Is Longer Content Really Better?

97 replies
I am looking for opinions on this matter.

After the Panda update, I purchased a couple of WSOs and they were all talking about how longer content was better for blogs. All of them recommended that content should be no less than 500 words per post, but preferably somewhere closer to 1,200 words.

Do you think it really matters?
#content #longer
  • Profile picture of the author Ross Cohen
    600-800 seems to be a pretty good sweet spot. If it's the same quality, sure, 1200 could be better than 600, but there are many factors - namely on-page and off-page SEO for the individual post. I'd say make sure not to use filler - focus on good content and make sure it reads properly and is grammatically correct.
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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      From my own experience I have sites / pages on the 1st page of the SERP's with less than 150 words. I would just do some testing.
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      • Profile picture of the author Charanjit
        Originally Posted by mraffiliate View Post

        From my own experience I have sites / pages on the 1st page of the SERP's with less than 150 words. I would just do some testing.
        Same here, I think I read that on site only counts towards 10% or less these days, it depends on competition as well, you better off going for unique quality content over quantity all day long.
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    I think it depends on many other factors because I have several sites on page one of google without long posts.

    I think quality it key and as always, I think the best thing to do is get most, if not all of your targeted traffic from some way other than SEO.
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  • Profile picture of the author Austin357
    My average has been closer to the 800-900 range as it has been working better for me. I was doing the 500-600 range before but my results have been better with something closer to 900. It varies for everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    What matters is whether what you write appeals to your audience.

    Tell your story using as many words as you need to tell the story, and no more.

    The key to your success will not be how the search engines count words, but how many of your readers want to read what you have written and how many of them recommend what you have written to others.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Jackson
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    After the Panda update, I purchased a couple of WSOs and they were all talking about how longer content was better for blogs. All of them recommended that content should be no less than 500 words per post, but preferably somewhere closer to 1,200 words.

    Do you think it really matters?
    Yes, it matters...BIG TIME!!! Forget about thin, poor quality 250-500 words content. Those days are over! Post Panda, Google prefers much longer, more in-depth, quality content. Focus on meatier, more informative content...minimum 750 words or longer. Also, if you write articles for syndication, quality publishers prefer longer content as well.

    Create quality, meatier content consistently, and eventually you will reap the benefits of your efforts.

    David Jackson
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      It's like that old saw about the length of a woman's skirt. It should be long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to keep things interesting.

      Here's another version of that.

      Which provides better "coverage"? A denim miniskirt or an ankle length skirt made of seriously sheer material? Which has more substance?

      It's the same with your blog posts. Adding length when there is no substance won't improve your coverage. Having all of your posts the same length because you believe in some formula of what a spider prefers (today) is setting yourself up for the fall when that formula changes.

      One of the more useful blog posts I read today contained three sentences and a link. Adding another 950+ words would not have improved it.
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    • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
      Originally Posted by David Jackson View Post

      Yes, it matters...BIG TIME!!! Forget about thin, poor quality 250-500 words content. Those days are over! Post Panda, Google prefers much longer, more in-depth, quality content. Focus on meatier, more informative content...minimum 750 words or longer. Also, if you write articles for syndication, quality publishers prefer longer content as well.

      Create meatier content consistently, and eventually you will reap the benefits of your efforts.

      David Jackson
      Well, I've been writing articles for a while and each one gets syndicated 2000 - 3500 times, some a little less, some a little more. Most have been around 250 words.

      Again, I think it depends on many factors.

      Take the advice from TBW and John McCabe, cover the topic well and no more and write for your audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sharyn Sheldon
    There are so many variables involved here that you can't make a hard and fast rule about the length of your content.

    I think the length matters only if it matters to your readers. Depends on the nature of your blog and the type of people who visit it, or who you want to attract.

    Also, some subjects require more in-depth coverage than others.

    Personally, I prefer to have a mix of different types of posts on the blogs I read. AND, I need to have it easily scannable. 1200 words of solid text is worthless compared to a concise, easy to read 350 words.

    If you always keep your reader in mind when you write, then you shouldn't be worrying about length. Far better to worry about whether your reader is engaging with the content and getting something out of it

    Best,

    Sharyn
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  • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
    I've been thinking the same thing as you guys have been saying about SEO and only needing as many words as to say what you're trying to say.

    I own several well ranking websites with posts that are around 500 words and I've recently been experimenting with another website where the posts are all at least 1,200 words. People stay on the site that has 1,200 words longer . . . but as far as search engine love and conversion, my sites with 500 word posts are doing a lot better.

