How relevant is the 'minimum of 400 words in a blog post' theory?

33 replies
  • SEO
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I keep reading on "How To Blog" blogs that google likes blog posts to be a minimum of 400 words long......

Is this true, and if yes, how relevant is it?
#400 #blog #minimum #post #relevant #theory #words
  • Profile picture of the author mego818
    Seems like that is old. Now the standard is 500 word minimum. If your whole blog is all 500 word posts however then you are just like every other marketer and you dont stand out in the eyes of Google. I do some 400 some 500 some 750 and some 2000. The less you are like the crowd the better.
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  • Also, when it comes to writing an article that only needs 100 words, then what is the point in writing 400?

    It might satisfy Google (assuming the answer to my first question is that it is relevant), but if I drag it out, it may also bore the backside off my reader and stop he/she coming back to my site in future.

    Is this just a case of striking a balance between good content and satisfying google (ie, just use the relevant number of words)?
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    No, it's not true.

    Google could care less.
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  • Profile picture of the author TrafficMystic
    if you write short articles say 200 words and other static text on your site ie.. in the footer / sidebars etc is the same length or more for example.. then the short article pages will be classed as dup content..

    As the ratio of words in the article to the ration of static content on the site will will be the same or less for the article... that why longer article are suggested...
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    • Originally Posted by TrafficMystic View Post

      if you write short articles say 200 words and other static text on your site ie.. in the footer / sidebars etc is the same length or more for example.. then the short article pages will be classed as dup content..

      As the ratio of words in the article to the ration of static content on the site will will be the same or less for the article... that why longer article are suggested...
      That's interesting, I never thought of that before..... just to clarify, what you are saying is that if you have 200 words in your side bar (on every page for a blog, as I have), make sure all your articles have more words than your side bar content??
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
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        Originally Posted by TrafficMystic View Post

        if you write short articles say 200 words and other static text on your site ie.. in the footer / sidebars etc is the same length or more for example.. then the short article pages will be classed as dup content..

        As the ratio of words in the article to the ration of static content on the site will will be the same or less for the article... that why longer article are suggested...
        Originally Posted by Cricket Betting Blog View Post

        That's interesting, I never thought of that before..... just to clarify, what you are saying is that if you have 200 words in your side bar (on every page for a blog, as I have), make sure all your articles have more words than your side bar content??

        I know for a fact that still doesn't matter when ranking pages in the SERPs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dustin Blevins
    Make it as long as it needs to be to get your point across
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  • Profile picture of the author paulgl
    Anyone who gives you a number, run from them. They are clueless.

    Why do you think google cares? Do they count words? Since when?

    The more words, the more you muck things up. If you must make long
    winded posts, split them up into multiple pages.

    Seriously. If google counted words, then sites that know enough to
    split them up would need google to follow all links of the article and
    count.

    But that's just plain stupid.

    Do you people ever actually care about what you write? Or do
    you spend your time counting words, calculating keyword density,
    and other such nonsense?

    Originally Posted by mego818 View Post

    Seems like that is old. Now the standard is 500 word minimum. If your whole blog is all 500 word posts however then you are just like every other marketer and you dont stand out in the eyes of Google. I do some 400 some 500 some 750 and some 2000. The less you are like the crowd the better.
    That's just absolutely ridiculous on so many levels. How about doing 5,000 word
    posts and really show 'em!

    Paul
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    • Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

      Anyone who gives you a number, run from them. They are clueless.

      Why do you think google cares? Do they count words? Since when?

      The more words, the more you muck things up. If you must make long
      winded posts, split them up into multiple pages.

      Seriously. If google counted words, then sites that know enough to
      split them up would need google to follow all links of the article and
      count.

      But that's just plain stupid.

      Do you people ever actually care about what you write? Or do
      you spend your time counting words, calculating keyword density,
      and other such nonsense?



      That's just absolutely ridiculous on so many levels. How about doing 5,000 word
      posts and really show 'em!

      Paul
      I don't know if Google cares, that's why I'm asking.....

      Personally I tend to write what I believe to be relevant, I believe I slightly eluded to that in my earlier posts.

