as you plan your travels.”

Here’s an example of what the new layout will look like.

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Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

The way content is displayed almost looks like iOS widgets.

You can tap on the story to open it in full-screen mode.

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

5. Combining Text, Images, & Video

Google is turning mobile search results pages into an endless feed of discovery.

You’ll no longer have to toggle between the Web, Images, and Video tabs, as Google will display it all on the front page.

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

Google describes this combination of text, images, and video on the same page as a “reimagining” of the way it delivers search results:

“We’re also reimagining the way we display results to better reflect the ways people explore topics. You’ll see the most relevant content, from a variety of sources, no matter what format the information comes in — whether that’s text, images or video.”

Additionally, you’ll have the option to continue scrolling to explore related queries.

The example below shows the bottom of a search page where you can choose to get more results for your query by tapping “More search results.” Or you explore the query “historic sites in Oaxaca” by scrolling vertically.

Google Announces 5 Changes Coming To Mobile SearchScreenshot from: blog.google/products/search/search-on-2022-announcements/, September 2022.

These new ways to explore information in mobile search are rolling out in the next few months.


Source: Google

Featured Image: Thaspol Sangsee/Shutterstock

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