    I just remember that after the Panda update a lot of people were talking about how longer content was important to Google. As per the results of my websites, that doesn't seem to be the case. :-/ So, I was curious as to what other people have experienced.
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    • Profile picture of the author mraffiliate
      Here are a few sites that I found just making up keywords to type into Google that have very little to zero content "text" on the page that is ranked on the 1st page of Google:

      New York Childrens Photography & Headshots by Meredith Zinner
      1st page Google
      1,000 exact match searches
      keyword "childrens photograhy"
      The only content is 2 photos, a few links, and the footer content


      ------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Newborn Photography
      1st page Google #1 spot
      18,100 exact match searches
      Keyword "newborn photography"
      The HomePage which is ranking #1 only has this "Newborn Photography - coming soon!!" as the content.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------------

      Travel Insurance - InsureMyTrip.com
      1st page Google #2 spot
      450,000 exact match global searches
      keyword "travel insurance"
      The HomePage, which is ranked has 62 words of content. The rest is links and affiliate links.

      I know there are sites / pages that are ranked high that have a lot of content but Google's 1st page is full of sites / pages with little or no content.
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    • Profile picture of the author Thinking_man_too
      I find that my longer posts get ranked higher quicker.
      I do very good on page SEO and the longer posts have more relative keywords and synonyms.

      I beliieve over time google will get better at mimicking the human mind and english language and posts that are deep on the subject will rank higher.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
    I agree. It also makes writing them a lot more enjoyable when you don't have to conform to a certain number of words.
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  • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
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    The articles at webpronews.com are much shorter than what's suggested in the WSO's you read, and wepbronews.com pulls in traffic that's numbered in the hundreds of thousands (per month). So the advice from those who recommend testing and focusing on quality over quantity seems to be on target (at least, verifiable with a sample).
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  • Profile picture of the author damasgate
    I find that 400 words has been working pretty well for me.

    I stick to the standard on-page factors:
    1. 1% keyword density => keyword must be in first and last paragraph

    2. keyword is anchored to link to another post

    3. keyword H1 tagged or just bolded, underlined and italicized.

    4. image alt tag with keyword

    seems to work pretty well for low competition keywords to rank on 1st page.
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  • Profile picture of the author oda
    Remember that established sites with reputation can use shorter articles with less words and MEAT.
    They are being ranked on History as much as new content quality.

    If your looking to start a new site I would use the longer article then as you get some reputation you can cut down on the text.

    There will always be times when a 100 word article does better than a 1,000 word one Its a dynamic industry we are in and sometimes funny things happen.

    If your struggling then combine 2 articles on a similar topic and put them together, If they flow together you have your 1,000+ words without Fluff.

    Oda
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  • Profile picture of the author zonkow
    Does google count words like a, and, am, is,are?
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    • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
      Originally Posted by zonkow View Post

      Does google count words like a, and, am, is,are?
      Try searching for a paragraph 100 words long as a keyword and read the message they give you.
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  • Profile picture of the author thebitbotdotcom
    Honestly, I personally believe that length is irrelevant. Content should be written for people that spans a length appropriate for thorough coverage of that particular subject matter.

    The deeper the subject, then more coverage may be required...depending on what angle it is being covered from.

    People all think that content has to be long because we're all internet marketers and we all see really long sales pages and we all think that this is some type of "empirically tested" and "data driven" phenomenon. Maybe. Maybe not.

    Write about a product you believe in and be honest and write for people and consider those people to be intelligent because they are...for the most part...and because you KNOW that the product will solve their problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    Do you think it really matters?
    I can't really add to Bill's excellent reply above (post #6).

    Are you asking whether it matters from an SEO perspective, or what?

    I tend to write articles/posts around 1,000-1,200 words, myself, and some longer than that - but that's nothing to do with SEO at all: they just get far more widely syndicated than my shorter ones, so they attract far more targeted traffic, opt-ins and customers - and that's how I earn money. Just my perspective.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zayne
    I was always taught that "Google loves content" so I would say more content would be better, depending on what you are trying to do, whether its boost traffic, make a sale, get google page rank etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    It depends on the subject matter.

    There are some niches that are best served by articles 1000-1500 words and there are others that can have posts as short as 150 words.

    Bear in mind that all articles are content but not all content is articles.

    If you've got something else (such as amazing photographs or listings of every kind of nut, bolt and screw) that will get people linking to your site then you don't need 1000 word articles on top.

    Bear in mind also, that some subjects are best served by longer articles and others by shorter articles. For example, a page that deftly and briefly explains how something usually considered complicated works will be more popular that a similar pages containing a 3000 word article. But for some types of review, for certain products, 500 words just won't be enough.

    Final thought. Take SEO, some websites offer very brief articles and others offer very indepth long articles (such as SEOmoz) on the subject. Depending on what I'm after, both serve my need. And more importantly... depending on what someone else is after I will give them a link to one or the other.
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    • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
      Originally Posted by Kierkegaard View Post

      Bear in mind that all articles are content but not all content is articles.
      ^^This is the big point. You can have a great 250 word blog post that's witty, interesting, and chock full of facts. And, at the end of the day, it's probably going to rank higher than the 1,200 words of fluff that's short on substance but fills some kind of "magical word quota".

