The general consensus is that readability is the next big thing in SEO. We have officially come full circle. Before, the strategy was to please Google by adhering to strict SEO guidelines that follow the way a computer thinks. Now, search engines are smart enough to comprehend what your content is actually saying.
This is huge for a number of reasons but the most important is that you can start writing quality content without worrying about Google.
So why is readability making a comeback in 2018?
Readability and Voice Search
While always an important factor in SEO, readability is going to become an even more powerful metric in 2018 because of the shift towards mobile devices and the functionality of voice search. Having short and concise content that readers enjoy, works hand in hand with voice search. While only a few people are using voice compared to the traditional method, search engines like Google place great value in the future of this functionality and are already favoring sites with a higher ranking, if their content is voice-friendly.
What voice search seeks to do is give people an answer to their queries in the form of a rich snippet. Imagine how difficult it would be for a computer to trudge through complex sentences and advanced vocabulary. To avoid these painful voice searches, search engines will choose the best content with excellent readability.
You’re likely to see a lot more sites gaining rank because of this.
Readability and Better Content for Readers
Another exciting facet of this shift is the content itself. Adhering to outdated SEO standards is hard work and most of the time; it’s the content that suffers. The goal of search engines is to eventually think like a human. We aren’t quite there, but close enough to write what you want to write. This is great for bloggers that have shifted away from writing for entertainment to writing for traffic.
Because of this, you can see that readability will become the most important factor for SEO rank, naturally because people like to read quality content. The more traffic you see, the higher you rank. Search engines can now give the power back to the people instead of just following their own limited set of rules.
So what makes good readability?
Start with short and concise sentences. If they need to be longer, be sure to use transitional words because they help your audience keep up with what you’re saying. We highly recommend using the Yoast tool to access your readability score.