‘Spell checker on steroids’ prevents discrimination in the recruitment market (EN/NL)

‘Spell checker on steroids’ prevents discrimination in the recruitment market (EN/NL)

De Nederlandse versie vindt u onderaan


Arnhem, the Netherlands, 14 January 2020

Exclusion in the recruitment market is a persistent problem, with an increasing labor shortage at the same time. However, technology based on artificial intelligence can lead to more inclusiveness and diversity in the recruitment & selection process. To determine whether companies unconsciously discriminate on their corporate websites or in their job advertisements, a „website inclusion check“ has been designed. With this technology, a „spell checker on steroids“, from Textmetrics, international companies such as Arcadis and Randstad have taken more measures to hire a more diverse group of people and prevent exclusion. At Arcadis, this has led to a 10 percent increase of female candidates in job applications.

Research from Textmetrics, a company specialised in content consistency technology, shows that many companies exclude certain groups in their communications. This often happens unconsciously. Companies intend to give more opportunities to women, older or less literate candidates and candidates with a more diverse ethnicity background, but these groups apply much less for their vacancies. The root cause often lies in the way these companies write their vacancy texts. This can also have consequences for companies in a long run.

Dutch government plans legislation

For example, the Dutch government has plans to fine companies that discriminate in the search for personnel. This fine can amount to a maximum of 4,500 euro per case. At the same time, fines can even be made public. Companies therefore have to make plans and show how they combat discrimination and have to keep records on how they prevent making a distinction based on background, gender or age when recruiting and selecting staff.

Inclusion check

Because in many cases companies do not realise in which ways they could be discriminating, Textmetrics now offers the „Website Inclusion Check“. This is based on smart technology to prevent discrimination in company websites and through job advertisements. The technology uses artificial intelligence to prevent emotion from human action. The A.I. uses emotionless algorithms that recognise (unconscious) discrimination. The Website Inclusion Check supports recruiters and other creators of business content to appeal to the right target group by using the right word choice that fits the target group. Ultimately, this allows companies to appeal to a larger group of audiences.

In practice: Arcadis and Randstad

That companies are in need of Textmetrics technology is proven by the interest of an international company such as Arcadis. Arcadis is a technically oriented organization with a male-dominated corporate culture. Company vacancies did not include enough inclusiveness and therefore female candidates hardly applied to vacant jobs. That is why Arcadis started a project on diversity and inclusiveness. Jochem Beltman, Arcadis recruitment: “We are trying to make the company more diverse. The technology of Textmetrics coaches our recruiters during the writing process on inclusion and thus ensures a more diverse group of applicants. The use of more „inclusive“ language resulted in no less than 10 percent increase of female candidates for our job applications „. International recruitment agency Randstad also successfully applied the technology. Preventing exclusion is one of Randstad’s priorities. With this technology, Randstad is able to achieve this even better.

About Textmetrics

Textmetrics, a Arnhem, the Netherlands based young tech-company specialised in content consistency, enables organizations through its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) to centrally control and continuously improve the effectiveness of their online and offline texts. Powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence, Textmetrics assists with real-time suggestions to write compelling content that persuades target audiences (eg. customer acquisition, personnel recruitment) and enhances brand loyalty.

For more information:

Marcel Leeman, CEO Textmetrics

E: marcel.leeman@textmetrics.com

T: +31 6 37192984


‘Spellingchecker on steroids’ kan onbewuste discriminatie op de arbeidsmarkt voorkomen

Uitsluiting op de arbeidsmarkt is een hardnekkig probleem, terwijl er tegelijk een toenemende krapte op de arbeidsmarkt is. Technologie op basis van kunstmatige intelligentie kan echter voor meer inclusiviteit en diversiteit bij werving & selectie zorgen. Om bedrijven te laten bepalen of ze onbewust discrimineren in hun bedrijfswebsites of personeelsadvertenties is een ‘website inclusie check’ ontworpen. Met deze technologie, een soort ‘spellingchecker on steroids’, van Textmetrics hebben Arcadis en Randstad verdere stappen gezet om een diversere groep mensen aan te nemen en uitsluiting te voorkomen. Bij Arcadis leidde dat al tot 10 procent meer vrouwelijke kandidaten bij sollicitaties.

