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Domain names are going global

Until last year, domain names could only be created using Latin characters a-z and numbers 1-9. This excluded accented characters and scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Korean. In 2010, the use of non-Latin scripts in domain names was enabled, limited at first to the use of the country’s name in the official language.

Just how important is it to have domain names in various languages? We have previously discussed the importance of translating a website (obviously something we believe in!) in order to reach a wider audience, and surely domain names are an extension of that. Do Arabic speakers trust sites with domain names ending in .com or .co.uk? According to recent reports by the BBC, whilst some argue that domain names are becoming less important, given the ever-increasing popularity of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, others believe a good domain name is a sign of the importance and standing of a website. If potential visitors are discouraged from visiting a site that is only available in another language, surely the same applies to domain names? (more…)

Google to introduce new Instant Pages feature

We regularly use the term “to google”, using it as a verb to replace “to search for online” and the vast majority of people understand what it means. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will use the search engine Google, we may use another – Bing or Yahoo for example. In fact, according to a BBC article, “Bing’s US searches rose to 14 percent in May from 12 percent at the end of 2010”. However, despite the competition, as reported in an article published in 2007, a study found that on average 90 million unique visitors use Google each day. (more…)

Proof that spelling does matter!

In response to a previous article, I think we can answer that yes, spelling does matter! A vast number of news sources have proclaimed the recent news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, some with more success than others…

A headline on Fox News on May 1st read “Obama Bin Laden dead”. Whilst this may have been an honest typing mistake (despite the letters “s” and “b” appearing quite a distance from each other on a standard keyboard…), it has certainly raised questions among journalists, bloggers, tweeters, and the public throughout the world. As Shea Bennett commented on mediabistro.com, “it’s not as if they haven’t played around with the similarity (absurd as that connection is) between Osama Bin Laden and President Obama’s names before.”

Fox News were not alone in this error. Spanish newspaper El País claimed that “Obama Bin Laden ha muerto” and even the BBC stated “Obama dead” – an even more catastrophic error given that the rest of the name was not included in this headline!

So I think we can safely conclude that attention to detail, particularly in terms of spelling, is important. Whilst in some cases the context, image or rest of the sentence can reassure the reader that a mistake is a mistake, in other cases there are no such clues, and as a result, incorrect information is given. So take heed, and proofread!

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