Google optimizing the American language
- January 14, 2010
- by Dave Freeman
Now I don’t have anything against the US, after all my CEO is American. However, forcing the UK to spell things the wrong way? I struggle with that? That’s right folks, in the UK ‘optimisation’ is spelt with an ‘s’ not a ‘z’. However, Google have altered google.co.uk so that ‘optimisation’ is now spelt ‘optimization’
You’ll now notice when you start typing ‘search engine optimisation’ into Google UK that within its suggest feature the majority of suggestions are all in the American spelling style.
Then when you carry out a search for ‘search engine optimisation’ Google automatically decides to not show the results based on what you searched for (the correct spelling), but instead they force the US spelling onto us.
So for now at least the search landscape for optimisation has changed completely – thanks to Hoboweb for initially pointing this out.
What are the effects of this?
I think it’s too early to tell if this is a permanent change, but at least for now if you site has been optimised for the keywords around optimisation, such as ‘image optimisation’, ‘search engine optimisation’, ‘performance optimisation’ etc and you ranked highly in Google.co.uk you could see a sizeable drop in traffic.
What should I do?
If you’re high traffic generic keywords have an alternate American spelling then check you’re analytics to see if you have experienced a large drop in traffic. If you are then it’s probably best to change the spellings on your site so that your site conforms to the American spelling. However, if you’ve seen no effects then I’d hold off until it becomes clear whether this is a permanent change or just Google testing its algorithm.
Personally I’m in the situation where my domain name has an alternate American spelling i-optimise.com and i-optimize.com. If you’re brand has an alternate American spelling, it could be a good time to think about registering the domain spelt the American way and hold onto it just in case it’s needed. For now Google haven’t applied the change to searches for ‘optimise’, but if Google were to roll this change out full scale my SEO blog would instantly stop appearing for its supposed brand name search.6 Comments