Why the Yoast SEO readability score is a bunch of cow dung.

Update: (9/1/20)

In March of 2017 I emailed Yoast support that their readability score “is a bunch of cow dung”.

Today 3-1/2 years later  I got this response from Yoast.

“Hi Mitch,   

Thank you for your continued patience. You contacted us regarding a bug where Readability shows orange when gibberish text is used in a table. This email is to inform you the bug has been fixed so please make sure that you’ve updated your Yoast SEO plugin to the latest version v14.8.1.

Let us know if there’s anything else we can assist you with; we’re happy to help.

I’m now using RankMath (pro) on all our sites.

It’s a much better value than Yoast.

Why the Yoast SEO readability score is a bunch of cow dung.

Here’s how I know.

I’ve been blogging for 10 years (building sites for 18).

I’m no Ernest Hemingway but I’m reasonably articulate and have several hundred thousand social media followers.

When I started seeing poor readability scores I began to test.

I posted one Nobel prize winner’s article – an article written by three veteran reporters in the Washington Post and one article from a well-respected reporter with the Huffington Post.

Editor’s note: I did this temporarily for the following Endnote

All three articles got “poor readability”.

Now here’s the rub.

Just for sh#ts I posted an “email template”.

That post scored a Yoast “readability ok”

Yoast readability table image

I brought this to the attention of Yoast’s support (in 2017).

The response was “we’ll get back to you”. 

The Yoast readability score is not trustworthy much like their new internal linking count.


Mitch Rezman

2 Replies to “Why the Yoast SEO readability score is a bunch of cow dung.”

  1. Interesting! I’m new to SEO Yoast and SEO in general and had been wondering how reliable that readability score thing was. I’m pretty confident about my writing skills but keep coming up with that “poor readability” tag, so thanks for noting this, it means I’m not crazy haha!

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