The Queen says Search Engine Optimisation

If the Queen were a SEO (I'm pretty sure she isn't), she would refer to her profession as "search engine optimisation". It makes sense to assume that the English have a firm grasp of the English language.

That's why I found it funny that a visitor emailed me the other day pointing out a spelling mistake on my site - I had spelled "search engine optimization" wrong by including a "s" instead of a "z".

It's a common mistake made by our friends from the new world. For some reason, the English language got a little muddled up on the trip across the high seas. However, I would expect Google in all their cleverness and focus on usability to know better.

search engine optimisation auckland google result

This is a search on searching New Zealand sites only using UK English spelling (as is used in the colonies), and Google has the gall to tell me I have made a spelling mistake?

Localisation / Localization

Google is putting a big focus on localised results these days. I'm impressed with some of the ideas they are coming up with. It makes sense that the search results for "football" are completely different in the UK and the USA.

However, the spelling correction above goes to show there is still work to be done with the localised results.

UK / US spelling

From a SEO standpoint, it's a hard call as to which version of the word to go with. If your market comes from the USA and the UK, who do you write for?
I tend to use both variations of the spelling, because I need traffic from all kinds of English speaking folk. This can look a little unprofessional, and you will get the occasional visitor pointing out spelling errors.

If the spelling errors bring in traffic, they aren't spelling errors

Look out for my handy script coming soon which detects your country using IP geotracking and rewrites your page content to match US or UK spelling. This could be considered mild cloaking to the purists, but it's all about the user so it's gotta be white hat.
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