We’ve all noticed how Google will fix our misspellings, with their synonyms list suggesting the more likely search term - Did you mean Relevance?
When the misspelling is so bad it’s not in Google’s synonym rings, we have entered the huge space of random strings that are not in use anywhere (that is the future home for our meme IDs).
Companies have long tried to find misspellings that could become new brands, and the limited lexical space of domains has increased the pressure to misspell. Flickr is perhaps the best known Folksonomy site.
Peter Morville told us that Ross Mayfield of SocialText coined the misspelling indicatr to tag photos of corporate parking lots (a diagnostic tool to detect periods of intense R&D at the company).
And RSA Security, encryption and digital signature specialists, have an authentication product they call securID (nice play on security). At Jakob Nielsen’s User Expreince 2005 conference, Peter Morville pointed out that if you search the RSA site for secureID (note the extra “e”), hardly any results come back. When you misspell it correctly, hundreds of pages are found.
The amazing thing is Google’s synonym list, apparently with the preferred term being rated by their PageRank® algorithms. They ask - Did you mean SecurID? As Peter said, Google knows more about RSA’s business than RSA’s own search engine does.