      If you've got 1,200 words (or 800, or 2,000, or whatever) that are interesting, informative, and engaging, that's great. If you're just trying to full space because you think you have to, stick to shorter stuff.
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      • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
        Originally Posted by NicoleBeckett View Post

        ^^This is the big point. You can have a great 250 word blog post that's witty, interesting, and chock full of facts. And, at the end of the day, it's probably going to rank higher than the 1,200 words of fluff that's short on substance but fills some kind of "magical word quota".

        If you've got 1,200 words (or 800, or 2,000, or whatever) that are interesting, informative, and engaging, that's great. If you're just trying to full space because you think you have to, stick to shorter stuff.
        Actually no, I think the 1200 words would perform better algorithmically. You are obviously not speaking from experience.

        Google doesn't understand quality. The understand relevance and popularity, both of which can be modified and supplemented through SEO strategies.

        I'll take my chances with a 1200 word article, even if a lot of it is fluff, when it comes to rankings.
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        • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
          Originally Posted by Cataclysm1987 View Post

          Actually no, I think the 1200 words would perform better algorithmically. You are obviously not speaking from experience.

          Google doesn't understand quality. The understand relevance and popularity, both of which can be modified and supplemented through SEO strategies.

          I'll take my chances with a 1200 word article, even if a lot of it is fluff, when it comes to rankings.
          The problem is that people aren't going to find 1,200 words of fluff to be relevant- meaning that they're not going to link to it, and as a result, it's not going to be very popular. Personally, I've got both short blog posts that rank well and long articles that rank well. I really don't believe there's a "magic word length" that spiders are looking for. If that were the case, you could fill a page with 1,200 or 1,500 words of junk and rank very highly with it :p

          Personally, I'd much rather take my chances with something that's shorter and high-quality, rather than longer and so-so. I only write long (1,000 words+) for myself when the topic warrants it. Some topics just don't lend themselves to that.
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          • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
            Originally Posted by NicoleBeckett View Post

            The problem is that people aren't going to find 1,200 words of fluff to be relevant- meaning that they're not going to link to it, and as a result, it's not going to be very popular. Personally, I've got both short blog posts that rank well and long articles that rank well. I really don't believe there's a "magic word length" that spiders are looking for. If that were the case, you could fill a page with 1,200 or 1,500 words of junk and rank very highly with it :p

            Personally, I'd much rather take my chances with something that's shorter and high-quality, rather than longer and so-so. I only write long (1,000 words+) for myself when the topic warrants it. Some topics just don't lend themselves to that.
            Is 1000 words really that much?

            And if your SEO strategy relies solely on you waiting for people to link to you...you're in big trouble.
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          • Profile picture of the author Dawn Wise
            Originally Posted by NicoleBeckett View Post

            The problem is that people aren't going to find 1,200 words of fluff to be relevant- meaning that they're not going to link to it, and as a result, it's not going to be very popular.
            They might or they might not find it relevant. But whether or not people find it to be relevant will probably depend little on how many words the article has and mostly on whether the content is relevant to whatever the reader expected of it. It could have 0 words and just a picture or chart, or 2,000 words, all just text - either could be relevant independent of the number of words.
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        • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
          IF your content is "engaging" to your readers, then I believe the answer is YES.

          The reason why is simple... A lot of people now believe (especially after the Panda update) that an increasingly important SEO factor is the length of time your visitors spend on your pages. Your average reader is obviously going to stay on a 1,000 word article page longer than they will stay on a 500 word article page (providing, of course, that your content is actually interesting to them).

          Not to mention... more content = more "food" for the SE's to chew on (more potential keywords and key phrases to be ranked).

          So all other things being equal, I think that longer content is definitely more beneficial. The "all other things being equal" is key though, as there are a LOT of different factors that go into proper SEO. This is just one of them.
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        • Profile picture of the author tpw
          Originally Posted by Cataclysm1987 View Post

          Actually no, I think the 1200 words would perform better algorithmically. You are obviously not speaking from experience.

          Google doesn't understand quality. The understand relevance and popularity, both of which can be modified and supplemented through SEO strategies.

          I'll take my chances with a 1200 word article, even if a lot of it is fluff, when it comes to rankings.

          You are obviously speaking from a prejudice against people who don't share your limited point of view.

          Google absolutely does not value the number of words on a page, but rather the strength and diversity of links pointing to a particular page on the web.

          You are right when you said Google doesn't understand quality...

          But, what you seem to be missing is that people do understand quality...

          And more people will link to quality pages than they will link to non-quality pages.

          Quality content will attract quality links from quality people who have pages on quality websites, often without any link building being done by the author of the content.

          Content that lacks quality will have all of its inbound links bought and paid for by the person who created the content or benefits from the existence of the content.

