Google autocomplete now fixes spelling problems
More evidence that Google has changed how it handles spelling errors. It is now fixing spelling in autocomplete (the list of suggestions it offers as you start to type in the web-based search form). (I think this is new, anyway ...)
Unlike yesterday's example, where Google was just deciding for itself which version of alternative, correct spellings you meant, I approve of this - partly because it's helpful, and partly because the user retains control (so they can search for wrong spellings if they want to).
Here are some examples - plus some where it ought to be fixing them but isn't. Note in each that the list of suggestions include the correct spellings (apart from millennium), even though I have spelled the word wrong.
Correcting common mis-spellings
Weird vs wierd
Acomodate vs accommodate
Acceptable vs acceptible
Greatful vs grateful
Bellwether vs bellweather
Please get these right however
Could of vs could have
This is not correct English - it should be could have.
Millennium - huh?
And millennium has two ls and two ns, however many results you've found for the wrong spelling ...
Looking at these, and the various other spelling examples that have emerged lately, it seems that Google must be using user behaviour in some way to deal with spelling errors.
For instance, where it observes people search for X immediately after Y (and X is a spelling variant of Y), it might decide to return X results when people search for Y. This probably explains the stationary / stationery issue from yesterday and the weird / wierd etc examples above.
Alternatively, it might be using its "did you mean" spelling correction data and, where people clicked this a lot, it's now just assuming they meant it all along.
I'm not sure it explains Google returning results for optimization when you search for optimisation, but there you go.
What do you think?