Uit onderzoek van het Arnhemse Textmetrics, gespecialiseerd in content consistentie technologie, blijkt dat veel bedrijven bepaalde groepen in hun communicatie uitsluiten. Dit gebeurt vaak onbewust.
Bedrijven willen wel meer vrouwen, oudere of minder geletterde werknemers of werknemers met een niet-westerse achtergrond aannemen, maar deze groepen blijken simpelweg veel minder op hun vacatures te solliciteren. De oorzaak ligt daarbij vaak in de manier waarop ze hun vacatureteksten schrijven. Dit kan op termijn ook consequenties voor bedrijven hebben.

Kabinet komt met wetgeving
Zo is het kabinet voornemens om bedrijven die discrimineren bij de zoektocht naar personeel in de toekomst een boete te geven. Deze boete kan oplopen tot maximaal 4.500 euro per geval. De boetes worden mogelijk zelfs openbaar gemaakt. Bedrijven moeten een plan maken om te laten zien hoe ze discriminatie tegengaan. Ze moeten schriftelijk vastleggen hoe ze voorkomen dat ze bij de werving en selectie van personeel onderscheid maken op basis van achtergrond, geslacht of leeftijd.

Inclusie check

Omdat bedrijven in veel gevallen zelf niet doorhebben op welke manieren ze discrimineren biedt Textmetrics sinds kort de ‘Website Inclusie Check’. Dit is een slimme technologie om discriminatie in bedrijfswebsites en via personeelsadvertenties te voorkomen. De technologie gebruikt kunstmatige intelligentie om de emotie uit het menselijke handelen te halen. De A.I. gebruikt emotieloze algoritmes
die (onbewuste) discriminatie herkennen. De Website Inclusie Check helpt recruiters en andere makers van bedrijfscontent om de juiste doelgroep aan te spreken door het gebruik van de juiste woordkeuze die past bij de doelgroep. Uiteindelijk kunnen bedrijven hierdoor een groter publiek aanspreken.

De praktijk: Arcadis en Randstad

Dat bedrijven behoefte hebben aan de technologie van Textmetrics blijkt uit de interesse van een internationale onderneming als Arcadis. Arcadis is een technisch georiënteerde organisatie met een door mannen gedomineerde bedrijfscultuur. Vacatures van het bedrijf bleken niet genoeg aan de inclusiviteit binnen het bedrijf bij te dragen, waardoor vrouwelijke kandidaten nauwelijks solliciteerden.
Daarom startte Arcadis een project rondom diversiteit en inclusiviteit. Jochem Beltman, recruitment Arcadis: “Wij zijn bezig met een diversiteitsslag. De technologie van Textmetrics coacht de recruiters tijdens het schrijfproces op inclusie en zorgt daarmee voor een meer diverse groep sollicitanten. Het gebruik van meer ‘inclusieve’ taal zorgde voor maar liefst 10 procent meer vrouwelijke kandidaten bij
sollicitaties”. Ook uitzendorganisatie Randstad past de technologie met succes toe. Het voorkomen van uitsluiting is een van de prioriteiten van Randstad. Met deze technologie is Randstad nog beter in staat om dit te realiseren.

NB: De tekst van dit persbericht is ook door de technologie van Textmetrics geanalyseerd en genderneutraal geschreven.

SEO as a component of your marketing strategy

SEO as a component of your marketing strategy

Ever since the creation of Google, we have seen increased traffic from the search engine every year. Last year was an important turning point. For the first time in its history, the search engine shifted into being an answer engine. That has its consequences for traditional SEO. In the coming years, SEO will become more difficult, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a competitive edge in outperforming your competition. To put it even more strongly, you can absolutely use it to your advantage!

