Can Grammar Errors Affect Ranking On Google? See Details

Do spelling and typo errors affect ranking?


The question from one of my students has called my attention to another point of argument in the online content marketing industry.



I’ve always wanted to write about how typos/spelling or grammatical blunders can affect content ranking. With this question, it’s high time.

There’s probably no Google official release on the effect mistakes in your sentences can have on your SEO and ranking. And if available, it’s not that emphasized.

I read a reference that a Bing product manager once mentioned that errors in your grammar and vocabulary can take you down the search results. Checking the referred page, it was removed. Was he confused or something?


Anyway, having spent more than a decade writing and marketing content, I can answer this question from my experience. And with little available evidence, you will be left with no confusion after reading this post.

Errors in Spellings, Grammar, and Languages

Let’s get this out of the way first. There are commonly 3 types of errors that may crawl in while blogging.

Spelling Errors

These are mistakes that crawl in due to your typos or your level of language mastery.

For instance, I’ve read a few posts where singular and plural were wrongly used. You must have seen a few where tenses messed things up.

This may be the most obvious error while writing content for the internet.

Grammatical Errors

This can take several forms. Imagine using an active voice where a passive voice is more appropriate. “The dog was killed by me” instead of “I killed the dog”

Imagine synthetic errors such as in this example. “Call me Tolani” instead of “Call Tolani for me”.

Language/Presentation Errors

This affects your language choice of words. American readers will love to see the word “center” instead of “centre” by a British counterpart. A Canadian will be more familiar with “bedspread” than  “bedsheet”.

A second language learner (reader) may find certain idioms, proverbs, word twisting, code-mixing, and code-switching frustrating.

All these and similar ones are errors usually identified while consuming content online. Though this may not have a direct effect on search engines, it may hit your readers right on the foreheads.

Let’s break things down a bit further.

Search Engines Care For Keywords and Relevance

As a matter of fact, I’ve come across hundreds of posts written with obvious grammatical and typo mistakes. These posts were well ranked to page one at least.

The writers had invested time and other resources to bring something valuable to us and people loved to see what they were up to.

If search engines ascertain your post’s relevancy to the queries, you’re a winner. But Google won’t see that unless users let them trust your content. This takes us to the next point.

Users Care for More than Relevance and Keywords

How do you feel when you’re searching for something, getting to the resulting post, and you’re welcomed with two or more blunders in paragraph one?

You’re like, what a mess?!

You’re likely going to bounce back right away. After all, there should be other relevant results and ones with little or no errors. Bouncing back costs you rankings! You know?

This is where content with spelling, grammatical, or presentation errors can suffer.

Users determine what content to be ranked by search engines, not the other way round. If they read your posts with errors therein and still love it, Google doesn’t care too. If they turn their backs to avoid headaches, Google is left with no other choice than to turn its back too.

If I may be direct here, you can now be ranking with errors, sooner or later, you will be thrown down the search results if you can’t handle your mistakes before it’s too late.

Personal Experience on How Errors Affect Ranking

I started my first blog with content in mind. I cared mostly for what people looked for and their search intent. This would help me win ranking.

I got it truly in a few months of bombarding the net with my posts. It worked in those early days. I was seen between 25,000 to 30,000 page views a day.

Considering that other factors might have caused my drop, I started seeing a serious drop in traffic. Imagine having 9,000 page views from 30,000?

I did what every blogger should do in this situation. I kept on doing a good job. I wrote more and more quality content. I put my head up and pretended nothing has hit me really.

To my surprise, this didn’t have a serious effect. Though, no further drop in the traffic, my condition remained the same until I started editing my posts.

I knew editing helps to re-empower content but I never thought editing a few errors in spelling, grammar, typos, and language used could help that fast.

Needless to say, I was back with my traffic in just a few days without adding more content. All I did was a few corrections and retouches in the post titlesintroductions, and a few lines that seemed ambiguous.

Ever since, even when I notice one of my posts is ranking well, I keep checking to see if there’s anything that can irritate new visitors. As expected, they keep ranking or retain their deserved positions.