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The Power Of Ranking For Spelling Errors

Over the last few weeks I have noticed a significant number of visitors to this website searching for “plagirism.” The first thing that struck me was the spelling of the word. Plagirism should be spelt “plagiarism.”

Currently, 2.5% of this website’s search traffic comes form people searching for “plagirism.”

According to Google’s Adwords tool, plagirism has 4 400 searches per month. This may be just a tenth of what plagiarism gets, but plagirism (incorrect spelling) has 10 500 results in Google, while plagiarism (correct spelling) has 6 360 000. There are a lot of numbers to look at, but can you see which would be easier to penetrate the first page of search results for?

Here is the data summarised in a table:

Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Plagirism 4 400 10 500
Plagiarism 49 500 6 360 000

I then decided to look at a list of commonly mispelled words to see how I could gain traffic by taking advantage of these. There are a lot of words that would be tricky to drop into your website, the likes of “consensus,” “embarass” and “foreward” would be difficult to find a place for.

Here are some good words you might want to look at, together with their monthly search volume and number of results in Google. You can also take a look at a list of commonly mispelled words in Wikipedia.

Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Accommodation 3 350 000 109 000 000
Acommodation 9 900 442 000
Acomodation 6 600 206 000
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Argument 135 000 112 000 000
Arguement 33 100 1 510 000
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Commitment 60 500 89 600 000
Comitment 6 600 86 900
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Dependent 60 500 89 200 000
Dependant (not actually a mispelling, but the least preferred version of the word) 90 500 6 740 000
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Embarassing 60 500 13 700 000
Embarasing 12 100 900 000
Embaressing 12 100 74 300
Embaresing 1 300 48 200
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Abandoned 90 500 39 100 000
Abandonned 1 900 163 000
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Judgement 135 000 21 300 000
Judgemant 390 3 930
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Licence (British spelling) 1 220 000 71 700 000
License (US spelling) 823 000 423 000 000
Lisence 27 100 1 140 000
Lisense 14 800 196 000
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Occasion 201 000 189 000 000
Ocassion 74 000 529 000
Occassion 9 900 2 920 000
Search term Average monthly searches Number of Google results
Guarantee 201 000 236 000 000
Garantee 12 100 437 000

Some Caveats

As you probably know, whenever Google encounters a spelling error it will offer to redirect you to the correct spelling. Obviously this will take away some of your traffic and you need to bear this is mind, particularly when looking at the number of montly Google searches.

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