In a recent episode of ‘Ask Googlebot,’ John Mueller, a Search Advocate at Google, explains the company’s stance on scores from third-party SEO tools.
Mueller stated that Google doesn’t consider scores about a website’s authority or spamminess from external SEO tools when deciding where to rank a site in search results.
Google’s algorithms and assessments matter for search rankings, not third-party scores.
As we look at Mueller’s advice, remember that even if Google doesn’t use the exact scores, the data from SEO tools can help you improve on-page and off-page optimization.
The Value Of SEO Tool Scores
While Google doesn’t factor in scores from third-party SEO tools, Mueller notes that these scores can provide an overview of how sites perform regarding SEO best practices.
The scores offer additional data points beyond what Google provides about how optimized sites are for search engines.
“Transparently calculated scores can be useful to estimate your website’s standing or to point out actual issues. They could help with the next steps or perhaps even qualify the work that was done.”
Mueller emphasized understanding the scoring system’s mechanics as it can help determine the tool’s relevance to your needs.
A Google Example: Chrome’s Lighthouse
Mueller mentioned Google’s Chrome Lighthouse tool as a helpful tool that doesn’t directly impact rankings.
Lighthouse generates scores for website performance, but Google doesn’t use them to rank websites in search results.
However, Mueller explained the performance scores from Lighthouse could benefit you:
“The score is transparently created based on various tests, which you can look at. With the overall score, you can estimate how well your website performs for those tests.”
Website analytics scores can help you find problems, such as utilizing overly brief anchor text that could negatively impact site navigation.
Though these concerns may not directly affect search engine ranking positions, they could still affect user experience and click-through rate.
While Google doesn’t use third-party SEO tool scores to determine search rankings, Mueller acknowledges the tools are beneficial.
The scores give you an idea of where their site stands, highlight possible issues to address and help evaluate the success of previous SEO work.
To quote Mueller:
“Once again, no, Google does not use scores from third-party SEO tools for search. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re all useless.”
His parting advice is to understand the scoring system and use the tools as a way to improve performance and user experience rather than a direct tactic to boost search rankings.
Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, August 2023.