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Smartest Sites in Albuquerque

Chantal Forster | December 21 2010

The friendliness of a website is in no small part related to its simplicity of language. Sadly though, otherwise well-intended publishers often overwhelm their readers with legalese, bureaucratic jargon, and a burdensome sentence structure.

Now, thanks to a new tool by Google, you can quickly analyze the entire content of a site and gauge its overall reading level.

In my experience, adjusting your site's readability is one of the least expensive paths to a welcoming website.

How to find the reading level for a website:

How to use Google Reading Levels


What do the results indicate for Albuquerque?

Analyzing the most popular sites in Albuquerque reveals few surprises:

  • Duke City Fix and the Alibi, with a large amount of community-generated content, are downright plebeian with a majority of their content clocking in at basic reading levels.
  • The UNM site is "smarter" than the APS website.
  • And the Sandia website is the smartest of them all.

But is advanced readability a noble goal for all websites? If community-generated content tends to clock in at a "basic" level, then it could be argued that government sites like ought to be easier to read for the average citizen. And that educational sites like,, and would benefit from a readability review.

In any case, here's how Albuquerque's most popular sites stack up:

Reading level for the Albuquerque Journal

Reading level for Duke City Fix

Reading level for the Alibi

Reading level for Sandia Labs

Reading level for

Reading level for APS

Reading level for CNM

Reading level for UNM

How you can improve your readability:

Google's readability tool enables you to find content that falls within a particular category, making it easy to find pages needing simplification.

If you're a government services site, you'll want to a consider simplifying content to the most basic level. Even highly technical organizations that conduct public outreach and education should drastically simplify these areas of their website to maximize their reach.

Here's how:

  • In the reading level results for a site, click Basic, Intermediate, or Advanced to view pages that fall within that category.
  • Edit those pages and retest your site.

For example, the image below shows the most advanced content on the website.

Advanced pages at

If you have a moment, take a look at your site's readability level and consider simplifying language aimed at a generalist audience. It's an inexpensive way to boost usability.

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