          Google loves to see quality links pointing to a web page. When they see those links coming from a very diverse set of websites and web authors, they tend to see those "recommendations" as being more honest and legitimate, than those pages recommended by a limited set of non-quality websites and web authors.

          Like it or not, quality content makes SEO easier. And, non-quality content makes SEO more expensive.
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  • Profile picture of the author rooze
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    I am looking for opinions on this matter.

    After the Panda update...
    Obviously you're talking with respect to Google and therefore SEO.

    The notion about writing for the reader isn't always applicable, in fact it's erroneous in certain situations. I may have a website where I'm not reviewing anything, or telling stories or anything quite so 'lengthy'.
    I may have a website where images sell the product, coupled with perhaps one or two succinct comments about the product, any more text could hurt my conversions.
    The amount of text on the page is not critical. What comes from longer text is the possibility of getting found on a wider range of search terms. (Look up LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing).

    With many longer texts there are far more 'throw away' words that Google ignores anyway. Strip all of those away and what's left can often look like a well constructed description using only 75 words or so.

    You can get 50 or 75 word pages indexed for a single search term just as easily as 1200 word texts. The article writers are used to weaving and crafting lots of words together to try and lure people down a path to take some action at the end of it. A single image with one line of texts can often provide the same end result.
    Enough of "just write for the visitors" which usually comes with an inferred 'more words are better' - what you need to do is employ the best strategy to make the sale.
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    • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
      Originally Posted by rooze View Post

      Enough of "just write for the visitors" which usually comes with an inferred 'more words are better' - what you need to do is employ the best strategy to make the sale.
      I say "write for the visitors" and do not necessarily think that means more words are better.

      If a picture and a 75 word description converts, then woohoo! go for it.

      You are absolutely correct, go for what makes the sale!
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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    I tend to get bored of anything over 1500 words unless it's special.
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    • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
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      Originally Posted by fin View Post

      I tend to get bored of anything over 1500 words unless it's special.
      My youngest teen suggested that Wikipedia's bounce rate is so high "cuz nobody wants to sit there and read those long ass articles." My oldest teen complained about the same thing, and said after reading so many paragraphs of a non-answer to his question, he'd rather go to Yahoo Answers to find what he was looking for, regardless of whether the result was right or wrong.

      Both introduced me to "TL;DR." (I don't know why that semicolon is there.) It means "Too long; didn't read."

      Personally, I'll read a "long ass" article if it's going to help me understand something. But, I'll greater appreciate a "short ass" article if it's going to help me understand something faster.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
        Originally Posted by JOSourcing View Post

        My youngest teen suggested that Wikipedia's bounce rate is so high "cuz nobody wants to sit there and read those long ass articles." My oldest teen complained about the same thing, and said after reading so many paragraphs of a non-answer to his question, he'd rather go to Yahoo Answers to find what he was looking for, regardless of whether the result was right or wrong.

        Both introduced me to "TL;DR." (I don't know why that semicolon is there.) It means "Too long; didn't read."

        Personally, I'll read a "long ass" article if it's going to help me understand something. But, I'll greater appreciate a "short ass" article if it's going to help me understand something faster.
        I found this particularly interesting because I'm the same way. I was actually on Wikipedia yesterday researching something. What I needed to know was found in one sentence amongst a see of about 10,000 words.

        Wikipedia is great if you need in depth thorough knowledge on a certain subject. But if you're looking for the answer to a question that can be summed up quickly, it's not the most pleasant place to look for information.
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    • Profile picture of the author clintprexis
      Originally Posted by fin View Post

      I tend to get bored of anything over 1500 words unless it's special.
      Haha! I agree..same with me..I can't write a lot of words and it bores me if it's not a special post or article..

      So the thing would be.. make sure you write according to what passion you ever wanted to share..type type type..and then re-analyse and re-read your article, insert the keywords, LSI and so on = a thousand words.. for the sake of Google!

      I'm not an expert..but I'm also learning here.. :-)

      --
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  • Profile picture of the author Dominican
    Ever seen David D's email list? (Eban Pagan)?

    His emails are very long. Daily, most of them are long. They are like mini sales pages themselves.

    He does LONG content, and he does well.

    I still believe that longer content can be good. Worry less about whether or not someone can see your link at the end (or in between), than if they actually can maintain their interest in your words, to get to a conversion point anyway.

    If you think about it, many sales pages are long (leaving out capture pages or video sales pages)...and people still scroll all the way down to buy...

    If they do it on a blatant sales page, they can do it anywhere if the writing is good enough for the audience.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I have pages anywhere from about 30 words (with a video and/or images) to over 8500. Since Google can and does change at will, a variety will ensure you'll always have something Google will like.
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  • Profile picture of the author sonicadam123
    Completely agree with Bill in regards to writing as much as you need to.

    Looking at your competitors for a keyword can be of use along with general testing, but I don't see how it can provide any empirical results.

