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Google does not use scores from third party SEO tools or services. Well duh?

In a recent video, Google Search Advocate John Mueller reiterated that Google Search does not use SEO tool scores for ranking websites. Mueller said that these scores can be helpful for identifying potential SEO issues, but they should not be used as a direct measure of a website’s ranking potential.

John said,

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s about a website’s authority or a rating about spamminess, Google doesn’t use these scores”.

But he also said,

“Transparently calculated scores can be useful to estimate your website’s standing or to point out actual issues”.

Third party tools such as Semrush spring to mind. We use Semrush on a regular basis to benchmark authority scores or to run a site audit to discover technical issues. While in the video, John Mueller used Google’s own Lighthouse test as an example of a tool that will show you performance scores, yet isn’t used by Google Search for ranking.

So, what’s the takeaway here?

When you consider what is actually being said here, it’s sort of obvious. Of course Google doesn’t use the scores directly. Did anyone really think that?

The scores shouldn’t be taken literally. But they are incredibly useful to benchmark your site against competitors to help identify where the focus should be, or to measure the direction of travel for your site. Is your site improving or getting worse over time? How does it stack up to competitors in terms of authority score or keyword universe? Are there many technical issues?

There is no need to ditch the tools. Keep using them. What’s the alternative? But understand they are not directly linked to your position on the SERP., so don’t obsess. They often use estimated data and should only be used as an indication.

What do you think?

Watch the full video here:

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