From search engine to answer engine

Where Google used to offer 10 options in reply to your search query, Google now answers more and more queries directly in the search engine. Users no longer have to click through to a website, but rather get an answer straight from Google. Increasingly, Google uses the Knowledge Graph for this purpose. It’s different from the snippet feature, where the source gets credit and a reference (read: link). With the Knowledge Graph — which is quickly replacing the featured snippets — that isn’t the case. Clickthroughs from the Knowledge Graph to your website are off the table.

On desktop, 30% of users are no longer clicking through to a website after reading the answer they were looking for. That means that one in three people doesn’t leave the search engine to get more information from your website. A whopping 54.4% of all mobile users no longer click through to a website (source: Rand Fishkin presentation, YoastCon 2019).

From traditional SEO to holistic SEO

In short, Google is no longer giving content writers the credit they deserve. And users get their answers immediately, which makes them much less likely to click through to your website. All that makes SEO more complicated, but it doesn’t mean that won’t be able to get traffic. There are opportunities up for grabs here. It’s best not to consider SEO as a standalone discipline, but rather to integrate it into your marketing strategy. Holistic SEO is the answer. Which really means that SEO ties everything together. In that sense, multiple elements are essential, such as:

  • outstanding content;
  • website authority;
  • short website loading time;
  • user-friendliness;
  • and a great mobile version of the website.

Check for SEO and readability

So SEO is becoming trickier, but don’t be mistaken: organic traffic from search engines still holds a lot of potential. The arrival of Knowledge Graphs does mean that fewer visitors will be leaving the search engine, but there is still a large percentage of users who won’t be satisfied with a short answer. And that’s unlikely to change any time soon. That’s why you should make SEO an element of your marketing strategy and find out where your opportunities lie. And keep in mind that it’s not necessarily a bad thing for Google to consider your overall content.

Do you write your text content in our editor or do you use one of our plugins or add-ins? Then we’ll give you live suggestions to optimize your written content for SEO. But that’s not the only tool you can use in service of the ‘new SEO.’ For great content, the readability of your text is also very important. The readability level of your content should be matched to your target audience. With our Text Conversion Optimizer module, you can analyze written content for its quality and readability. We also offer you practical tips to improve your content and increase your website conversions.

Focus on click volume and your competition

Knowing that Google users are becoming less likely to click through, it’s smart to focus your keyword research on click volume rather than search volume. Whether or not users are searching for specific questions is becoming less relevant, but the click volume definitely offers some conclusions. Those are the keywords leading to clickthroughs. That’s why you should focus on search terms with a lower search volume, but a higher clickthrough ratio.

Now that clicks are becoming more scarce, it’s even more important to outperform your competitors. With our Content Ranking Index, it’s easy to keep an eye on your position in Google search. You can compare your ranking with those of your competition and get insights into improving your content and drawing more visitors. That way you stay one step ahead of the competition and ensure that users who choose to click through, will click through to your website.

Textmetrics as a resource

SEO is far from dead, but we all need to accept that SEO has taken a new turn. But there are still possibilities: to keep scoring in Google search, we need to adjust along with the search engine — or rather answer engine. Textmetrics is an incredible resource to navigate that shift. By using our tools, your content will be easier to discover and lead to higher conversion rates. Our tool is developing along with Google’s changes and updates, so you know that your SEO will keep scoring.

How to reach Google’s Position Zero [7-step plan]

How to reach Google’s Position Zero [7-step plan]

You’ve probably noticed that Google’s search results are becoming much more visual. Instead of just a string of text links, you’ll more often get served a lineup of images, videos, cards, and lists. Some of those results are reserved for giants like Wikipedia or Google Maps, but there’s also a slot where mere mortals find themselves in the spotlight: Position Zero – also known as the Featured Snippets. Keep reading this article to discover what the #0 ranking position is, what makes it so important, and how to get your own website into that spot.

What is Position Zero? (a.k.a. Featured Snippet)

Some questions don’t take very long to answer.

For example: how do you boil an egg?

If you want to know more, you can click through, but many readers will be satisfied with a short answer like this one. That’s exactly why Google rolled out Featured Snippets: to provide anyone who’s searching with the quickest possible results.