    Testing this sort of thing is difficult because there are so many variables, sure some sites can rank with just a couple of words, but I'm pretty sure Google still puts a higher focus on off page SEO than on page SEO anyway so it's quite possible these sites have some off page factors contributing to their ranking or some other on page factors like internal linking structure, domain age, exact match domain name etc.

    How people can give a definitive answer to the length in which is best is beyond me.

    Then again SEO is steeped in a lot of myth these days.
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
    Most of the reviews and articles we place on our sites are 300-500 words. Generally not much longer than that. Our sites do very well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leo M
    I make all my posts around 350 words and they all rank pretty well, I think the only things that really matter is that your content is relative to your keyword and having really good onpage Seo for that specific keyword.
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    This thread got me thinking about this so I started looking at the other 8 sites that share page one of google with my 2 sites for each niche to see how the content was on those sites and some were just long sales pages others where site with articles about 200-300 words each but a lot of them.

    So I would suggest each person look at the top 10 sites in Google for their keywords and see for themselves what is ranking highly in their niche right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author Workfromhomeguy
    The number of words should not be your focus but the quality of those words. once your content is apealing to your audience they will read it and return for more.
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  • Profile picture of the author samuraig
    Write for people first. The ones who tell others about your content and share things on social networks and with their friends are the ones who'll do the most for your rankings in Google + building your business.

    Long posts are great, but not everyone reads them all the way through, depends on the information given and the style of writing for me at least.

    Short posts are great b/c they're quick reads... and you can still plug-in your keywords.

    Seth Godin posts a short post every morning and his readers love it. Even his books are quick reads.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulyC
    From experience I can tell you that quality is always king. So many people will fill a 1000 word blog post with nothing but fluff and no real content, I prefer to get to the point and be content-rich in as few words as possible... For me that is usually 600-1000, but at the end of it I've given lots of great info.

    Focusing on the quality is far superior than the quantity, Google has made that quite clear over and over again - so that's where focus should be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Point Blank
    Its always best to write quality content that will genuinely help your visitors. If your really serious and want to go all the way and deliver the best possible experience then study your top 10 in your niche and go over and beyond to offer the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author paul_1
    I think longer content look more serious than shorter ones...
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  • Profile picture of the author calebharris
    I think it depends on the content and not on the number of characters
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Yeah longer content is better. It's all perception. Alot of my sales have come from articles that are 500 words or longer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Lawless
    Hi,

    Honestly, I try to make 1,200 word blogs. However, I agree with the other posts here that it does not matter whether you write a long post or not. As long as you provide great content and it engages people to read your blog, it's the most important thing rather than how the search engines count words. You don't want to compromise the quality of your articles just because you inserted unimportant topics just to make it 1,200 words. Just say what you want to say - no more and no less. However, I find to give quality articles that are most often longer than 500 words.

    Best,
    Nick
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  • Profile picture of the author sizzlemediauk
    When you read something the try to find out the exact thing it wants to convey! Panda doesn't said long content in terms of word count but was because users and readers could understand more. I never wrote or posted more than 500 words of content ever, I used to do 300-500 and its till now working because I tend to interact with the user though keeping the professional standard. Keyword density too should be looked upon if you are linking, or the use of word as repetition could be risky.
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  • Profile picture of the author icegin
    I don't think length really gives you an edge unless the content is unique/valuable/insightful. I wouldn't get too caught up with how long each blog post is. Having said that though, I have come across a few bloggers who suggest updating more frequently if your posts aren't very long. Do whatever you can manage -- you can always try mixing things up by posting both longer and shorter posts (you could use shorter posts as a small introduction to a more in-depth post about whatever your focus is).
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    After the Panda update, I purchased a couple of WSOs and they were all talking about how longer content was better for blogs. All of them recommended that content should be no less than 500 words per post, but preferably somewhere closer to 1,200 words.
    My tests suggest 450 to 800 words is optimal for the average internet user. Closer to 450 if you're selling something, closer to 800 if you're not.
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  • Profile picture of the author gonzotrucker
    I have a post on my blog that is around 500 words, and it is the most visited page. I dont understand why it's not even close to my best article. But people enjoy it "big brother is watching you" it's about the computer log books in 18 wheelers.
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  • Profile picture of the author mbarty2010
    I have atleast 1000 to 2000 words per article. I use bolded sub-topics and bulletted lists so that someone not having much time can just skim through fast without getting bored.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suraj Muralee
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    I am looking for opinions on this matter.

    After the Panda update, I purchased a couple of WSOs and they were all talking about how longer content was better for blogs. All of them recommended that content should be no less than 500 words per post, but preferably somewhere closer to 1,200 words.

    Do you think it really matters?
    Actually Yes.

