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What is Readability for SEO & Online Readability Calculator

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What is Readability for SEO & Online Readability Calculator

Readability check in WordPress When I started ShoutMeLoud as a guest blogging, I hardly knew the pros and cons of it. Over the time, I realized just enabling guest blogging is not the best thing to do, it requires moderation and lots of editing. Probably, if you visit all the recent guest posts here at SML, you will realize most of them have been excellent quality. Personally, I spend like almost 2-3 hrs., before publishing a guest post and making it ever green content.

Now, one of the things which is very common in all guest blogging enabled blog is different voices. People from different part of globe, take part and every one have their style of writing and sharing information. Well, nothing is wrong with this approach until you manage is conveyed in right way. But, when we consider SEO at the same time, which is not the same like years back, we have to consider all the signals and one of them is readability level.

What is Readability Level?

Readability has different meaning, but let me put straight away for writers and bloggers. It’s the easy of reading your article. According to Wiki, readability means:

Readability is the ease in which text can be read and understood. Various factors to measure readability have been used, such as “speed of perception,” “perceptibility at a distance,” “perceptibility in peripheral vision,” “visibility,” “the reflex blink technique,” “rate of work” (e.g., speed of reading), “eye movements,” and “fatigue in reading.”

There are many ways to calculate readability level of any text and article online and there are many different formulas used to calculate the same. To name some of them, here are some of the most commonly used readability tests:

  • Flesch Reading Ease
  • Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level
  • Coleman-Liau Index
  • Gunning-Fog Index

Now, these tests have different formula to check the readability level and calculate the overall readability score. For example, here is a simple explanation of Flesch reading Ease score:

  • 90.0-100.0 :- Easily understood by an avg. 11 yr. old student
  • 60.0-70.0 :- 13-15 year old students
  • 0.0 – 30.0: Best for university graduates <Via>

I will share Readability Calculator below, which you can use to calculate the reading score of your article on different reading index, and it will give you a level of your writing.  Now, for those who are not aware of the fact, readability is one of those signals, which Google uses for ranking of your site and a poor reading level is some what I suggest you to avoid all the time.

How to check your Website Readability level in Google?

Here is a simple Google query, which you can use to check your Website reading level and you can work on it to make better. Go to Google.com and type site:domain.com and on left bar, click on more results and select “Reading level” under all results. You will be seeing a result like this:

Reading level for ShoutMeLoud

Now, here are reading level of Mashable and Labnol and see the difference due to level of writing:

Mashable readability test

Labnol Reading test

Now, go ahead and check how Google sees your blog reading level.

Online Readability Calculator Site:

I was unaware of readability calculator until I started using EasyWpSEO plugin on WordPress, but since this plugin is limited to WordPress only, I realize many freelance writers and BlogSpot bloggers, might be missing out one important signal of SEO.

If you are using MS word or Outlook, you can refer to this Knowledgebase to enable the readability check option. For now, MS office supports only Flesch Reading ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level at this time. Here is one useful online web tool call Online-utility document readability calculator which you can use here and it’s free to test the level of reading on different reading index.

Using this Reading level calculator is just copying pasting your text or directly add the web page link and it will calculate the score on different index like SMOG, ARI, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level & Coleman Liau index. A sample result will look like this and below the result, it will also show you the suggestions to improve reading level of your article.

Readability Calculator

The best part about this tool is, it will also suggest you which sentences can be re-written to improve your score and it will create a huge different in long run. More over, your article can be understood by a larger demographics with better reading score. Another tool, which you can try is read-able, which is also very handy and useful.

So, if you are first time coming across through “Readability for SEO“, I suggest you to not only work on Onpage optimization and writing high-quality articles, but put a little stress on reading level of your article.

Here are some of the other articles, which will help you in proof-reading and improving your articles:

How many of you are using EasyWPSEO or any other online tool to calculate the readability of article before publishing?  If you find this article interesting, don’t forget to share it on Google plus and Facebook.

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Article by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1097 articles.

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{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Arun rana

    Hi Harsh , what it means by Basic , Intermediate and Advance in Reading level . Which one should be high ?

    Reply
  • Corina Cimbala

    Many thanks for sharing! There’s another WP SEO tool that calculates your readability, Wordpress by Yoast, that’s the one i’ve recently started to use for my site. I don’t understand, however, why the same text scores 2 different percentages, calculated by the Yoast tool and on online-utility.org. Why could that be?

    Reply
  • Michael Evans

    Readability is not often discussed on the internet in regards to SEO. I am a little confused as to how the score will affect my position on the results pages. Is simpler better?

    Reply
  • Scott Kelley

    I have been keeping a basic rule when it comes to my word presentation. I learned a while back that Google takes everyone into account. I viewed a blind man using the internet and his computer would read to him. He mentioned how important the titles, categories and sub-titles where very important so he would know what the content was going to be in the article. He showed how many sites would come up with things that his computer could not read or how broken up the title was to the content.
    This made me wonder if Google was really looking at ho a blind person uses the internet and focused on these elements to a good page that has relevancy to the Title along with the content. So as a rule when I write or coming up with my titles i really try to think of a blind person. If I make it readable for them then I am making it readable for Google too.
    So Titles, Sub-Titles and Categories are a true SEO mine and as long as your content is relative to those things along with fresh new creative content, Google will love you and move you up the ranks. Many people with web sites are not practicing this and in my opinion are missing a huge target.
    Write for the Handicapped and win a huge spot in Google.
    I hope this inlightens a few to as how Google is looking at your work and publications.

    Reply
  • Karan Batra

    Hi Harsh

    Thanks for expressing this concept in such simple words.

    I checked the Reading Level for my blog and the Results state that the content on my blog is : Basic – 1%, Intermediate – 86%

    Now the question is that does the Readability Level have any impact on SEO or is this only beneficial for increasing the user experience?

    Reply

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