This week, Support Lead, Helen Grimbly outlines why INDEX scores can differ from Scheduled / On-demand site scores.
INDEX reports are 125-page assessments that are run quarterly from 1st January, 1st April, 1st July and 1st October each year. In order to ensure a level playing field, these assessments do not include any custom configuration that clients may have requested.
If your Scheduled or On-demand assessment runs a different number of pages to 125, then because additional or fewer pages are tested, this can contain more or fewer issues that can affect the score. Even the same number of page assessments can have some variation in the pages assessed.
An INDEX assessment can run at any time of day, and on any day following the start date of that quarter run (normally within the first month of that quarter). If the INDEX site links to a website that is down or timing out (or other broken link status) during an INDEX assessment, that will affect the score. The broken link issue may be temorary, so when a Scheduled / On-demand assessment is run, that same broken link may then be working fine.
So to summarise although an INDEX report will give an accurate picture of how a site is performing and how compliant that site is during the INDEX time, it won't always be an exact comparison to a Scheduled or On-demand site assessment of the same site. However if a Scheduled / On-demand Sitemorse score is improving then it is fair to say the INDEX site score will likely be improving too.
Note Spelling score and Brand scores do not affect Overall scores for any assessments (INDEX, Scheduled or On-demand).