We’re often ask us how much punctuation and grammar matter to search engine results. The short answer is, “Yes, grammar, spelling, and usage do matter.” It’s like asking a business professional if he or she will be judged on his or her clothing at work. While some offices are more casual than others, you’ll be judged. Google’s grammar dress code might be slightly less formal than Bing’s, but both search companies value articles that users can read without hindrances.
Google’s Content Quality Guidelines
We wrote a whole content quality series based on Google’s content guidelines after Panda came out in 2011. Check out the four parts to learn more about Google’s quality content checklist. You’ll want to make sure that you double check spelling and grammar, as well as provide authoritative support and elaboration.
Bing’s Position on Common Errors
Duane Forrester of Bing, wrote a post February 20, 2014 that establishes Bing’s position on content quality. If you haven’t read it, yet, take a moment to do so. In a nutshell, Mr. Forrester suggests that if your content is littered with common errors, the reader will be frustrated and the poor quality will affect your search results. Web pages with grammar or spelling mistakes won’t float to the top of Bing.
My Web Writers is available with several editors if you need help proofreading your copy.
Article Evaluation Template
If you’re just looking for a little guidance, download this article evaluation worksheet and ask someone else in your office to score your articles with it. Use the rubric to solicit general feedback from others or just use it as a general checklist to review before publishing. I used this template for student peer review when I was teaching English 101 years ago. The template was originally published by D.C. Heath Grammar and Composition, which was sold to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Remember, even the best writers borrow a second set of eyes before publishing! Revising and proofreading are just standard actions steps.