    You know, The best strategy is to have 3 posts without excerpt with 1200 or 2000 word each. This will sum up at 6000 word and is considered High quality as you can insert a lot more Images, Bold tag, H1 tags and many more things.
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  • Profile picture of the author wesker123
    Sometimes i dont read if the article is too long.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      Originally Posted by wesker123 View Post

      Sometimes i dont read if the article is too long.
      That's true for me, as well. But it doesn't change the reality that I consistently earn far more - across my entire range of eight unrelated niches - from a 1,200-word article than I do from two 600-word ones.

      Sometimes length really does matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ray Wilson
    Search engines love lengthy content, they will give better rankings for your content pages on Google.

    Now, people also trust you more if you write a longer sales page or email promotion, or just teach them via blogs or email, or whatever.

    It needs to be easily readable easy for the eye. But you must have your own specific style how you write. Just because you have written a large block of valuable content doesn't mean people will be interested in it.

    You need to make bullet points, divide the content into short paragraphs, add images, add links maybe, include metaphors, weird words, etc. Grab them by their eyeballs.

    Especially true in today's internet marketing world.

    -Ray
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  • Profile picture of the author Wide
    I don't focus on the length of my posts at all.

    When I write about a topic or product I keep writing until i'm satisfied with the content. Does not matter to me if that's 300 or 1000 words.

    Some topics/products require more information than others.
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  • Profile picture of the author yourreviewer
    Apart from some excellent points made about the length by people in this thread, I have found that the website layout, font size and the organization of article (bullet points, using numbers, subheadings, pictures, videos etc can hugely increase the time spent on site) makes a HUGE difference.

    In other words, you can the exact same piece of content on two different websites and have completely different results.

    This is another reason why you should always publish your article on your website first since you have complete control over it and can test and tweak your website to see what works and what doesn't work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian Moone
    Longer content is better,untarget longtail keyword rank 1st page more easily
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerlam
    I think longer article are better for search engines but it does not necessary translate into better sales/conversions.

    Most people don't have the time to read 1000+ words especially if you are adding more boring crap just for the sake getting more content. If someone spends like 30 minutes reading each article by the time they reached the affiliate site they won't have anything else to read!

    I usually try to stay between 800 to 1000 words for pages I want to get clicks and put my longer articles like information articles on other parts of the website to get more unique content.

    That is just my thoughts on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisJohn
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    I am looking for opinions on this matter.

    After the Panda update, I purchased a couple of WSOs and they were all talking about how longer content was better for blogs. All of them recommended that content should be no less than 500 words per post, but preferably somewhere closer to 1,200 words.

    Do you think it really matters?
    As a professional writer with years of SEO writing experience, I agree that 500+ is a good jumping off point. However, I work with many clients that are having success with 250 word articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author savvybizbuilder
    Most of my blog post doesn't go low at 500 words, and works well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author mar99pan
    I am not native English so I write 300 words, it is enough to have a good containt, It also recommended by senior blogger. a article 1200 words is the best. in my blog I post all of article consist of more than 1000-2000 words. But, I do not write that articles, I bought from Plr article , then I rewrite or edit again 30-40 % to become unique.
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  • Profile picture of the author newseller
    Banned
    I think it depends on what kind of blog it is. If it's technical than shorter just looks like you phoned it in or it's a puff piece. If it's something for everyone than you'd want it shorter because people don't want to take the time to read long technical posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    I am looking for opinions on this matter.

    After the Panda update, I purchased a couple of WSOs and they were all talking about how longer content was better for blogs. All of them recommended that content should be no less than 500 words per post, but preferably somewhere closer to 1,200 words.

    Do you think it really matters?
    After working in an SEO firm for about a year and studying these sorts of finite details, I have discovered that, yes, longer content is better, period.

    The reality is, Google pays significant preference towards large sites. Large sites typically have videos, social media, and of course, 1000+ words of content. Hitting the 1000 word mark is pretty big and we usually request our clients maintain that minimum on any page they design.

    Makes it way easier to rank.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Reed
    Long text is better as it gives you more opportunities to "close" the sale.

    This does not mean that you need to wait until the end of your long text to "close", you can close immediately and then try a few more closes throughout the long text.
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  • Profile picture of the author robertphillips
    I usually write articles somewhere between 500-1500 words. Really depends on the content really. You want it to get the point across but in a format people can read and understand.
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  • Profile picture of the author crimsonhawk12
    what about on sales pages? is it better to have a longer or short one?
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  • Profile picture of the author nrupen
    For me pages with more than 500 words always ranked better than those with 400 or less words. In fact all my pages with more than 1000 words are standing tall in search engines while others with less than 500 words keeps dancing.

    But I feel it might depend on content because all of my websites follow review style.
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    • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
      Originally Posted by Cataclysm1987 View Post

      Is 1000 words really that much?
      Depending on the topic, yes. Some topics lend themselves easily to 1,000 words; some don't. Again, there's no "magic number". I work for SEO firms that always, without fail, order content that's less than 500 words. Others hire me to write stuff that's even shorter. Others prefer longer stuff. It depends. Regardless, it's not all about word count... If it were, any idiot could fill a webpage with 5,000 words of garbage and rank on page 1.


