How an Apostrophe Can Cost You Search Engine Traffic
What's the difference between a Web page titled:
Bob’s Doggy Treats
And one titled:
Bob's Doggy Treats
Maybe more than you think ... it's all in the apostrophe.
Recently, I noticed that a client had pasted their business name from Microsoft Word into their Web site title tag without converting their apostrophe from Word's character entity to the straight text-only apostrophe that HTML requires.
Initially, I was not very concerned until I Googled for the client's name and it was nowhere to be found. Other similar business names were in the search engine results pages where my client should have been. Though most Web browsers are able to interpret the Word markup visually, it made no sense to Google, who treated the apostrophe pasted from Word as part of the business name instead of punctuation. For a business who relies on search engine traffic, this can be a costly mistake.
This post is a short reminder that cutting and pasting from Microsoft Word into a Web page document is ALWAYS a bad idea. If you need to cut and paste, a short workaround is to copy from Word into a text editor like Notepad. Then, copy the text from Notepad into your Web page. This removes most of the extra characters could potentially harm your Web page.