What is Readability for SEO & Online Readability Calculator

Readability check in WordPressDo you know your blog writing is an integral part of on page SEO? Do you know there is something call readability SEO?

What is Readability Level?

Readability has different meaning, but let me put straight away for writers and bloggers. It’s easyness 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. 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 a different formula to check the readability level and calculate the 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 have shared Readability Calculator below, use it to calculate the reading score of your article on different reading index. 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 somewhat 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 the left bar, click on more results and select “Reading level” under all results. You will will see a result like this:

Reading level

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

Mashable readability test

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

Online Readability Calculator Site:

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 the 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 a 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 the long run. Moreover, your article can be understood by a larger demographics with better reading score. Another tool, which you can try is readable, 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.

Must use tool: Grammarly


English is not my native language, and my writing would not be same as without Grammarly. This Chrome addon (Also have web app) let you check your writing for grammatical mistakes. It also suggest alternate words, which further make your writing powerful. This is a free tool (Paid version offers advance feature), which you can start using it right now.

Bonus tool: Hemingway

Hemingway Readability score

I recently discovered this tool, which I believe every blogger should use. This tool offers free online editor, which shows how hard it is to read the content. It also shows the reading grade of an article. Before I edited this article, you can see the reading score in above screenshot.

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

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Article By
Harsh Agrawal is a blog scientist and a passionate blogger. He is blogging since 2008 & writes about Blogging, SEO, Make money online & tech. His blog, ShoutMeLoud receives 1 million Pageviews/month and have over 700K subscribers.


COMMENTs ( 6 )

  1. says

    hey harsh,
    I tried to check the readability level of my blog but couldn’t see any result. I thought there is a problem with my blog. Then I tried your blog, but still It’s showing no result. can you tell me why is it happening so?
    I typed ‘site:shoutmeloud.com’, and on the left bar, clicked on more results and found no reading option there. Video, Books, Flight, and Apps are the only options appeared.

  2. says

    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?

  3. Michael Evans says

    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?

  4. Scott Kelley says

    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.

  5. Karan Batra says

    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?