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When we launched Clover 2.4 a few weeks ago, those of you familiar with Atlassian may have noticed something a bit different.. something a little strange. Being an Australian company, Atlassian has always used the Queen’s English, otherwise known as Standard English in literary circles or i18n English in the technical community. This all changed when we announced Test Optimization, the newest feature of Clover 2.4 enabling you to dramatically reduce the time it takes to run your builds and automated test.
It’s always been the Atlassian way to use i18n English (EN) consistently throughout our products, our documentation, our website, and all of our PR materials. But in this ever-globalising economy words, especially technical terms, cross borders freely to create a common language. Not surprisingly, Google helps play a large role in determining our common language thanks to its “did you mean” feature. Probably one of my favourite and most relied upon features in both Google and Confluence search.

What did you mean?

z vs s global.jpg
In preparation for the launch of Clover 2.4 we did some search engine optimisation work on the Test Optimization feature. Some of the stats that we found were quite interesting.. For example, searching Google for the terms Search Optimisation and Search Optimization provided wildly different results:

  • The term Search Optimisation averages only about 165,000 searches monthly worldwide. But doing so asks you:
    Did you mean: Search Optimization
  • The term Search Optimization averages about 1,000,000 searches monthly which is more than 6x. Interestingly though, Google suggests no other spellings, even if you are located in Europe or Australia or if you are setup with a different language preference
  • Not surprisingly, in the US alone the difference is even greater.. over 25x!!
  • z vs s.jpg

  • Even the regional trends are pretty fascinating

It’s clear that the spell checker used by Google’s Did you mean is not concerned with the “correct” spelling of a word, but more so with the “common” spelling. Trying to get details on the secret sauce Google uses is quite difficult, but unconfirmed reports suggest that “Google develops its own spell-checking algorithms based on sophisticated machine learning methods, using cues from aggregated user input, Web documents, and many other sources. The algorithm provides a ‘best-guess’ alternative suggestion that we think might improve the search results, and is completely generated without human input. It can be thought of as a suggestion offer, rather than a definitive answer.”

So what’z in a name?

When we discussed branding the Test Optimization feature internally, a lively debate started around the use of an ‘s’ or ‘z’. Needless to say, both sides were correct in their justifications, but we eventually had to settle on a single term to reference consistently.
So in the end, we decided it was important for us to get the word out to as many people as possible — clearly since our desire is to help developers and testers everywhere.. not to mention the economic upsides 😉 — and the numbers don’t lie:
Almost 10x more people searched for “Test Optimization” as compared to “Test Optimisation” in the month of October alone.
I guess ‘z’ is not dead.

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