      I think Brandon's given the best advice on the thread so far:

      Originally Posted by Brandon Tanner View Post

      IF your content is "engaging" to your readers, then I believe the answer is YES.

      The reason why is simple... A lot of people now believe (especially after the Panda update) that an increasingly important SEO factor is the length of time your visitors spend on your pages. Your average reader is obviously going to stay on a 1,000 word article page longer than they will stay on a 500 word article page (providing, of course, that your content is actually interesting to them).

      Not to mention... more content = more "food" for the SE's to chew on (more potential keywords and key phrases to be ranked).

      So all other things being equal, I think that longer content is definitely more beneficial. The "all other things being equal" is key though, as there are a LOT of different factors that go into proper SEO. This is just one of them.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        When was the last time googlebot bought a product or opted into a list?

        Yes, a good ranking for a popular search phrase might put your link in front of a considerable number of people. If your title and description are good enough, a fair percentage of them will end up on your page.

        Now what?

        If they find a bunch of fluff without substance packed in just to please a search algorithm, they bounce. They make the "people won't read long articles" types look like sages.

        If they find a few superficial words with nothing to back it up, they bounce. They make the "you need x,xxx words" types look smart.

        But they don't buy anything. Nor do they opt into lists.

        Put as much effort into SEO rules and formulae as you want.

        But remember who pays the bills...
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        • Profile picture of the author Kurt
          Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

          When was the last time googlebot bought a product or opted into a list?

          Yes, a good ranking for a popular search phrase might put your link in front of a considerable number of people. If your title and description are good enough, a fair percentage of them will end up on your page.

          Now what?

          If they find a bunch of fluff without substance packed in just to please a search algorithm, they bounce. They make the "people won't read long articles" types look like sages.

          If they find a few superficial words with nothing to back it up, they bounce. They make the "you need x,xxx words" types look smart.

          But they don't buy anything. Nor do they opt into lists.

          Put as much effort into SEO rules and formulae as you want.

          But remember who pays the bills...
          Hey John...

          "Now what"?...Well, it depends. I know everyone says "write for people". I do, but I also want to test things. And I'm not sure what "write for people" always means.

          For example, I have a page with over 8500 words, plus numerous diagrams and probably 20 different Youtube videos, all reviewed by me and hand selected.

          This page probably/should be divided into 6-10 different pages. But I want to test a few things.

          First is the concept of Google "snippets".

          Another is the concept that a page that is bookmarked and accessed through bookmarks will help its ranking. This makes sense to me.

          By making this page so "big", I'm hoping users will find it interesting, but so full of info that they can't digest it all at once and will bookmark it and return to it later.

          While you're "supposed" to write for people, I wrote this page for myself. It's a collection of ideas, info, facts, diagrams and videos related to this subject that I found interesting and helpful. It also contains some of my own ideas as well as links to other resources...A truly "curated" page.

          However, the concept as it relates to this forum thread is how it should be formatted? The info is good, but should I make it into 8 pages, or should I experiment with the concepts I mentioned above? After all, I have plenty of other pages in the 300-1200 word range.

          So SEO isn't always about simply the quality of content. It's also how do you format that content. Can two "quality" 1000 word articles be combines and placed on the same web page? Can one 1000 word article be placed on two pages with a "click here for more" link?

          Like I've said plenty of times before, I like a wide variety and prefer to try to cover every reasonable possibility when it comes to SEO "recipes".
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      • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
        Originally Posted by NicoleBeckett View Post

        Depending on the topic, yes. Some topics lend themselves easily to 1,000 words; some don't. Again, there's no "magic number". I work for SEO firms that always, without fail, order content that's less than 500 words. Others hire me to write stuff that's even shorter. Others prefer longer stuff. It depends. Regardless, it's not all about word count... If it were, any idiot could fill a webpage with 5,000 words of garbage and rank on page 1.
        :
        The firm I worked for always asked for at least 1000 words. After going through over 160 website rankings in our client base, we found that to be the ideal number.

        And I still don't think 1000 words is that much.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ofthemix
    I think there are so many variables that go into this: the age of the site, the frequency of the postings, whether or not the posts are search engine optimized, and how much off page SEO work you plan on putting in.
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  • Profile picture of the author helixmechanics
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    • Profile picture of the author wolfmmiii
      Originally Posted by helixmechanics View Post

      Longer content seems to be liked by Google, at least based on what i've seen
      I really do think it's less about article length and more about relevancy. My reviews are "rarely" longer than 500 words and I have some sites that rank on Page 1 for virtually every product.
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  • Profile picture of the author wesker123
    It depends actually.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lyanna
    I always think about the website visitors first. Would the people visiting my blog want 300 word posts or would they want 1,000 word posts?

