Twurdy: Readability-Based Search

Twurdy = Too wordy?

Twurdy = Too wordy?

I came across Twurdy the other day and thought it was interesting enough to share.  In fact, I came across it on a blog post by someone that was recommend via Follow Friday on Twitter.  If I still had that electron trail, it would make an interesting story, but I don’t.

So, back to Twurdy.  This search enging is Google-based, but it also analyzes search results for readability using a proprietary algorithm.  The results are color-coded into the list of results.  If an item is determined to be easy-to-read, it is light in color.  Harder-to-read items are progressively darker in color.

Does it work?  I haven’t used it enough to be sure yet.  It’s certainly an intriguing idea, but the results will only be as good as the algorithm, the details of which are not shared on the Twurdy website.  But it may be a useful for learners with limited ability to start with the easiest-to-read pages or, conversely, for students to analyze the differences between easy- and hard-to-read texts.  I’m not suggesting students reverse-engineer the algorithm, but finding the features that make a page “hard-to-read” could start an interesting process that could aid students in their writing.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Twurdy: Readability-Based Search

  1. Have to say I found Twurdy slow to use. Google’s advanced search also lets you search by reading level and is instant.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Paul. I’m not surprised to hear that Google has incorporated many of Twurdy’s features (and more) since this post. Google has a way of absorbing great ideas and features, which is generally a good thing for Google users.

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