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Gobbledygook Calculator for Web Site Content

by on ‎11-20-2009 12:46 PM (1,481 Views)

Okay, I admit it. I’ve been looking at this tool for a while, but felt like talking it about it now just because it has the word “gobble” in it and the timing felt right. (Really? Did she just say that?)


Truth is, I heard about this thing a while back, and I’m just now getting around to looking at it. We are looking at refining a lot of the content on our site right now and we are in major simplification mode. We’re looking at streamlining the content to be easier to access and understand, more skimmable, and more visual. And I’m a big proponent of taking the “this-doesn’t-really-mean-anything-to-me-so-can-you-get-to-the-point” speak out of site content. So, I decided to run a page of our content through this tool. It measures how much gobbledygook you’ve got within your site—essentially tells you if what you’re saying is meaningful or not.


I ran a product page through it and the results I got back were interesting. Sad, but it ranked the page content level at “Graduate” level. Not so great when what I really want to do is have us communicate in plain, clear language. We also got this warning:


                               The following gobbledygook words were found: leverage , real-time , robust , unique


So, I get that. Overused phrases that really have lost a lot of meaning are no bueno.  So we’ll work on making sure we are using real, say-it-like-it-is language.  The other thing it told me is there were 443 words and only 17 sentences.  That puts our average words per sentence at 26. Ouch. Looks like we’ve got some work to do.


Anyway, check it out, it might help you as you look to your own content and are trying to find ways to connect with your site visitors.


P.S. Another similar tool: The We We Calculator which measures how focused your content is on you instead of your visitors/customers.  Here’s a clip from our rating: "You speak about yourself about 13 times as often as you speak about your customers. Might that have an impact on your effectiveness?" Yikes!