So how does it work in your favor to land in that Position Zero spot? Many people won’t actually click through to your website since the answer is right there. Online marketing giant Hubspot conducted research and concluded that a page in position 0 will actually receive 114% more visitors than the page in position 1. Let’s say that’s pretty effective.

Is it relevant to your company?

Featured Snippets often answer how/who/what/why questions with concise answers. For any organization there are certainly answers you can come up with that will help you reach your target audience.

But reaching the 0-position isn’t in the cards for everyone. As a small business owner, the smartest strategy is to set your sights on local SEO.

If you’re struggling to rank highly in search results on a regular basis, it’s best to concentrate on general SEO tips like link building and readability.

1. Look for the most suitable candidate

Is your website reaching top ranking quite frequently? That’s the perfect opportunity to aim for that Position Zero.

Hubspot’s research shows that traditional ranking factors like site authority have much less of an impact in the choice of the Featured Snippet in the top results. Identify keywords that are already helping you score and decide which questions to match them with. Are you unsure of your top ranking keywords? With a solution like Textmetrics Content Ranking Index, it’s easy to keep an eye on the keywords that are working in your favor.

2. The exact question in the title

By now you have a list of keywords that are improving your Google ranking. Take a closer look: are they the kind of how/what/where questions that Google usually places in Position Zero?

If they are, but someone else is ranking on top: keep optimizing your page for a position 0 ranking. More on that in a moment.

If they are not: try to think of related questions that could help you land in the #0 position. Textmetrics keyword analysis will offer you search queries related to your top keywords!

3. Write a text of 54-58 words

Perhaps your readers enjoy an elaborate literary essay on a specific topic, but it won’t land you in Position Zero.

Try to answer a question as simply and clearly as possible. The ideal text length hovers between 54 and 58 words.

Does that mean that your blog or article needs to be that long (or short)? Absolutely not! In fact, Google loves it when you do a (structured) deep dive into your material. Just be sure to include a short summary that provides an answer to the main question.

4. Lists and tables for the win

It can be tricky to explain in just a few words how something works or what it’s all about. That’s when it’s smart to use stylistic devices like:

  • lists (just like this one);
  • rankings (1, 2, 3);
  • or columns and tables to outline more complex information.

Petcarerx.com has a table in its Featured Snippet

5. Compile related questions and answers

Any question can lead to yet another question. It’s a great opportunity to reach the Position Zero slot in even more search queries. That’s why it’s important to include links to related questions in your articles and posts.

A simple way to find related questions is to type your own search query into Google. At the bottom of the results page, you’ll find alternative questions that people are searching for.


How do you make iced coffee?

Related searches:

How to make iced coffee with milk?

How to make vanilla iced coffee?

6. Monitor your Featured Snippets

The Position Zero ranking is never set in stone. That’s great news if you have yet to reach that top position, but a bummer if you’re already on top. That’s why it’s smart to keep an eye on your ranking in searches that are essential to your website and audience.

With the Content Ranking Index, you can monitor how you rank for (a maximum of) 30 different keywords compared to your competitors. Thanks to automated weekly or monthly reports, it’s easy to know when it’s time to take action.

7. Automate your search engine optimization

Think of Position Zero as the pinnacle of your SEO strategy. It is the final optimization that can help you overtake your competitors. However, it’s important to keep track of the basics of search engine optimization. Ensure that all your content is automatically made Google-proof. For example, try the SEO-editor by Textmetrics (also available as a plug-in for WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, SiteCore, and Word).


New user interface for Textmetrics

New user interface for Textmetrics

Recently we’ve launched a brand new interface of Textmetrics. We worked very hard on this new interface which gives our users an even better experience of creating content!

In the past years we have been adding a lot of functionality to Textmetrics. The time came to declutter the users interface and reorganize where you can access all functionalities on the editor page.

What’s new?

All fonts and icons are restyled. The most important optical change is the position of the menu in the dashboard. The menu is moved to the left side of the dashboard. You can easily switch between modules which makes the process of optimizing your content even more.

The editor became more user friendly. While writing your text you can easily use one of the other modules without leaving the editor; like a keyword analysis or setting a page tracker.  There’s also an option to check your version history and restore your text if necessary.

