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What is the Quality Assurance (QA) Score?

Modified on: Mon, 7 Nov, 2022 at 1:23 PM

QA Score explained

The Quality Assurance (QA) Score is a measure of the credibility and usability of the user-facing characteristics of your site. 

The QA Score is a sub-score used to calculate a website's Digital Certainty Index (DCI®) Score. It can be seen on the Dashboard and on the Quality Assurance Overview page for the site.
To improve your QA Score use the "Fix These Issues To Improve Your Score" list on the Quality Assurance Overview page in the Siteimprove Intelligence Platform. The issues are listed in order of the impact they have on your score so you can easily prioritize tasks to be carried out. 

Your site's QA Score is determined by its performance in four subcategories: Content Quality, Content Freshness, User Experience, and Security. Individual checks with different weightings are aggregated to provide a score for each of the subcategories as shown below. See also the FAQs later in the article and the related article - "How does confirming or dismissing a broken link impact my DCI Score?

What is it?What's needed for a high score?Weighting Priority

Content Quality

The editorial quality of a site's content, which affects how quickly and accurately users are able to comprehend it.   



Content Freshness

How up-to-date a site's content is, which affects user retention and engagement. It also impacts a site's SEO rankings.

  • New pages are frequently added 
  • Documents and media files are frequently updated 



User Experience

How conducive a site's content is to the smooth navigation of a site. 

  • Few or no broken links 
  • Few or no links that need review
  • Few or no non-PDF documents (these are not universally accessible) 
  • Few or no images with size over 1 MB (slows down page load time) 




How vigilant a site has been in only linking to safe domains, and in keeping users' personal information private. Providing a secure and confidential experience builds user trust and mitigates the risk of legal action.  



Note: The Digital Certainty Index® (DCI®) is patented.

FAQs on the QA Score

If a user dismisses a broken link, do they get QA score points back or does the score stay the same?

When a user dismisses a broken link, Siteimprove disregards the link when calculating the DCI QA Score. In some cases, the score will not be affected, but in others, the score will increase slightly. The change in score can be small and will be affected by other factors including the percentage of broken on the site and the level of the page containing the broken link.

What happens to the score if someone ignores a broken link in a PDF? 

If someone ignores a broken link in a PDF the score will remain the same. Broken links in PDFs do not affect the QA score.

How does approving a misspelling affect the QA score?

When a user approves a misspelling (e.g., by clicking the thumbs up icon), they mark that the word is not a misspelling. Therefore, the number of misspellings on the site decreases and the DCI score might increase a little. The score change depends on factors such as the total amount of misspellings, the number of pages on site, and the level of the page containing the word.

How does confirming a misspelling on the “Needs review” list affect the QA score?

If a user confirms a word on the “Needs review” list as a misspelling, this will impact their DCI score negatively until corrected. 

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