Does SEO Scores Work? The Google Debate Clarified

Have you ever wondered how crucial those SEO tool scores really are for your website's rankings?

Written by
Torbjørn Flensted
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August 21, 2023

Are SEO scores the mysterious key to success or just another marketing myth?

Let's set the stage. The SEO community has been buzzing about this for a while, mainly because of the latest AskGooglebot video. You see, there’s this prevalent belief that SEO tool scores, such as website authority scores or spam scores, play a role in how Google ranks your website.

But Google, well, they had something different to say. Turns out, Google doesn’t even use scores from some of its tools, like Lighthouse, for ranking. John Mueller, a Google Search Advocate, broke the silence and confirmed that these scores are not the magic metric many believe them to be.

What is a SEO score?

SEO scores are numerical evaluations provided by SEO tools, reflecting the optimization level of a webpage or website based on certain criteria. While they offer insights into potential areas of improvement, it's essential to remember they're indicative and not definitive measures of a site's overall SEO health or its potential to rank.

SEO Score Tool Providing the Score
Search Intent Score
SERP Analyzer Score SurferSEO
Domain Authority (DA) Moz
Page Authority (PA) Moz
Site Audit Score SEMrush
URL Rating (UR) Ahrefs
Domain Rating (DR) Ahrefs
Performance Score Google Lighthouse
Trust Flow Majestic SEO
Citation Flow Majestic SEO
TF-IDF Score Various Tools (e.g., SEO PowerSuite)
Keyword Density Various Tools (e.g., Yoast SEO for WordPress)

These scores can guide you in the right direction when creating more helpful content. Therefore, while they might not be a direct ranking factor, dismissing them entirely might not be the best move.

“While Google might not use these scores directly for ranking, they can still serve as useful indicators for content creators. Treat them as guidance, not gospel. Think of them as the signposts on a trail – they won't hike the path for you, but they can certainly point you in the right direction. Therefore, instead of fixating on these numbers, use them as a reference while keeping the broader SEO landscape in view.” - Torbjørn Flensted, founder of

You might be thinking, why the fuss about these scores then?

Well, it's because, like many things in SEO, there's often a gap between perception and reality. For instance, while your website's authority score might not impact your Google ranking, it could reflect the quality and relevance of your content. But remember, it’s an indicator, not a guarantee.

When focusing on your SEO efforts, always prioritize creating valuable and relevant content for your audience over obsessing about scores.

The cons? Solely chasing after high scores might lead you to miss out on genuinely valuable content opportunities. However, the pros? They offer a directional sense of where to steer your content strategy. One vital principle to remember? Tools and scores are there to serve you, not to dictate your every move.

SEO Tip: Always keep your audience's needs at the forefront of your content strategy. Why? Because at the end of the day, if your content isn't resonating with your target audience or isn't answering their questions, no SEO score or tool can save it. Prioritize user intent, create content that truly helps and educates, and you'll find that both users and search engines will value what you have to offer.

Let's delve into some frequently asked questions:

FAQs about SEO scores

1. Does a high authority score guarantee top rankings?

No, it doesn’t. While a good score can indicate quality content, Google uses hundreds of factors to rank websites on search engine result pages.

2. Are SEO tool scores useless then?

Not at all! They can provide guidance, but it's essential to see them as one of many tools in your SEO toolkit.

3. How can I improve my website's performance without obsessing over scores?

Focus on user experience, create high-quality content, and regularly monitor your click-through rates and other metrics in the Google Search Console.

4. What should I prioritize: Content quality or high SEO scores?

Content quality, always! High-quality content can lead to improved click-through rates, user engagement, and ultimately, better rankings.

5. Are there any reliable metrics I should look at in SEO?

Yes, focus on return on investment, organic traffic growth, and how your content performs on search engine result pages.

Does SEO Scores Work? The Google Debate Clarified

This is an article written by:

Passionate SEO expert, Torbjørn Flensted, boasts two decades of industry experience. As the founder of and having run an SEO agency for 13 years, he's spent the last decade pioneering cutting-edge tools, transforming how agencies and professionals approach Search Engine Optimization.