Typpos Happenn: But what are they worth?

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Apr 25, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

I credit Johnny Campbell as the first person to address all the valuable people that can be uncovered with a few commonly misspelled job titles on LinkedIn.  Some non-hardcore Boolean heads debated if you should consider someone who does not value attention a viable applicant.  The question I begged to ask was how many people do this intentionally to avoid being easily found?


If we want to find as many variations of misspellings, the SEO “gurus” braved this path long ago.  They live in the PPC (pay per click) world where there is quantifiable value in common human typo errors.  They can buy domains and search advertisements a letter or two off at significant savings.   In this case, I am using one of many web SEO tools.




The word “Director” has 23 additional variables using the three common mistakes:

(“irector” OR “drector” OR “diector” OR “dirctor” OR “diretor” OR “direcor” OR “directr” OR “directo” OR “ddirector” OR “diirector” OR “dirrector” OR “direector” OR “direcctor” OR “directtor” OR “directoor” OR “directorr” OR “idrector” OR “driector” OR “dierctor” OR “dircetor” OR “diretcor”)

Since a search for “irector” will also find “director” we must remove results for the correct spelling.






One in 10,000 people might be a rounding error for some, but I suggest that you add this option to your playbook when the options with greater ROI have failed.  Decide for yourself if these people refuse to use spell check, used other language spellings, or intentionally want to remain Dark Matter.

In the past, you could find the most common misspelled words accurately by using Google AdWords, but now that the search engine corrects common spelling errors by default (unless you select verbatim), this tool is not accurate depiction misspelled traffic.  Search for “directo” does not attempt to correct my spelling.




In this case, search engines are not guessing intent per se, they are correcting your spelling.  If you have comments about semantic search, please ask for the Drector at Symantec.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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