I couldn't find a better word than "non standard" to describe my native language. It is quite an old language and it is spoken by around seven million people.

The problem is that most of the people don't write it correctly. For example: the standard word for "song" is "këngë" and this is how it is written in the school books and in any other serious printed book. However, the average speaker would very rarely use the word "këngë" for daily use. For instance, if we assume 100 people would want to search for "këngë" on Google. I would say not more than one out of 100 would type "këngë". And around 80% of them would type "keng".

So, the question is: if I have a blog where I am talking about songs, and I write the word song as "këngë" in my content, would I attract users that are searching for "keng"?

A local Google for my language does exists (google.al) if that helps.

  • 1
    Use both in your content: "Keng (also known as këngë)....".
    – John Conde
    May 13, 2015 at 17:36
  • @JohnConde, you mean to sometimes use këngë, and sometimes keng, or use këngë in the text, and keng for tags? May 13, 2015 at 17:51
  • More or less. Without seeing the content I can't give specific examples but your goal is to try to find a way to get both on those pages in a natural way. One way using tags is to use the title attribute of the span or anchor tags to suggest they are synonyms. (<span title="keng">këngë</span>). Don't abuse it but doing that on each page with well written text should allow you to benefit from both spellings.
    – John Conde
    May 13, 2015 at 17:57
  • However, you should at least be consistent in your spelling. I think it's wrong (in any language) to "sometimes" spell one way and "sometimes" the other. But yes, as John suggests, you would probably still need to get both on the page if it is a word synonym that Google is perhaps not aware of?
    – MrWhite
    May 13, 2015 at 18:15
  • Dang good question!!
    – closetnoc
    May 13, 2015 at 23:00

3 Answers 3


I don't speak Albanian, but I ran a little test on google.al. When I type keng in the search box, it offered me kenge and keng popullore in the drop box.

keng popullore returns many music videos and some include the këngë spelling in their title.

This confirms what I thought. Google can deal with incorrect spellings in your language. If I were you, I would stick to the correct spelling.

  • 1
    The results for keng popullore are different from the results of këngë popullore indeed, or at least they are have a different rank. May 19, 2015 at 12:41
  • Yes, but that is always the case for Google in all languages. Exact match spelling are given a bit more ranking than slightly different spellings, but not always. kenge and këngë are considered as two different queries, even if they return similar results. There is nothing you can do about it. May 19, 2015 at 12:45
  • So, that means for someone who searches keng popullore pages containing keng will rank higher. The majority are searching keng, so you as a webmaster will lose a lot of audience if you use këngë in your content. May 19, 2015 at 12:51
  • It is not only a matter of spelling. If the content of këngë result is more interesting than the content of kenge results (i.e., users prefer it) then Google will rank këngë results higher than kenge results when users search for kenge. I should have been more precise. At the beginning, kenge pages are given a bit more exposure than këngë pages, but it does not mean they will win the ranking battle on the long term. It is the quality of the content that wins, and users decide. May 19, 2015 at 12:58
  • That makes sense. May 19, 2015 at 13:03

You should always use the correct spelling and punctuation for the target language. From there define the correct language hinting in the meta tags on your page. Also if you are concerned about common misspellings you can also reference those in the meta tags in the header.

Modern search engines such as Google interpret misspellings and based on context will offer up results in the correct spelling. Meaning if you are at Google.al and type "keng", depending on context Google will know you probably meant "këngë".

eg, using English:

<meta http-equiv="content-language" content="en" />
<meta http-equiv="language" content="en" />
<meta name="description" content="brief description text that might have alternate spellings, punctuation is ok here." />
<meta name="keywords" content="list of critical keywords including correctly and incorrectly spelled variants, with and without diacritics Don't just load this with everything, no punctuation except comma separators." />

Mixing spellings in and out of tags/cross tags as suggested in a comment to the OP can actually dilute your content and risks being identified as misleading. Don't do that.

  • I'm not sure that a language with only 7 million speakers would have good spell checkers or much support from Google. May 14, 2015 at 20:29
  • That's not really how the system works. While Google does hire humans to tweak results. Most of the matching is done programmatically. It does create a situation where if nearly everyone spelling the word one way (not just online but in Links, Books, News, etc...) and it's wrong, then Google will perceive that as the correct/primary spelling (this is the concept behind a Google Bomb).
    – Bryan C.
    May 17, 2015 at 19:47
  • Google also uses context, this is why, for instance, in English it usually can guess between they're, their and there when you misuse the wrong word in a sentence. Where there is a problem is if there is no samples of the native language in any form to generate rules from.
    – Bryan C.
    May 17, 2015 at 19:47

Depending on what your site is about, you might want to consider building a glossary section for at least your most common keywords. You could then link to and from this content silo. This way, you'll garner traffic from both and it wouldn't be spammy because you're educating or clarifying terminology.

For example:

  • Official Term
  • Common Term
  • Definition
  • Sentence Example
  • Link to site content around this term

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