    For example, in the games niche 300 words is good and even 150 words is good enough. I've tried 1,000 words and the responses I get are all "tldr" (too long, didn't read) or "if I wanted to read I book I wouldn't be online playing games!" Lol!

    So yeah, longer is not always better.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Yikes. Is anyone getting an image in their mind from this whole conversation - and the mention of WSOs talking about needing longer articles - of site after site on the net filling up with 1,500 word articles with 300 words of actual information and 1,200 words of filler fluff? I might just end up going back to libraries. LOL.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasono
    I'd say 600 would be safe. Embed an image or a video. Google loves them.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeyDreamboat
    You guys are so focused on marketing (in a good way) that it seems sometimes you get caught up in optimal stats, keyword density, the formula for words to ranking ratios.

    Take a step back as a regular Joe for a minute and think about what you are likely to skip or stay on as far as content. While some of you may have success with 150 words worth of content, if I'm a regular dude who is looking for something through a search engine and see 6 sentences, odds are that isn't going to help me and I'll be looking at other results.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Kurt, without quoting your extensive post, I think you have some fascinating ideas when it comes to putting massive amounts of related info on one page to see what happens from bookmarked visits.

    Along with that, some of the phrases you use stick out, like "personally reviewed and hand selected", "personally curated", etc. While you may not be "writing for people" as usually discussed in these threads, you are indeed considering them in selecting your content.

    Even if the page is "just for you", last time I looked, you are a 'people', no? And unless you are way outside the norm, what you find relevant, important and useful will also be relevant, important and useful to others.

    I think that in the long run, your results and how you choose to interpret them will answer your questions about formatting, page breaks, and so on...

    We may not always see eye to eye on things, but I always come away happy for the exchange.
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  • Profile picture of the author rashoman
    ah the age old question, "does size really matter? obviously you get many answers to that question. I think there are so many variables that the safest path is to write slightly larger articles 600-1000 words of really engaging content and also think about getting some non-seo traffic as well so you are no only dependent on the whims of Google
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  • Profile picture of the author cathyzxy
    I think what matters is the content you say not the number of the words.
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  • Profile picture of the author cathyzxy
    If the content is useful or wonderful, I don't care the how many words it have.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kierkegaard
    I'm more likely to read a long article than watch a long video.

    If the author is interesting but starts to waffle a bit then I can speed up until I'm skimming the text.

    Any video over 10mins longs - unless it's a fantastic video - and I start jumping ahead. If the point I jump to doesn't immediately make sense (and it usually doesn't) I just switch off.

    I don't know if it is nervousness on behalf of the presenter or an unwillingness to script and rehearse but most (non-professional) videos drone on a bit.
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    • Profile picture of the author archivefive
      So, if I have an online glossary or dictionary, it sounds like I'm OK if some of the definitions are super short (10-20 words), some are short (100 words), and some are long (500+ words) - despite some artificial Panda assumptions.

      And that approach is better than putting all the definitions on a single webpage (20+ printed pages).

      Am I right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Clint Faber
    I think what you're really getting at is dose it matter to Google how longer content as an to answer that I must say yes and no. There was a stir when Google started punishing sites like twitter chacha for having excerpt type content .

    So as long as you have good valuable content. You should be fine with any sort of content quantity because one day you may have 10 paragraphs worth of things to say in the next just one.
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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    Articles with 500-600 words are good enough depending on the gravity of the content. Some people also prefer 1200 words per article under several factors. What matter about writing articles, especially for website you should able to put the keywords in the proper place for SEO purposes.
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  • Profile picture of the author marcelomusza
    In my opinion..
    Longer or fewer words, it just doesn't matter.
    Put yourself on the visitor's skin, what would you like to read? Do you want longer and sometimes boring articles? Do you want concise information gathered in a small article?

    This is done just by testing. Always provide value in your blog posts, it's preferable to make a 500 word article with "killer-content" (sorry Kim for borrowing your phrase hehe), than a 1200 word article filled with garbage just to make it look longer and more professional.

    Just my two cents, you should do some tests and check your visitors response.
    Regards!
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  • Profile picture of the author gccalfeche


    at least close to 1,200 words? That's quite a job there, my friend.

    And definitely, a boring one to read..

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  • Profile picture of the author jwmann2
    Originally Posted by Ofthemix View Post

    I am looking for opinions on this matter.

    After the Panda update, I purchased a couple of WSOs and they were all talking about how longer content was better for blogs. All of them recommended that content should be no less than 500 words per post, but preferably somewhere closer to 1,200 words.

    Do you think it really matters?
    Never more than 1,000 you will lose your reader. But Google does like LONGER content because it shows that you put a lot of effort into it and that suggests quality. The google algorithms know how to pick out quality.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    I do not think you have to write a novel, but it does have to be kick ass high quality content. That is what people are after.

    And also you want to give tips, that can help people for free. If you can help people for free, there is more chance they will come and give you money for more help. its simple mathematics there.
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