Using Spelling Mistakes to Drive Traffic to Your Site

Some spelling mistakes are incredibly important, with 10, 15, or 20 percent (sometimes even more) of all searches containing the misspelled word. For example, about one-fifth of all Britney Spears–related searches are misspelled — spread out over a dozen misspellings. I’m not commenting on the intellect of Britney Spears fans . . . it’s just a name that could be spelled several ways.

The word calendar is also frequently misspelled. Look at the following estimate of how often calendar is searched for each day in its various permutations:

calendar: 10,605 times
calender: 2,721
calander: 1,549
calandar: 256

Thirty percent of all searches on the word calendar are misspelled.

If the traffic from a misspelling is significant, you may want to create a page on your site that uses that misspelling. Some sites contain what I call “Did You Mean” pages. Some sites contain pages with misspellings in the <TITLE> tags, which can work very well. These don’t have to be pages that many people see. After all, the only people who will see the misspelled titles in a search results page are those who misspelled the words in the first place.

One nice thing about misspellings is that competitors often miss them, so you can grab the traffic without much trouble.

But Google recognizes spelling mistakes, doesn’t it?” I can hear you thinking. Yes, it does, and it handles them in a couple of ways. In some cases, when Google is pretty sure that it was a spelling mistake, it goes ahead and searches for the assumed correct spelling.

On the other hand, sometimes Google isn’t so sure, and it displays a couple of entries that have the assumed correct spelling, followed by another eight entries that are misspelled.

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