Googles Thoughts on SEO and Word Count
The question about ranking on page 1 is asked a lot about web pages, specifically how many words are needed on each page. Generally, the answers is, it depends.
Although believed by many, there isn’t an algorithm for ‘Google SEO Word Count.’ Furthermore, it’s not as simple as long-form and shorter content outranking each other. Some variables will sway consumers toward short content and long-form content, including:
- One can concisely provide information.
- Irrelevant information is left out.
- Another website may skirt around the topic and cause people to leave the page.
- Engaging content keeps the visitor onsite.
In reality, long-form content doesn’t necessarily equate to better; the SEO blog length is based on how well the information articulates the relevant information to the searcher’s query.
Where Did Long-Form Content & Google SEO Word Cout Come From?
The SEO community has long talked about idea SEO blog length. The consideration has remained vital because several studies have shown that search engines rank pages of a certain length.
A study about long-form content SEO, backlinko, conducted a study in 2016 to prove the reality of Google SEO word count. The results showed that the average page 1 results for Google contained a word count of 1,890. Before this, in 2012, SerpIQ created a viral post. This explained that a study had taken place that showed the average content length for high-ranking pages. It changed the SEO industry at the time when it suggested there is an ideal number.
These studies are frequently referred to in forums, SEO blogs and communities; however, they are correlation studies and do not imply causation.
The conclusions drawn from these studies don’t equate. While many pages on page one have something in common, it’s false to imply content length. Also, Google has stated clearly that there is no ideal SEO blog length, so has debunked the theory.
Influencing Factors of Ideal Google SEO Word Count
Google’s John Mueller has given insight into whether the content length is a legitimate ranking factor. He stated, “Having the same word-count as a top-ranking article isn’t going to make your pages rank first, just like having a bunch of USB chargers isn’t going to get you to the moon.”
What he states precisely is that word count isn’t an SEO ranking factor. He isn’t saying that content length doesn’t impact other ranking factors. What is understood is that elements are influencing ‘ideal’ Google SEO word count, which includes the following:
- Niche of Website and Business Industry
The ideal length is dependent on the industry or niche of your website. For example, if the topic is complex, it may need length to cover the topic adequately. Alternatively, filling out information for a simple topic is not recommended. When considering blog SEO, consider your industry, topic and the best way to answer the query effectively and concisely. This is more important than writing a huge 2,000-word piece.
- Google EAT
Google requires quality guidelines when crawling and indexing web pages to determine the quality of each one. Page quality rankings are used to determine the true purpose of each webpage. Low rankings are given to those pages that have no beneficial purpose. The content on higher-ranking pages is also analysed by expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT).
Pages will be rewarded in search engine results if they can provide significant levels of EAT. Interestingly, these guidelines also influence what a good blog post length is. While Google doesn’t specifically look at word count, they analyse content to monitor:
- Cited information – Expertise
- Backlinks point to the page – Authoritativeness
- Material quality – Trustworthiness
Also considered is ‘fluffy’ content, where it has been padded out and becomes low-quality and off-topic.
- Satisfying Search Intent
Google also considers whether the content satisfies search intent or query. This means the number of words needed for a blog post depends on how many are required to adequately answer the search query. Again, the quality and usefulness of the content are more important than focusing on length.
What is the Ideal Length for SEO?
While length has long been considered a Google ranking factor, we know now that it’s more to do with quality content rather than length. So in truth, its word length is not something that SEO specialists should be concerned about.
The ideal length is one that answers that provides relevant and valuable information that is high-quality and backs up the answer. To clarify, increased word count is not enough to get a high ranking; the content needs to be relevant to the search query and provide quality backlinks. The backlinks are necessary for the articles to rank. Although studies suggest that longer content get more backlinks; yet interesting articles with intention are more likely to attract links. It’s essential to remember why users will be coming to your page, so answer their questions, queries and give them a reason to stay on your site.
From the above information, you can see that the myth is debunked – it isn’t the length of content that counts in ranking; it’s precise keyword targeting, avoiding fluff, and well-written articles. There is no perfect length for ranking well.
If you have any question about SEO, you can get in touch with our SEO team to move forward.