Caution: this is A RANT !
I’m both a blogger and a freelancer, and I write articles both for myself and my customers from time-to-time. And from time-to-time, I am faced with the inability to write compelling, in-depth, well-written and meaningful articles, because my customers or friends expect me to write those articles in accordance with Yoast’s SEO plugin’s READABILITY score. This readability test/analysis in that plugin simply pisses me off, and for good reason. Read on to find out why I find Yoast’s readability tests disgusting.
The single biggest reason is the snob, idiotic 20 words limit imposed on sentences.
THERE ARE VERY FEW THINGS IN THE WORLD that can be expressed in the English language correctly, by using sentences that are comprised of less then 20 words. For f*ck’s sake, what the hell is wrong with people who believe everything can be expressed in sentences with less then 20 words ? I am an ASPIE, and I like expressing myself fully and eloquently ! It’s my right to do so !
I wonder who are these idiot “academics” who come up with these stupid ideas about what people can or cannot read and understand ?
As if the younger generations have not been dumbed down terribly enough with regard to emotional stability, comprehensive analysis, situational dependability and other similar, socially important areas, here comes this stupid, overemphasized “Yoast SEO” plugin that says that if your sentences are longer the the ones comprised of only 20 words, then your “score” is getting decreased. Really ? Why ? Are you afraid people will learn something in the end, by maybe researching a phrase they didn’t just “get” at first reading ?
Of course, they themselves admit it on their pages THAT IT’S UNCLEAR AND UNPROVABLE WHETHER GOOGLE USES THIS STUPID RULE AS AN SEO RANKING FACTOR AT ALL, OR NOT.
And then there’s this DISGUSTING, passive/active voice recommandation – oh, wait, it’s not a recommandation, it’s a REQUIREMENT, that says that you have to have a maximum of 10% of passive voice in your articles. That’s just so stupid it hurts ! Have this people ever read poetry, novels, science-fiction, or any serious, in-depth article online that ACTUALLY USES more then 10% active voice ?
I’m not sure they’ll find such articles, maybe in Hinglish (hindi english) or Pakinglish, or Spanglish blogs written by people who understand just enough “english” to publish incorrectly written crap, duplicating each-other’s content over and over again and including the king keyword “SEO”.
So if it’s NOT SURE THAT THESE ARE EVEN RANKING FACTORS, and !!!! THESE DUMB DOWN ANY AND ALL TEXT of an article, especially articles that are related to computer technology, programming, science, law, commerce, …. oh, wait, ANYTHING… WHY THE HELL USE THESE STUPID rules to grade articles ???
I’ll tell you why. Because where there are no real, and useful features in this plugin, its creators simply try to inflate the plugin’s value by not only proposing, but REQUIRING your articles to be written in a dumbed-down, anti-scientific, anti-efficiency manner. As if you applied their rules of writing articles, and your writing would become more academic, “smarter”, better, in any way. Quite the contrary ! You will start writing for kindergarten or first-grade level of understanding !
Writing articles in a way in which Yoast’s “readability analysis” approves of them, DEFEATS THE PURPOSE OF AN IN-DEPTH, WELL-RESEARCHED, and WELL-WRITTEN ARTICLE. And articles like that were the main reason why Google has taken manual webspam action against content farms that contained keyword-rich, short sentences, that had no real purpose then spamdexing. And articles like that, were the single biggest reason behind the shutting down of large blogging networks like mybloglog.com and bloggers.com
Similarly to these two disgusting grading requirements, there are 2 others, namely the necessity to use more then one “transition words” in your sentences (do these people even SPEAK ENGLISH ? seriously… it’s hilarious and maddening at the same time), and the number of words following a headline, which, they think, needs to be smaller then 300.
Again, these two seem to make it clear, that the plugin’s creators reiterate the idea that people (wait, are those their potential customers ? or their customer’s customers ?) ARE DUMB and understand very little English, and if they do, they have a visual accuity or ADD type of problem and they might need kindergarten-levels of texts in order to understand anything. Very, very sad and disheartening attitude on the side of the creators of a plugin used by so many people.
I don’t know if the folks who’ve developed this plugin (Yoast SEO) will ever read this article, but if they do , I hereby honestly challenge them TO TAKE ANY IN-DEPTH ARTICLE FROM THIS SITE AND REWRITE THEM IN SENTENCES THAT ARE COMPRISED OF LESS THEN 20 WORDS, while of course, keeping the meaning and technical correctness of those articles, intact.
Can’t do it ? Then please stop the bullshit and take that stupid, meaningless, anti-human, intelligence-insulting “Flesch Reading Ease” test out of your plugin, and remove that pompous passive/active voice requirement, and admit that you’ve only added it for reasons OTHER then SEO.
Now I realise and understand, of course, that it’s their creation, and they are free to do with it as they please, and nobody is forcing anyone to use Yoast’s SEO plugin (well, maybe a lot of hype about how good it is, and peer pressure, IS FORCING people to use it), for their SEO efforts. But just as they are free to do with it as they please, so am I to be pissed, feel insulted, and recognise, what a degrading experience is writing articles, as a freelancer or otherwise, for customers that use such a misconstructed, poorly researched, and outright anti-academic, anti-scientific plugin as Yoast.
What do you think ? Do you have any experience in writing articles, product descriptions, anything at all that were analysed by this Yoast SEO plugin ? What is your opinion about these two topics ? The 20 words limit on sentences, and active/passive voice writing style ? Let me know in the comments.
LindaAugust 12, 2016 at 00:13
Having a lot of frustration with this myself. I’m actually getting incorrect scores in addition to the frustration of the requirements. It keeps telling me that I have started a sentence with the same word 3 times consecutively. But, for the life of me, I can’t find it. I’ve re-written everything, getting rid of passive words, using transition words, shortening sentences and removing any duplicates in words I’ve started sentences with and I still get the same scores. Also, I write text for a solar thermal plumbing website. Much of is is very technical. I just can’t simplify it and have it make sense. And it’s written for people who have higher than the 6th grade education they want us to aspire to with their “reading ease” requirement. If you don’t understand what we write then call us and we will explain it to you. Their algorithms just don’t take into account the intended audience for the website.
ComputershtgqProAugust 12, 2016 at 13:57
Hi there, Linda. You are so right … those who’ve invented this reading ease requirement, have probably not had one single day in the real world of commerce, and they think everyone is stuck at the 6th grade level 🙂
Just recently I had to write some very techy, very IT style articles, and with a 300 word article, I had to spend 2..3 hours to be able to score it high 🙂
I feel your frustration, believe me 🙂
But then again, I figured, since so many people have this issue… why not offer this specific type of business service, and I started my SEO/Readability scores specific service on Fiverr.
If you ever need articles like you mentioned, written, I suggest you give my service a try 🙂
Thank you for commenting