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I am building a website (small online retail store) for a company whose brand name has a special character in it. The name of the brand is actually a legitimate Polish word that has an Ł, which is an L with stroke.

The problem is that this company is geared towards a U.S. based market and I am very concerned that people will be unable to make searches for this brand unless they know how to actually type an Ł on their keyboard.

Assuming the name of the brand is Łollipop (not the real brand name), I am currently building the site in a way where all references to the brand name is with the Ł. And now I am thinking that Google will only return the website if people typed in Łollipop in their search bar.

What I would like, however, is that people can search for Lollipop and still get my website despite all the text on the website using the Ł version. Is this possible at all? Does it require me to use both references to Łollipop as well as Lollipop in my web page to capture both versions that people type into their search bar?

I would hate to have to resort to using the plain L version all over the website and have the brand name wrong. Appreciate any help here!

EDIT: Wanted to add that the URL for the site is without the special character so the above only applies to all other aspects of the website.

  • 1
    Is the brand name also an English word or is something like Häagen-Dazs? Your example (Lollipop) suggests that it is but want to confirm. – Aakash Dec 4 '15 at 8:26
  • Domain with special characters are possible. We now have domains in all of the major languages. – Arun Anson Dec 4 '15 at 14:23
  • @Aakash Forgot to mention that URL is without the special character. I'll make an edit – trinth Dec 6 '15 at 4:47
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At least in my work in Finland I have the normal problem of umlauts "ä ö" and in Finnish site urls it is normal to register the brand if it contains umlauts in two version 1) real brand name with umlauts and 2) umlaut free version where ä is replaced by a and ö replaced by o. Then you make a permanent redirect 301 to the umlaut free version, eg ääkkönen.fi -> 301 -> aakkonen.fi and all emails are only to umlaut free domain mrmister@aakkonen.fi

In German speaking countries you will notice that umlauts are handled differently: ä turns into ae, ö into oe and ü into ue.

Google is however, in my experience, smart enough to recognise the use of urls in this manner (these manners) so there is no problem with umlauts. How Google user Ł and L, I do not know but I presume they do the same.

But then your concern is the use on Lollipop vs Łollipop on the site in the text etc. Here is what I would do:

0) Register both domains and do the 301 to lollipop.com

1) Make sure all your video names, image names + alt tags
carry both versions of the brand name, eg 
<img src="Lollipop-Łollipop-sample.png" alt=" This image shows a
 typical Lollipop. Normally a Łollipop is treasured by its owner." />

2) Google likes to see rich language. Use both versions in a manner
 that clarifies to the normal reader what you are saying, but also
 state for example in the footer, or sidebar that you use both 
version in order to cater to the target audience. 
Google will also get the gist.

"<h2>Łollipop (also known as Lollipop) is a strong trend</h2>
<p>We all want a Łollipop, but where can you find your closest 
dealer? Please click here to find your 
<a href="Lollipop-Łollipop-dealer.html">Łollipop (Lollipop) dealer</a>
<p>blaa blaa</p>
<footer> We at Łollipop care for you user experience. Please note 
that we use our brand name Łollipop also translitterated as Lollipop
 for the convenience of our users. Please let us know how we are
 succeeding in making you visit to our site a pleasurable on.</footer> 

3) Do this consistently accross the site, mending to your anchor texts and making sure the normal requirements of proper SEO are met.

4) Build your site long term, so don't stop adding content when the site is finished.

Good luck with Łollipop. I checked for the fun of it at domain registrar in Finland (https://domain.fi): Łollipop.fi -> Search error -> Domain name contains invalid symbols.

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1

I don't think it will put much impact on your website SEO, let suppose if a user search on Google for lollipo.com and your brand Łollipop.com have also good user base or visibility on web, then Google crawler will also show your brand name in search results at any first five positions. But what I am thinking it will get hard for users to type such brand name in browser and this thing can put impact on your website direct traffic.

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0

Special characters such as exclamation mark (!), dollar ($) and pound (£) are ignored by search engines. If special characters are used to communicate information to a human user, then be mindful that their use will have no impact on SEO. Here are general URL rules from SEO perspective:

GENERAL URL RULES:

1) unique (1 URL == 1 ressource)

2) permanent (they do not change)

3) manageable (1 logic per site section, no comlplicated exceptions)

4) easily scaleable logic

5) short

6) with a targeted keyword phrase

For more understanding on this matter, i'll provide you with two usefull links for further reading:

A guide to special characters use -> great test with all kinds of characters.

Should you use a special characters?

And for final example... concider this:

if you registered your domain as Łollipop.com, the mails are going to be example@Łollipop.com

so you should pay attention for that. Special characters are cool, and in some cases unique for domains and webpages, but just read a little bit more about it and then decide what to do.

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