Google added a new search option earlier this month. Find it on the advanced search page.
Check reading level for websites
These are the options. Full documentation on use of the feature is available on the Google web search help page for reading level.
On December 10, 2010, Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz wrote a nice article, Google+”Reading+Level”+Search+Filter demonstrating some amusing ways to use the feature. He also provides many helpful screen shots for using the filter options. Image above is the work of Rustybrick of Flickr.
Who should use the reading level filter and why?
The reading level search filter is a valuable tool for bloggers and small businesses. Generally accepted standards for web design show that in order for a web page to be accessible and pleasant to use, the reading level should be tenth grade or below. There were several reading level checking services before Google released this. However, the Google reading level search filter is free and probably has superior availability. It also checks the entire website, not merely a single URL, a limitation of other services.
Whatever reading level check one uses is not that important. What’s important is periodically doing it, whether on one’s website, or for each blog post. Confirm that the level is well-matched to your website’s target audience.
There’s never any reason to make a web site more complicated than necessary
I’m guilty of doing this. It isn’t by intent, it’s just my writing style, and the way I was taught to write. I’m aware of it and continue to improve.
Straightforward is better
That applies to website design as well as content. And it’s true whether one is selling a product or communicating an idea.