Searching With Foreign Accents

One of the smallest items on your screen can create a myriad of challenges. The item in question is the accent that can adorn characters in some other languages than English. If your keyboard is set up as an English keyboard, you may not even know how you could produce a character such as ?, ? or ?. You may also notice that sometimes these characters are not displayed correctly in certain displays. Such problems can be very tough to solve.

Google also finds such accented characters a problem. Should M?xico be treated as exactly the same thing as Mexico when someone puts that in a Google search query? Google has recently confirmed that it does largely treat them as the same. So whichever spelling you use, you’ll get relevant results.

However Google will try to guess what is most relevant to you by where you’re located or how you pose the keyword query. If you used as your search page, or if you select Spanish as your preferred language, then you will get more results that contain M?xico rather than Mexico. They may even consider your IP number in order to determine where you are in the world. Searching from Venezuela may give you different search engine result pages than if you’re searching from New Jersey.

This may make it difficult to be exactly sure how effective your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts have been when working with accents. Your audience may be seeing different rankings than you do. Overall, the best advice still seems to be to avoid accented characters if you can. That way you’re sure you’re not losing out by the way the search engines are interpreting your efforts.

Tip of the hat to Pandia

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