How to be specific in at least 850 words

It's always good to have goals.
It's always good to have goals.

Google wants your words, in groups of 850

Writing a hub used to be easy because no one ever read it and you could say whatever made you happy. Subjunctive clauses, run-on sentences, dangling participles, and stray gerunds mattered little. A brief but heartfelt poem dedicated to your belly button caused no consternation amongst the HubPages nation.

Things have changed.

Google got involved. As we all know by now, but will be repeated here for obvious reasons, our Favorite Search Engine judges web content by volume. Word count can quantified by a computer: you don't even require a very smart computer. Your 2 year-old cell phone could be programmed to count words in a hub. It probably already is: check with the NSA on that.

850 Represents a Benchmark

Early craftsmen (to be politically correct: craftshumans) rarely owned self-retracting tape measures. Instead, they notched their workbench to delineate distances. Measurements were defined via benchmarks.

We modern craftspeople must adhere to benchmarks predefined by thoughtful Google engineers and moralists. Their research indicates 850 words means something to the average brain of the average web surfer. To that end, or some other incomprehensible end, HubPages likes you better if you spew your hubs in increments of that many words.

Resist the urge to stop typing at 849 words. Tack on that extra sentence. Severely educated computer scientists know that your writing reaches more readers if your word count is evenly divisible by 850 with an integer remainder. They'd be happy to explain the mathematics but you're just a writer and they are busy cashing in stock options.

This is a high-quality photograph that enhances your reading experience. Yes indeed.
This is a high-quality photograph that enhances your reading experience. Yes indeed.

Do you have the talent to write 850 words?

Pressing keys sufficient to generate 850 words requires manual dexterity. Look where you're typing lest you end up with combinations of letters that do not actually spell anything. Even Google can tell the difference. Always be mindful of grammatical errors as well as excessive comma use. Sentence length should vary. Excessive words, unsurprisingly, will always be a good thing because Google can't measure good writing, only volumetric writing.

Can we live beneath this iron boot of digital dominance? Looking to other search engines proves futile because Google dominates the market. Ignore their rules at your peril. Continue honing your craft in chunks of 850 English words. Keep typing until your word count surpasses 850.

Only your computer knows for sure. No other significant metric for measuring good writing exists.

Many talented writers may be ignored and unloved, but if they can't crank out enough words, shame on them. You, hopefully, are not one of those people.

Adhering to the 850 Rule allows your compositions a fighting chance to be seen by folks who depend on Google to tell them what to read. Deride those who flaunt this somewhat sage advice. Virtually half of the Internet-using public falls into this category. Even intelligent people such as yourself find yourself browsing to Google.com to search for cat videos and grilled cheese recipes. Rarely does the massive database of Internet web pages maintained by Google computers fail to deliver positive results. Time after time, millions of times daily, Google fails to fail. Impossible, it is, to be disappointed by their selection of cat videos. Some categories, however, could be improved upon. Every well-written poem or ode or sonnet does not tally up to 850 words. Many engaging compositions take many fewer words to complete. Each author cannot be expected to pad their work to a subjective length, can they? No, they cannot. Try to write an emotionally stinging poem while mentally counting your words: you probably can't do it. Silly, this is.

Only 240 words to go. Stay with me.
Only 240 words to go. Stay with me.

You may also want to include some research

Research indicates that your potential readers prefer some research in their potential readings. We heartily concur. You, as a dedicated internet writer, fall under an obligation to look up a web site and include something from that web site in your web site. That's called research.

Wikipedia is a great source for research because they steal mostly everything they don't make up. It's all anonymous and there's no paper trail. When you steal from a thief, they never call the cops. Some stuff is cited in a general sort of way at the bottom of the page, some stuff is made up, and some is simply borrowed from authoritative sources throughout the Internet.

You might just use up all your words while struggling to 850.
You might just use up all your words while struggling to 850. | Source

Our goal is in sight

If you've been following along, and I don't see why you wouldn't, we are firmly topping 750 words at this point. We have varied our sentence length, included high-quality annotated graphics, and also squeezed in a little research. Our composition is becoming penultimate and climactic because the 850 words barrier is in sight. Our fingers are sweating. Another published hub and another Google acceptance may be within our grasp.

Here is a new paragraph. We are exhausted but satisfied with our output. We have firmly met our goal and it's time for a refreshing pomegranate refreshment. Thank you.

Take this handy poll, or not.

I will always write in increments of 850 words

  • Yes
  • No
  • The vignette about benchmarks was really cool
See results without voting

Epilogue: The empty circle is awarded

Shortly after publishment, the following email arrived. Evidently this article has not garnered sufficient HubKarma to be feature-able.


We are sad.

We don't know why this decision came down and we never will. A shrouded combination of computer algorithms and subjective subjectivity wrought to put us in a bad spot.

However, we plan to squeeze lemonade from these digital lemons. Just a few more words and we arrive at the mostly vaunted 1000 word plateau. A good thing, that is. Emitting 4 digits worth of words surely brings forth much HubLove, even if some of the words are made-up.

We also benefit from another High Quality photograph. This particular photograph comes to you courtesy of HubPages robotic hub rejection software. It's heartfelt and genuine, as far as strings of 1's and 0's can be. We deeply appreciate the concern expressed by the email and we hope that in the future we will elevate ourselves to feature-worthy status.

We tried, we failed, and we will never know why.
We tried, we failed, and we will never know why.
This would be good, except it's really bad.
This would be good, except it's really bad.

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Comments 8 comments

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

It may have been your statement, nicomp, that 'Google can't measure good writing' that angered the 'gods.' They are easily upset by a negative review.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

drbj : What's negative about it? I think it's fair and balanced. Google can do whatever they want: competition will catch up with them.


Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

In my opinion, regardless of all this word count babble, the best part of the hub was this statement: "Wikipedia is a great source for research because they steal mostly everything they don't make up. It's all anonymous and there's no paper trail. When you steal from a thief, they never call the cops."

Oh, but ain't that the truth! Unfortunately, many people don't realize that simple fact. People often look at Wikipedia as some magical online encyclopedia that is powered by brainiacs, but unless you call "copy & paste" material along with random fill-in-the-blanks-with-baloney statements something worthy of praise, the writers on that site are nothing but copycat wanna-bes taking all the credit.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

@Insane Mundane: oh baby! You are so right. They set themselves up as being so noble but they might be closer to Pirate Bay. Allegedly.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

I enjoyed reading this again. Yay me.


Insane Mundane profile image

Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

It is good to give yourself some attention; ha!


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

&InsaneMundane , I approve of your comment.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 3 years ago from Ohio, USA Author

Much unnapreciated. There are many words here begging to be admired.

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