Content Readability Matters to Google

As the importance of well crafted content rises with semantic search, so does the need for content that is easy to read and understand. One way to check readability is by using the Flesch-Kincade scale. This test was devised by Rudolf Flesch and J. Peter Kincaide in the 1970s. These tests measure the readability of content and the reading level needed to understand it. A higher number on the readability will mean a lower grade level score. Websites that offer content with high readability will be viewed more favorably by the search engines and can help your search engine optimization strategy.

Microsoft Word comes with a readability and grade level test built in to the software. Here are the directions provided by Microsoft.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  2. Click Proofing.
  3. Make sure Check grammar with spelling is selected.
  4. Under When correcting grammar in Word, select the Show readability statistics check box.

Here is an example of the report.

There are many free tools available.  Readability_GraphicHowever, readability tools can return different results. Try not to get too caught up in the actual number. Think of it terms of high, medium and low. Shoot for higher rather than lower and it will help you improve the content on your site, your customers will find it more useful and ultimately it can help your site rank better on the search results page.