Do Special Characters Matter for SEO?

Latté. Doppelgänger. Jalapeño. These words are all adorned with a special character to emphasize a particular pronunciation. But, how does Google interpret them? As the most popular search engine, Google’s algorithm endlessly “crawls” billions of website pages a day. During this crawl, it will have to read and comprehend trillions of words. So, when it looks at an ñ versus an n, does this impact rankings? Does adding an accent to a word on a website impact its ranking opportunity?

To answer this question, it’s simplest to picture your average Googler. When they type a query into the search engine, they want the fastest, most relevant result. They don’t want to spend extra time looking up and learning how to type these characters. A Google search query is not a college essay. It does not have to follow the rules of the English language, and often ignores grammar and spelling completely.

Google has taken on the job of interpreting bizarre, cryptic, misspelled, and unaccented words and transforming them into legible phrases, thanks to its “Did you mean?” feature. The algorithm’s complexity and relevance will continue to improve. Keyword phrases in website content do not need an accent. If the website is well-optimized, it will start to rank for those priority phrases either way.

However, SEO should not define website content. If an accented phrase needs its tilde or umlaut or other accent for branding purposes, then that piece should stay.

To find out how the SEO team at BeeSeen Solutions can help your website move to the top, get in touch!