Let me share something with you that I have always suspected, but never had the data to prove.
Google is increasing focus on quality measurements which is translating into actual ranking factors. Recent updates have shifted some ranking factor weighting form keyword relevancy to quality criteria.
But first, a little background reading…
Since taking over the reins of this blog from Mike, I have been writing a few new articles and working in the background, getting ready for a big relaunch of eBlogCamp, which *should* be rolling out very soon. (For those that don’t know, Mike has completed his College Degree in the US and now has a full-time job. He no longer has the time to update eBlogCamp, so I have now taken over as the main contributor).
For me, eBlogCamp is a long-term project. So I can brand it correctly and add my own personality to the blog, I started reviewing some of the older blog posts. Mike was quite a prolific writer, but since English was not his first language, there was the odd grammatical mistake here and there. Fixing up those errors would make the articles easier to read.
Is Grammar Important?
I’m the sort of person that can spot spelling and grammatical errors right away. I am not an English academic expert, but I am a native English speaker (who has dealt with tough English teachers at school). I also think that I am a bit fussier than most when it comes to grammar. I try to convey my thoughts using the minimum amount of words possible and each word has to fight for it’s place in a sentence!
Lots of people no longer care about grammar etc, but the main problem for me is that I like to scan and read text as fast as possible. If there are grammatical and spelling errors in the text, then that slows me down. Imagine if every newspaper and magazine you read was full of article-spun gibberish? That would make it very hard to read the articles fast. The content and intention would be in the text, but it just wouldn’t read well at all.
The Plan & Results
After reviewing the existing posts on eBlogCamp, I thought I had better start going through each one and just tighten up and tweak the articles a bit so they read a little better. I needed a plan, so I decided to work on the articles that receive the most traffic first and then work my way down the list. There are around 80+ articles, so this was going to take a while.
As I re-published the articles (with modified grammatical text), a very interesting thing happened. Traffic started increasing on those re-written articles. I didn’t add any new content to the articles or do any additional backlinking or article submissions etc, so the increase in traffic must be solely due to the way the articles are presented (grammar / spelling etc).
Natural Language Processing
I always suspected that Google performs natural language processing on articles to determine the actual quality of the articles. This “article quality” would be yet another parameter in the huge Google algorithm that influences the SERP of your articles.
Recently, another interesting thing also happened. Since this blog is a bit of a brain-dump of all the things I do (and think could help others as well), I wrote an article on my preferred WordPress Permalink Structure.
At the start of that post I stated that there are millions of results for that search term in Google. I had no intention of trying to make a top ten position in Google for that term, since I have nothing to sell, it’s just some good advice that people will find useful.
But the interesting thing is that I did not promote that Permalink Structure article at all. I did not create a thousands backlinks to it, and did not repin the article and then repeatably submit it to another thousand article directories.
I basically did no promotion and the article is in the top ten results in Google.
I can only conclude that since that article makes sense and reads satisfactorily, it outranks millions of other similar articles because Google has evaluated it as being of higher quality.
After seeing the traffic increase on the reworked and re-published articles, as well good traffic and rankings on my recent articles (that do not have masses of backlinks etc), I can only conclude that the “quality” of the article and how Google determines that quality is very important.
Before you hit that Publish button, read your entire post again and fix up anything that doesn’t make sense. If you are not a native English speaker, try to hire someone from Fiverr to proof-read your articles. Correcting the grammar could make the world of difference to your rankings and ultimately how much traffic and income you can generate from your website. Poor grammar and spelling can make a bad impression on your readers, resulting in loss of trust and lower conversion rates.
You might not think that grammar is important anymore, but Google does!
This is why I am not a big fan of article spinners that churn out gibberish that reads like a five year old wrote it. You can’t just change every possible word to another synonym and hope it reads properly. If I really had to re-spin an article and did not have the time to manually do it myself, I would get someone from Fiverr to manually re-spin it for me. Just focus on creating good content, others will see the value in your work and your traffic will increase.
What do you think?
Have you also noticed this effect on your articles? Am I too picky on grammar? Does the word “grammar” make your blood boil?