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Are content readability part of ranking signals?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by xjapan, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. xjapan

    xjapan Power Member

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    Recently I have come across writing an easy to read content does improve the rankings, ie shorter sentences that easily understood by lower grade students. Any comments?
     
  2. SEO FOX

    SEO FOX Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Sure quality content will help in ranking mate
     
  3. sygamers

    sygamers Junior Member

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    I dont think so, i have a lot of posts with less than 40 score and are ranking much better than sites with 70+ which are on same competition
     
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  4. CreativeLinks

    CreativeLinks Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    It will help for your site's ranking unless it is spun or duplicate..
     
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  5. validseo

    validseo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I correlated Flesch-Kincaid readability and grade level with rank position last year... it was an extrememly weak factor if it is a factor at all. The problem with readability is that it is easy to write at a college level but it is very difficult to communicate effectively to a larger audience at a lower average reading level. The harvard law review has a high reading grade level, but the new york times & CNN targets an 8th grade reading level and have quite a bit more editing to pull it off. Which should win? If it is a factor I bet google wants it within a wide range of acceptable values which would make it a very weak factor.

    The other issue is the readability usually targets number of phonetic syllables in words. Words per sentence isn't part of the readability. In fact words per sentence correlated much stronger than readability as a factor. Longer sentences did appear to matter. Google's quality guidelines also call out short sentences as bad in a couple places... i.e. Pandas are bears. Pandas live in China. People like pandas. <--- very bad
     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  6. SEO Dave

    SEO Dave Junior Member

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    If your content is garbage then your bounce rate will probably higher, which may play a part in affecting rankings.
     
  7. TheSEOWizard

    TheSEOWizard Power Member

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    I doubt there is direct correlation between the two but easy to read content would help in increasing site activity and reducing bounce rates which should help in improving rankings.
     
  8. ConsultJoseph

    ConsultJoseph Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I very much doubt making sentences shorter as well as limited sentences per paragraph does anything. It is still the total word count being factored in which also is the basis of the keyword diversity. Plus, it is pretty much subjective as to how more/less readable an article is based on length of sentences.
     
  9. Sristy

    Sristy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    From a logical standpoint that should not be a ranking factor at all. Since Google caters to every readership and language level, they would certainly not rank anything closely related to those signals. Rather from a business standpoint Google would prefer to keep the reading level at the most basic since it needs every searcher to understand what is in the search results. So yes, from your viewpoint it makes sense to write shorter and simple sentences. I just applied logic here, not necessary that Google also thinks the same way.
     
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  10. fc-dh

    fc-dh Elite Member

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    No simply because bots can't read, do you have any idea what it would cost on development and PC power to have created a bot that can read, Google has shareholders to think of they rather pay that out in dividend and keep them happy...
     
  11. redarrow

    redarrow Elite Member

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    A sentance classed as small must be a 500 word unforuntly,
    and long sentences are 1200 words long.

    writting articles is a skill on it own ,most ppl
    just get there articles written via experts,
    but saying that ,anybody has the right to give it a go,
    so it 500 words or 1200 words for sentences.

    so when you think of a short sentence think 500 words, and if
    you think of a in deth sentence think of 1200 words.


    no serp reads the article ,but it does get scanned and then positioned in the search engines.

    Creating sentences should be written plain english and in easy to read format
    not written in any degree format.

    the words need to flow, of your toung ,and be
    understood to a 10 year old.

    you must not duplicate words in a 500 or 1200 sentence/article

    and beleve it or not content is king.

    most of us use a head phones and mic with dragon talking softwere ,
    it even on the download page of this forum , this makes the task of sentences/articles very easy.
     
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    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  12. maurinho2020

    maurinho2020 Newbie

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    Make your sites user friendly, improve your bounce rate, if people spend more time on your site then it usually offers value and that is what search engines may reward you for.
     
  13. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Google is trying to go in that direction but the fact is WE DON'T KNOW for sure if they can or can't "read" in that way. Most SEO content is frankly so poor that you don't need to "read" to understand that its fake garbage. Simple grammar tools will flag that. So its hard to say.

    Well written content will make contributor posts less likely to get manually removed, that I know.
     
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  14. vitarank

    vitarank Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Quality content is deemed to be the "King" and others followed suit. Really tho, it wont hurt if you follow the rules. Another thing is that well written contents convert way better than spun crap.
     
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  15. xjapan

    xjapan Power Member

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    Thanks for the replied and sorry that I didnt make it clear enough, I am talking about unique content not spun or copied craps here.

    Attached screenshot of the score from yoast plugin
    score.jpg
     
  16. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Doesn't sound like anybody here has conclusive answers. Looks like you'll have to blaze the territory here and set up a study for yourself. Create several web2.0's with identical keyword density, number of pages/images/etc and see if the ones with "easy" good content rank better.
     
  17. xjapan

    xjapan Power Member

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    checking grammar mistake, simpler phrase alternative or word count per sentences does not require much processing power. google is a technology company and they are designing the bots to do the job.
     
  18. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    are you talking about grades from like grammarly or hemingway? No, has nothing to do with Google.

    however, you should always have good content. I've seen people try to push a lot of poorly written content from ESLs and trigger the "pure spam" penalty.
     
  19. xjapan

    xjapan Power Member

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    guess i will just leave the page for a month, then improve the readability score and wait for another month.
     
  20. xjapan

    xjapan Power Member

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    yes, you got it right mate, currently i am using Hemingway for editing, i am talking about unique content here with either shorter sentences or longer sentences, or using simple phrases etc.