Can Google Understand & Rank Inclusive Language In Search

Jun 7, 2021 • 7:41 am | comments (0) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

As more and more writers try to write using a more inclusive approach; specifically using inclusive language, does Google adapt to understand that language and rank that content as well to language that maybe is not that inclusive?

Inclusive language aims to avoid offense and fulfill the ideals of egalitarianism by avoiding expressions that express or imply ideas that are sexist, racist, or otherwise biased, prejudiced, or denigrating to any particular group of people, as Wikipedia describes. It also includes pronouns usage and so forth.

Can Google rank content like this as well as content that is not written like this. Is there a downside to your SEO and Google rankings by writing in a more inclusive way or not? John Mueller of Google said no, when he was asked this.

I've never heard this question asked before, I don't think... But Michael Lewittes asked this specific question to John Mueller of Google at the 53:28 mark in the video.

When asked if writing this way can impact rankings, John didn't think so, but it kind of depends on the query at hand. The specific example given by Michael, John responded "I don't think that would be affecting the the ranking there." But can it impact other cases?

Here is the video embed, it is a super interesting conversation:

Here is the transcript:

Michael Lewittes: So in a previous question about keywords you mentioned how it's important that the writing is good, that people use plurals correctly. And it made me think about a headline I saw a few days ago from a major outlet that read, so and so announces they're engaged to so-and-so. I read it and I said good for that outlet for correctly referring to that particular non-binary individual as they. And then of course my mind immediately went to SEO and wondered whether Google understands that this isn't for grammar but rather inclusive English. Is google's natural language processes, does it understand a plural, followed by a singular form of verb like, they is doing this or they is doing that. Is that's grammatically correct?

John Mueller: I don't know, probably. I mean usually, I mean it's it's something where usually our systems would learn this automatically, we would not and like manually define English grammar to be like this. And I could imagine that especially these these kind of shifts in language where like over the years like this becomes more and more common, that's something that probably takes a bit more time for our systems to learn automatically. And probably if we were to run into situations where we obviously get it wrong and we see feedback about that then I could imagine that our researchers would say there's like on the web overall this is kind of rare still but it's important so we will try to tune our models to also deal with that properly

Michael Lewittes Yeah I was wondering whether that was affecting actually the way that that particular story ranked because it was a subject about one person other people just use the person's first and last name.

John Mueller: I don't think that would be affecting the the ranking there because it's like we would probably be picking up like if if we're taking that headline apart we would pick up the two individuals and we we would focus on like oh these two are now related or kind of mentioned in the same headline, kind of thing. But kind of like the individual words that are probably less critical for us.

Have any of you tried this and noticed a ranking impact?

Forum discussion at YouTube Community.

Previous story: Google: We Will Try To Treat Nofollow vs UGC vs Sponsored Link Attributes Differently
blog comments powered by Disqus