      It's just I've seen it written so many times, I wanted to try and see what the view on here is.
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  • A lot of the websites I have seen this theory written on (400 words), are sites that also try to convince readers that wordpress is better than blogger.

    These same websites have (affiliate) links on their sites to web hosting and domain names to use with a wordpress blog, I've long been of the opinion that they are conveniently trying to sell these on the back of an invented myth (didn't take Sherlock Holmes to work that out, I know).

    Just looking for some clarification that this theory has substance?? (And to start ignoring such websites)
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  • Profile picture of the author jxam69
    Some of my highest ranking articles have less than 200 words and no pictures or videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author luxl85
    It is the old article, as the google like rich content . But I do not think it is the most important.
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  • As usual, a good mix of differing opinions, giving plenty to absorb...... thanks very much guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cosmit
    Originally Posted by Cricket Betting Blog View Post

    I keep reading on "How To Blog" blogs that google likes blog posts to be a minimum of 400 words long......

    Is this true, and if yes, how relevant is it?
    One time I wrote an article and, being the dumbass that I am, I accidentally forgot to add the last word. So I ended up with 399 words.

    GRAVELY MISTAKE

    Almost immediately my entire website took a massive ranking hit, links on my pages started breaking, the backlinks started disappearing, Google even started brute-forcing my server as a sign of disapproval... That was the last time I dared write an article less than 400 words.
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    • Profile picture of the author jinx1221
      Originally Posted by Cosmit View Post

      One time I wrote an article and, being the dumbass that I am, I accidentally forgot to add the last word. So I ended up with 399 words.

      GRAVELY MISTAKE

      Almost immediately my entire website took a massive ranking hit, links on my pages started breaking, the backlinks started disappearing, Google even started brute-forcing my server as a sign of disapproval... That was the last time I dared write an article less than 400 words.
      Same exact thing happened to me!!! What I did though, was edited my post and added one more word, asked google for a reconsideration request, and bam... I was on first page, #1 ranking for EVERY keyword on my site!! :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author redchillies
    Length does not actually matter unless all the relevant points are covered. But that doesn't mean either that you can write a 100-200 word post. You should keep a balance between too short and too long in order to keep the readers engaged and google happy.
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    • Originally Posted by redchillies View Post

      Length does not actually matter unless all the relevant points are covered. But that doesn't mean either that you can write a 100-200 word post. You should keep a balance between too short and too long in order to keep the readers engaged and google happy.

      Assuming there is a minimum limit of words, your line about getting the balance right between a short enough article to keep readers engaged and to keep Google happy, was my starting point.....
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      • To be honest, I'm none the wiser now, than I was when I asked the question

        The replies on here go from one extreme to another, I don't really think anyone knows Google for definite.......

        I started off with the view that I should write what is relevant, some articles will naturally go beyond the 400 word mark, while some won't.

        Page rank is important, but so is the reader's experience. If Google does rank pages over 400 words better, then I have a highish proportion of pages that are ok.

        But at the same time, I'm not going to drag articles out just to get 400 words included, I have to think of readers.

        My sites are balanced between both of these theories, so I am comfortable with that.

        Thanks again for all the replies, they're much appreciated.
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        • Profile picture of the author paulgl
          Originally Posted by Cricket Betting Blog View Post

          To be honest, I'm none the wiser now, than I was when I asked the question
          How can you say that? You asked about some amount of words, and
          was told the truth. It doesn't matter. Now, doesn't THAT make you
          wiser?

          Paul
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          • Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

            How can you say that? You asked about some amount of words, and
            was told the truth. It doesn't matter. Now, doesn't THAT make you
            wiser?

            Paul
            Have you read all the answers?

            Look at the different variations of answers in the thread...... If I was to follow them, I would be writing articles with words varying anywhere between 200 and 5000 that are all longer than anything in the side bar..... and on the other hand, apparently it is all irrelevant.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    It is probably the single stupidest SEO theory I have ever heard. I have clients with barely 200 words on the page ranking #1 for keywords.

    But you know what? There is no need to listen to me or anyone else on here. Just research it yourself. Do 300, 400, or even 500 different searches in Google. Look at the pages on page 1 and see what you see. Are there pages ranking with less than 400 words?

