I found a new feature on Google. If you click advanced search on the search page, you have a ‘reading level’ option. In the drop down, you can choose to annotate your search results. When you search, you can now see the reading level Google thinks these (and your) pages are at.
As a father of a six year old, this seems interesting. It could potentially help me find pages that he would understand and enjoy. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work as I had hoped. Apparently my about me page is at an intermediate reading level. Hardly. So is sesamestreet.com. Wow.
Maybe this is just more Google fluff, and maybe it will improve. But it has me wondering about the signals and algorithm that determines this labeling. Are there any clues here for the reverse engineers to understand more how Google thinks? Likely, Google would be very careful putting this out… but still.
Update: Looks like Google gave us a little insight. Looks like a model was built off decisions made by teachers. I’m now thinking this is simply another algorithm strand layered into the Google rope.