Issue #170

Sent to members on July 5, 2018

Grammar crazies… and SEO?

OK, my friendly grammar people. You know I luv ya. 🙂

As a guy who writes as much content as you know I do, you can rest assured that I’ve gotten my share of emails pointing out typos and grammar problems. And sometimes I’ll fix it. Sometimes I won’t, honestly.

See, when I write, my purpose is to communicate effectively to another human being. To YOU. To do that, I write like I speak. I write like we talk. And sometimes that style of writing might piss off an English teacher.

And yes, I just started a sentence with the word “and”. 😉

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Now, I have my personal opinions about people who take the time to point out grammar problems in other people’s content all the time (picture me biting my tongue right now 😉 )… but…

They’re not entirely incorrect. Because, truth is, grammar and spelling does matter to Google.

Google knows that people won’t engage quite as much with content which is hard to read. One of the things which makes it hard to read is rampant grammar and spelling errors.

This doesn’t mean you have to be a grammar nut. It doesn’t mean you need to mind-numb yourself trying to remember all those stupid rules from English class. Don’t ever let those arbitrary rules get in the way of effectively communicating to real people.

But, there IS a point where typos and grammar issues get in the way of effective communication. And, when it happens too much in one post, we know that the writer just half-assed it.

This is also why the old days of using article spinners are over and dead. DO NOT use article spinning software. Everything about it is just… wrong. Everything.

That kind of bogus filler content like article spinning software would produce the EXACT kind of thing Google is trying to weed out.

You can use a tool like Grammarly to help check for grammar. Make sure you do a spell check. Another simple strategy is to simply read your post to yourself out loud. Does it sound natural? Can it be read without sounding ridiculous or choppy? Keep in mind the increase in voice search like “OK Google!” and you can see why this matters.

Another helpful tool is, again, built right into the Yoast SEO plugin. In addition to optimizing for a target keyword, there’s a tab there for readability.

You don’t necessarily have to follow every tip in the Readability tab of Yoast, but it does provide some guidelines. Keep in mind, no computer can evaluate readability. Only a human can do that.

But, just on a general basis, pay attention to grammar. Check your post for typos. Don’t use software to “write” an article. If you’re trying to write an article in a second language you don’t write in adeptly, have a native speaker proof it for you.

You’re not going to rise in the search rankings due to grammar, but it is more in the interest of not hurting yourself.

– David

Tech Talk

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