Beta version available

Right now you can try the beta version of the new user interface. As a Textmetrics user you can easily switch to the new version (click on the orange button ‘new version’ in the menu on your dashboard).

We would like to hear your feedback to improve the new interface even more and make the definitive switch to the new design. Start a chat conversion or fill in a short questionnaire.

Regularly Textmetrics updates

Besides the new interface we’re also working on an update and extending of our features. We update Textmetrics regularly to add new features and improve existing ones. Our mission is to make content creation easy and fun.  A high-level overview of each update, you’ll find in our knowledgdebase.

Looking for specific features, functionality or plugin(s)? Or do you have SEO questions? We love to hear your ideas and suggestions – please get in touch:  support@Textmetrics.com or start a chat conversation!





7 link building tips for 2018

7 link building tips for 2018

Once upon a time, it was the holy grail for search engine optimization. But due to some questionable practices, attention for link building in SEO-land seems to have dropped over the past few years. In this article, you’ll get a refresher on what link building is and how you can still successfully implement it in 2018 to get your website a higher Google search ranking.

What is link building?

A link to your website is considered a vote of confidence. Someone thinks your content is so worthwhile that they decided to reference it. At least, that is why Google originally started using backlinks as an important ranking factor in its search results. The more existing links from relevant and popular websites to your site, the higher you would score in specific keyword searches. With link building, you actively search for links to your own site.

Does link building still work in 2018?

As Google got smarter, hundreds of other factors became important in determining your website’s ranking. Because of that, some marketers decided to focus mainly on SEO on the website itself. Google also started to recognize shady link building practices. Google now penalizes any links that seem to exist solely to boost a search ranking.

Does that mean you should forget about link building altogether in 2018? No, that would be a shame. When you use link building responsibly, it’s still a great way to draw a significant number of visitors to your website. Not only thanks to the links in question but thanks to higher placement in search results.

#1 Ask your contacts for relevant links

If you haven’t already done so: ask your professional contacts for a relevant link to your website. Preferably not on a round-up page full of collected links, but rather as a reference in a case study, for example. Your regular suppliers and contractors are sure to be open to the idea.

#2 Create enough internal links

Another quick link building hack is to create internal links on your website. Be careful not to overdo it, though. Always keep the website visitors top of mind. When would it be relevant for them to have the option to navigate to another page?

#3 Guest blog on relevant platforms

Just like link building, guest blogs have been declared dead multiple times over by SEO marketers. That definitely had something to do with poor guest blogging practices where blog posts were placed on unrelated platforms on a massive scale. But writing guest blogs can still add value when you do so on websites that are related to your field and actually have something relevant to offer their visitors.

#4 Reviews will boost your credibility

Reviews on sites like Facebook, Google Maps, SiteJabber, and Yelp are very valuable since they do double duty as links to your website. Actively ask your clients and customers to leave you a review on those platforms. You could offer a reward like a discount voucher or an entry in a prize draw. Most platforms won’t allow you to explicitly request positive reviews, but asking for a review is fine.

#5 Write the best article ever

Textmetrics competitor analysis allows you to find out who your most important online competitors are. You’ll also discover in which keyword searches they rank the highest. Next, take a look at your competitors’ successful blog posts or pages containing those keywords.

Choose one of those articles, then write an article on the same topic. The huge difference: make your article ten times more excellent. Spend more time writing it, add more visuals, quote more experts, etc. The resulting article will generate more links over time.

#6 Pay attention to who is linking to your competition

There’s really no need to wait passively for great backlinks. If you’re offering truly incredible content, you can actively request backlinks. A smart way to do so is to use a tool like Moz Site Explorer to discover which sites are linking to your competitors’ pages. Next, reach out to those sites and ask them to include a link to your (superior) content instead.

#7 Write with Textmetrics

Link building is just one element of search engine optimization. Rather than a one-time project, think of SEO as an ongoing effort. Website owners who use Textmetrics report an average rise of 300% in Google search results. As you write, the smart editor offers real-time tips to make your content SEO-proof. For example by suggesting that you include a relevant internal link in your article.