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Do you regard "readability score" as an important criterion when you order articles?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by ContentWriter, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    In my previous post where I asked if an SEO plugin is still deemed useful, some responded that it is, indeed, still a useful plugin to have. In connection to on-page SEO, I'd like to ask webmasters if you regard a content with a good readability score important.

    I know some would say that they're "okay" with their content for as long as it lacks grammar issues and is engaging or appealing to their target audience. Let's go technical a bit. When I offer my content writing services, I tell my prospects that one of the characteristics of an engaging content is something that passes the Flesch Reading Ease Scale, and that's what I want to deliver. SEO Yoast (a WordPress plugin), for one, measures the readability score of an article.

    Does that make any difference to you if your writer not only satisfies your keyword density requirement but also considers the readability score of your content?

    I'm asking this so I'd know if keeping this "readability score" thing-y in my cover letter has a significant value to webmasters like you or not. Please let me know your thoughts below. Thank you.
     
  2. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I always get fed up trying to hit that green light on readability, with Yoast SEO anyway. So I normally give up. But I would say they must be some value in getting it to be readable. It would make sense that Google would also be trying to determine, via algorithm, how well written / easy to read something is.
     
  3. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thank you for your comment, davids355.

    I have some tips on how to achieve a passing readability score on Yoast SEO.
    • Avoid long paragraphs.
    • Avoid long sentences.
    • Use simple and short words. For example, use "reveal" instead of "divulge". The former has a shorter number of characters than the latter.
    It starts from the "paragraph" all the way down to a "word". I have this in my Guidelines in Writing document.

     
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  4. emerica1184

    emerica1184 Regular Member

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    Not sure if you need a plugin to tell you if it has good readability or not. In my opinion, readability is an important factor for bounce rate. I know I'd stop reading an article if it looked like a wall of text and read poorly. So maybe you could spin it from that angle? But to answer your question, I will only work with writers that consider readability. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so the less time I have to sit down and edit their articles, the better.
     
  5. validseo

    validseo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I correlated flesch-kinkaid with rank position... not a factor... Truth is that it is harder to communicate to a larger audience and it requires lots of editing at a lower reading grade level to do it effectively. So you have CNN and NYT at a 6-8th grade level and the harvard law review at a college level... both are completely appropriate... I suppose you should have a low level for barney the dinosaur searches and high reading level for academic cancer research studies... but that can backfire in just about everything else in between.
     
  6. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hi, emerica1184! Thank you for your comment. That affirms my decision to keep that "readability factor" in my unique selling preposition. :)
    To answer your question, no, I'm not looking for a WordPress plugin that can check readability. There are online tools that can check readability. Plugin-wise, Yoast SEO has a readability checker also.

    Hello, validseo! You have a point. That's why in my sales pitch, there's a caveat next to the "I will deliver content that has a good readability score...". It says, "depending on the technicality of your subject or niche". There are technical terms or nouns that you just cannot re-word. Because of that, it might be hard at times to achieve a passing Flesch-Kinkaid readability score. I am proactive in mentioning that to my sales pitch to avoid hearing complaints like, "You told me that I would receive my content with a good readability score. I checked only to find a poor readability score. What gives?"

    Being proactive nowadays is a good time-saver. :)

     
  7. Cshark

    Cshark Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Writing is all about presentation and there's no doubt readability is one of the key metrics that Google will use more prominently while ranking sites in the future. But I don't quite encourage the idea of using any software to evaluate a writer, because writing in itself is an art--- not random code of thoughts string together which a coded tool can decode and evaluate without error of some kind.
     
  8. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I agree with that, Cshark. For beginners in writing, it's not a bad idea to use a tool that will help you enhance that innate skill in you as far as writing "readable" content is concerned. Along the way, you'll develop your own style without sacrificing the readability of your content. Once you're confident with your writing, you may then give up the use of online tools that helped you with your baby steps, so to say.

     
  9. Frapcino

    Frapcino Junior Member

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    Dude, in regards to your article to be more readable for your audiences, Yes, you should beat a high readability score. We all know that Google has the ability to know everything about the content you are posting to your website, which can surely affect your ranking. Readability should be your number 1 top concerns when it comes to your article. A poorly written article can also give a negative impression to your visitors as well.
     
  10. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thank you for sharing your insight, Frapcino. I agree with that.

    For me, readability is not my only concern. Substance is also one. This is the reason why I make sure reference URLs are mentioned at the bottom of my articles when I deliver them to my clients. That's a proof that I do research.
     
  11. validseo

    validseo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I think the point I was trying to make is that if low readability and high readability are all OK then the acceptable range for readability is SOOOOOO broad that nearly everybody passes and gets credit for the factor... If everybody passes then there is not advantage to it and it is effectively not a factor, which my past data supports

    http://www.blackhatworld.com/seo/is...oogle-factor-my-findings.643897/#post-6497280

    Also the readability algorithms are largely based on number of syllables in the words so words like Cartoon and Query are valued the same but clearly one is more broadly understood than the other. So there is a wide degree of variance in these measurements which would also support Google using a wide range of acceptable values if it is a factor. (Doing that makes it a very weak factor because nearly everybody passes)
     
  12. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hi, validseo. Your argument has a point. I also read your other thread.

    To achieve a passing readability score, the content must be readable (or understandable) by a fifth grader. I don't take that as a hard-and-fast rule in writing. You won't get a passing Flesch-Kinkaid readability score all the time, especially for technical subjects like law or science.

    I have included the readability score in my quality control processes to assure my clients that I will do my best to simplify my words and shorten my paragraphs and sentences. That's the message I just want to send across to them. :)
     
  13. Nut-Nights

    Nut-Nights Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I hate all writers.
     
  14. Samurai-champloo

    Samurai-champloo Junior Member

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    Not related to topic but yesterday i installed sumome on all pages and surprisingly the pages that rank has score of 85-98%(the number of people read full content) and that do not rank well got score below 50%.
     
  15. ContentWriter

    ContentWriter Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thank you for sharing that finding, Samurai-champloo. It looks like a longer session duration has a positive impact on Page Rank.
     
  16. Trinity Smith

    Trinity Smith Regular Member

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    Readability is important. Readers will be disappointed and will not visit your page again if they can't understand or cannot relate to the articles that you are posting on your page. Knowing your audience is important, as well as the context of your article. Making sure that is grammatically excellent and useful to the readers.
     
  17. iAuthority

    iAuthority Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Yes, of course, readability is an important factor in articles.Mostly articles are unique but when comes to readability it will fail sometimes.If you have good readability articles on your site it would really help you in ranking.Otherwise it will increase the Bounce rate of your site.