Is length of content really ranking factor / quality indicator?

2 comments

This whole argument reminds me of the one about bounce rate: There are solid reasons why some content needs to be short or long (as well as the bounce rate of some types of pages can to be low or high). So can long articles be really given preference in search?

Matt mentioned vaguely once that it might - and as usual, there has been the serious of comments and articles that we need to write "longish" articles.

The experience though shows that no matter how long content is, Google will rank the short non-original one higher provided it is hosted on a powerful domain... And there are good reasons why the content can be short:

There are plenty of on-site content forms that benefit from being shorter - Q&A, How-to's and coding posts often perform better when shorter. (Longer is far more suited to "learning" and "thinking" than "doing" content)

Maybe someone has a different experience with long versus short article rankings?

Comments

Of course shorter is better !

Just like humans have short attention span, it is all about the huge quantity that chokes the minds and databases...

It depends...

Publishing 1500-2000 word articles that won't bore the reader or scare them off is tricky - you have to pay a lot of attention to your style to pull it off.

On the other hand, 500 words is more suited to a medium blog post, rather than an article, IMO. I usually prefer writing articles in the 800-1200 word range. It's long enough to convey a decent amount of information, but not as likely to put people to sleep.

That said, though, I don't think Google is yet able to accomplish much algorithmically in the way of quality analysis. Sure, they can spot keyword stuffing and some other earmarks of crappy content, but I'm sure we've all seen some really great 500 word pieces that would kick ass on a 1200 word piece on the same topic. I just don't believe the length of an article makes any difference whatsoever to Google. I've certainly never seen any convincing evidence to make me think it does.

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