Please feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken about any of these statements. As I understand things, we Hubbers want more words in our Hubs both because it looks professional and because each word increases the chances of a search engine finding our writing. Additionally, diversifying words (synonyms and SEO optimization) also helps up traffic.
Misplaced writing can of course detriment a Hub's readability, but in terms of traffic, it seems more is always better. Silly example: if I put "AAAAAAA" at the end of all my Hubs, it would be incredibly annoying, but maybe some wacko out there would reach me through it.
Of course, our actual writing has to be natural, not spammy, or it wouldn't pass the assessment process.
Mostly true. It's encouraged to have a higher word count. Many of my articles rank first page on Google with very vague, general keywords and some of them are less than 400 words. I think that might depend on the Niche.
There are several case studies out there that correlate higher word count with higher ranking. However, there are obviously exceptions to this.
For the purposes of writing on HubPages, since we supposed to be writing magazine-style articles in my opinion we should be aiming for a higher word count. I shoot for 2000-3000 words.
I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog with 300-500-word posts that answer very specific questions. I would never try to write those kinds of articles here. But, like Rob said, they might do fine, depending on the niche and competition.
Same, when I started, my articles averaged about 800 words, but nowadays I find 1400ish a comfortable medium between traffic and length. Maybe I'll experiment with 2000 soon.
I originally thought writing longer articles is not always better, but I am trying to write longer articles myself. I try at least write over 700 words as that is what HubPages recommends, but I know that is still somewhat short.
Some of the topics I write about feel hard to write in the 2000 word range without starting to write fluff and padding. I have found it is easy to write more words when I am writing a "how to" guide or something meant to help people. I am starting to write more in this style as I am researching the kinds of keywords I think will be good to write about.
I am currently writing a Hub related to the Android operating system (OS), and I had so much to write about it. I wanted to make sure I could give the most and useful advice I can give, and this guide is in the 3000 word range. I am going to trim it somewhat though as I correct and proofread it.
I know what you mean. At the risk of sounding lazy, I'll mention that there's a point where I simply wish to move on to another article, and it usually comes before 2000.
That said, the more words, the better, but as you caution, we need to make sure the writing stands on its own and isn't just padding.
That is a great idea. I think I read something yesterday about how we should write 5000 word articles and then remove all of that "fluff and padding" until we have a lean 2000 word article. That kind of article will answer the readers questions and not be boring.
Yes, there are many case studies that correlate longer articles to higher rankings. But correlations are just comparisons they are not definitive results. For instance, I can correlate the sky with stars at night. This does not mean that there are no stars out there in the day. For any case study or research, you need to look at the underlying factors.
The longer articles tend to rank better because:
- It is more likely that they cover the topic better
- It is likely that they are shared more often as they are comprehensive, gaining backlinks and ultimately ranking better
- There are increased chances of ranking for multiple terms, and thereby getting more eyes on the single piece of work. This can again increase the chances of it being shared which implies it gets more links and eventually more traffic. This goes on in a loop.
- With more content, it is more likely that search engines grasp the message the page is trying to send out thanks to the many synonyms and related phrases in there.
Regarding my last point, what I mean is this:
if you write an article on cars. If you just talk about the body of the car and the fact that it has four wheels you could be describing a toy car. Unless you talk about transportation or include words that state that the car has an engine or a driver's seat, or something else (you get my point), Google cannot tell what this article is about. Naturally, if you write a longer article on the car you would naturally give Google more signs about the exact topic you are trying to rank for.
Yes, more words are always better, because you are answering the question in detail. But, shooting for 2000, 3000 or 1000 words on every article even though it's not logically required is just overkill. Fluff if not today, will in the future affect you negatively as search engines get smarter.
So is it just word count that makes an article rank better than another (other parameters such as page authority being the same)? It's possible, but not really probable.
I agree that the factors you mentioned are the reasons a longer article would rank better. And, of course I know that a correlation is not definitive.
However, I also can't imagine a topic I'd write about on HubPages that wouldn't warrant at least 1500 words, if not 2000-3000 -- no fluff required.
I think when writers aim low on word count they are often kind of fooling themselves, or even being a little lazy.
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