Does punycode help ranking?


Dec 5, 2019
Hoping I'm posting this in the right place! #firstpost

I've discovered two competing domains that I suspect are fake businesses.
- They have a shady backlink profile
- Worse content on site than others in SERP

My webiste is a .se (swedish) website and ranking around top 3, they are both .com domains and ranking around top 6.
They're ranking pretty good for the essential keywords - <service>+<area>. However they have the service and area keywords written in language specific characters in their URL. Is this why they may be ranking sort of good? I realize that it's not user friendly to use punycode, but does it help ranking?

Appreciate any help or advice in what else to look into :)


LocalU Faculty
Jul 18, 2012
We did a test on unicode (so similar to what you're referring to) and Google was able to properly read it so my guess is that whatever they're typing in punycode is equivalent to using those words in plain English. I do not think there would be any benefit to using it.

As you mentioned, it's definitely not user-friendly and it also could have some ADA compliance issues it isn't readable on screen readers like we found unicode was > Does Using Unicode Help Click-Through-Rate? - Sterling Sky Inc

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