Online Re-Tales

One Man’s Multi-Channel Marketing Blog

Optimizing For Misspellings

I just got back from the ACCM show.  I don’t really need to recap since MineThatData and Catalog Chronicles did a fantastic job live blogging and post blogging about it for the past few days.

Prior to my SEM session on Monday AM, I got a chance to sit in on an SEO session titled ‘Organic Search Essentials.”  It was a little too introductory for me, but Matt Bailey of SiteLogic gave an excellent SEO 101 presentation for the attendees.  He simply, and thoroughly, discussed the basic tenets of successful Search Engine Optimization (Page Titles, Meta Tags, Meta Keywords, Link Building, etc.).


After the session was over I got to thinking…should sites be targeting misspellings of keywords?  We all know that any SEO consultant will tell you to target the words your customers are using (i.e., toothbrush instead of dental device).  But should we also be targeting the way they spell, or mispell for that matter?  If you intentionally target a single page for “Klipsh Speakers” instead of “Klipsch Speakers” you potentially stand to gain a lot of traffic.  The risk is knowing you are actively misspelling a brand name on your site, and putting it out there for all the Web to see.

I wonder what SEO consultants’ and brand marketers’ opinions are of this?


May 22, 2008 - Posted by | SEO |


  1. I have to say its a horrible idea to optimize for misspellings . Our,company GraphicSEO had this happen with one of our link placements. Now, the ultimate consequences were not that bad. We came up number one for something like “SEO compnay”, we took note of the matter found where the error was coming from & had it fixed.

    Just to be blunt on the matter, I personally feel, its a black mark on a SEO company who actively goes after misspellings regardless of any reward offered. Even with words that are misspelled, the searcher will ultimately realize they have misspelled the word & redo the query, probably not even looking at the results once they see Google has made spelling suggestion to them.

    Comment by Icarus | May 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the comment Icarus. But I have to wonder if the searcher truly believes they misspelled the word. I wonder how many misspellings are just a result of typos rather than searchers’ spelling ineptitude. Some of the best performing terms in a PPC portfolio are misspellings of your trademark brand, other popular brands, and product categories. I just wonder why this hasn’t been targeted (albeit cautiously) by SEO firms. To me, misspellings that drive traffic (and revenue) to a site are just as important as the long tail. Is it black hat or a wily technique?

    Comment by gedel | May 28, 2008 | Reply

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