In 2009, The Spelling Society, a group concerned with spelling irregularities in English, worked with IPSOS MORI to conduct a survey to find out the current state of spelling in the United State. They found that while 1 in 4 US citizens thought that they had a spelling problem, over half of the population had issues spelling simple words such as “embarrassed.”

Google apparently agrees with those findings. On Friday, Google announced two new features to their search engine: automatic misspelling correction and another addition to local search.

The first of those seems to be a fairly large change to Google. Many PPC and SEO strategies have included user misspellings and have, to some degree, been relatively successful. For instance, a PPC advertiser may buy “airprt” in hopes of picking up less expensive costs per click and still reaching the same type of user that may be searching for “airport.” Now, with this recent change, Google actually anticipates the misspelling.

To test the new tool, I searched for “aiprt” and Google provided the following result…

Prior to today, Google would typically provide a message that asked if this was the correct search. Now, it simply corrects the search for you. I can say that from my research, this new feature does not affect all misspelled searches…yet…but over time, it’s almost certain that Google will extend this feature further.

The second new feature deals with local search. For instance, if you are Chicago and search for “bulls,” Google now understands that since you are in the Chicago area, the majority of searches for bulls deal with the Chicago Bulls and will provide within Google Suggest, in other words the drop down of other keywords that is provided, with related links. Also, Google will provide results for the Chicago Bulls in that search.

Google continues to try to provide the most relevant search results possible. We’ll continue to see how this changes SEM agencies create search strategies. While it hasn’t happened yet, I could foresee Google moving in a direction that would allow users to search for generic terms like “insurance agency” and see more than just local map results, but also local search results. We’ll continue to provide updates on this topic as they come available.

From Google’s Official Blog: Search with fewer keystrokes and better spelling.

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