    There is your answer. All the answers to people's SEO questions are right there in the SERPs. I do not know why more people do not look there.
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    • Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      It is probably the single stupidest SEO theory I have ever heard. I have clients with barely 200 words on the page ranking #1 for keywords.

      But you know what? There is no need to listen to me or anyone else on here. Just research it yourself. Do 300, 400, or even 500 different searches in Google. Look at the pages on page 1 and see what you see. Are there pages ranking with less than 400 words?

      There is your answer. All the answers to people's SEO questions are right there in the SERPs. I do not know why more people do not look there.
      That's true, the results speak for themselves.

      Why do you think so many people believe it though?
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by Cricket Betting Blog View Post

        That's true, the results speak for themselves.

        Why do you think so many people believe it though?

        Because too many people are idiot sheep that do not think for themselves and instead listen to morons claiming to be experts.
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  • Google started loving one of my page for some reason and it was only a 200 word post and without me ever promoting it it soared in ranks. This article was on 2014 model of a SUV we cover. I keep updating it now with links to other 2014 models of other vehicles. The page is now almost a thousand words long.

    The funny thing is that the page is still ranking for its original keyword but even though all the links to other 2014 models are still not ranking, this page is ranking for these models as well. So article size does not matter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sharpay
    Blog post count should feel natural and organic. It should suit the topic & give adequate coverage without being too wordy... but sometimes, an article will be pretty long.

    That's ok. If it's excessive, break it into two. Or call it a "book" and sell it on kindle. :rolleyes:

    Alternatively, if you find yourself posting a lot of 300 word articles on the same basic overall niche, consider combining 2 or 3 of those into one comprehensive post.

    I'm talking from the perspective of a potential reader: I want quality more than I want anything else.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    Seriously, from what I've seen on this forum, I would blow most of these peoples minds by the low text count on all my ranked pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Experiment and come to your own conclusion.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    This is for the non-believers, 248 word count on the page & that includes everything.

    Ranks #2 for low cost auto insurance in Google SERPs.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:www.mylowcostauto.com/+low+cost+auto+insurance&hl=en&tbo=d&gl=us&strip=1

    You can probably find a lot of better examples but I'm not wasting my time looking only to have 7 more keyword density BS threads started.

    I'm starting to think these keyword density threads are being started just to spam the forum sigs. :rolleyes:
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    • Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      This is for the non-believers, 248 word count on the page & that includes everything.

      Ranks #2 for low cost auto insurance in Google SERPs.




      You can probably find a lot of better examples but I'm not wasting my time looking only to have 7 more keyword density BS threads started.

      I'm starting to think these keyword density threads are being started just to spam the forum sigs. :rolleyes:

      It may well have been hijacked by spammers (to quote yourself), but I can assure you I'm not a BS-er or a signature spammer.... I've merely asked an honest question..... look at the contradictory answers for BS (they can't all be right).....

      For such a BS post, you've spent a lot of time leaving your sig and links here......

      I was under the impression you could ask for advice on here, clearly judging by the tone of some of the know-it-all answers, I shouldn't have bothered my backside....

      This is the last I am having to do with this thread, so all BS-ers can all carry on BS-ing.... To all the honest answers from genuine people trying to help, rather than patronise or contradict, I thank you.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by Cricket Betting Blog View Post

        For such a BS post, you've spent a lot of time leaving your sig and links here......

        Did you bother checking where Yukon's signature leads? It leads to his profile page here. Nothing spammy about that.

        Anyhow, Yukon gave you a pretty good example. Like I said, search through the SERPs and find the answer for yourself. You will find plenty of pages ranking well under the imaginary 400 word limit. You will also find plenty of pages with 1000s of words that are not ranking for jack shit.
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  • Profile picture of the author sleeperz
    Some people say length is important to google. All i know is me Julie prefers girth and hers is the only preference i care about.
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  • Profile picture of the author kaytav
    Even 400 words post is good enough if you have relevant and unique content and you have written everything related to the topic. Mostly 500 words is preferred.
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  • Profile picture of the author shawnirwin
    Quality is always better than quantity.There is no purpose in posting a blog having 700 words with irrelevant information with any quality.Rather post a blog which has unique quality and content.
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    Please stop promoting your website in your posts.
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