Does Google penalise websites for poor spelling?

Matt Cutts says Spelling and Grammar are not ranking factors although left the door open for them being ranking signals in the future.

I’ve been telling people for ages that spelling and grammar are probably a ranking signal, even though I know I can get pages to rank with spelling mistakes and really bad grammar errors. In his recent YouTube video Matt Cutts has scuppered this believe, however in the process did give some interesting insight to Google ranking signals.

More reputable pages do tend to have better spelling and better grammar – Google can correlate this fact to pagerank – quite interesting and I’d guess this is something that should be looked into?

Google don’t use this as a ranking factor as there is too much room for error  – with sites in other languages or that contain content that’s in other language or intentionally use slang or even industry specific terms and neoglisms.

Cutts goes on to state that it’s best to put your effort into improving the spelling and grammar as this will increase the usability of the site.

I must admit it’s always been my belief that it’s important to just keep getting content out there and then once it’s live it can be improved and agonised over.

During this video Cutts also explore the concept of reading levels, this seems like a factors that would be easier to implement as a ranking signal – I’m just not sure how beneficial it would be, or if that would mean creating a demographic profile of the searches for particular search queries or search niches.

Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoFf6Kn4K98

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