Is there an upper limit to word length?

Jump to Last Post 1-6 of 6 discussions (19 posts)
  1. melbel profile image96
    melbelposted 5 months ago

    Is there some number where large word length starts to hurt articles in search?

    I'm writing an article and it's quite lengthy already. I'm not running on and on, I just want to cover everything.

    Is there some number that is just too much and starts to negatively impact SERPs?

    1. eugbug profile image96
      eugbugposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      I've often wondered that. I have one that's over 10,0000 words and many are over a few thousand. Thye used to do well, but not anymore. A couple are only around 700 words long and in the early days, they reached a traffic peak of around 1500 organic views per day for a few months, but over a period of years, due to multiple algorithm updates, traffic fell to around 30 views per day. A lot of my high traffic I reckon was due to having featured snippets, but I lost all of those. I've broken long articles up into smaller articles, but none of the smaller articles did well and I'm thinking of putting them back together again. So I don't know whether there a favouritism as regards SEO shown to long or short articles. Google regularly puts short articles above mine in SERPs, that have little detail and no photos or diagrams, but that's probably because they're on websites that are authoritative.  As regards readers, I reckon it's really important not to have long passages of text at the start of articles, particularly if it's a help article where they're looking for information, to avoid boring them or making finding information laboursome.

      1. Sadaka Ahmed profile image62
        Sadaka Ahmedposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Well said. Thanks.

  2. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 5 months ago

    I think a good tactic can be to give the reader a concise summary of what they want to know at the start, or a list of what you aim to cover and provide for them.

    Then explain the summary in greater detail below.

    If the start is too slow, as Eugene suggests, there's a danger of the reader clicking away. They need to know that you're going to deliver the goods early on.

    I personally wouldn't publish anything that's longer than, say, 3,000 words. However, I can't remember ever hearing a recommended maximum.

    1. eugbug profile image96
      eugbugposted 5 months agoin reply to this

      I think it may help too to add a bullet point list at the top of an article showing what you're going to cover, especially for help guides or tutorials. Google and Bing sometimes pick up on these for snippets or the "About" section in SERPS. Bing also has a nice layout on their SERP pages where they extract information for results. I just noticed this, where they pull out the H2 headings of our text capsules to show in the sidebar what's covered.

      https://hubstatic.com/16735650_f1024.jpg

      1. theraggededge profile image96
        theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        That's handy... we just had a garden hose attachment issue a couple of days ago big_smile

        1. eugbug profile image96
          eugbugposted 5 months agoin reply to this

          Good, at least one happy customer cool

    2. Sadaka Ahmed profile image62
      Sadaka Ahmedposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, you are right. I also think it will work this way.

  3. Venkatachari M profile image85
    Venkatachari Mposted 5 months ago

    I think there is a limit for word count. It was 2400 or 2500 perhaps when I was writing. But, I feel even that is too much. A good attractive article should be around 1800 words to 2100. Otherwise, readers get tired.

    1. CYong74 profile image95
      CYong74posted 5 months agoin reply to this

      That's not true, Venkatachari. How long an article should be depends on the subject.

      It's also long proven that long-form articles over 2500 stand a better chance of ranking.

      1. theraggededge profile image96
        theraggededgeposted 5 months agoin reply to this

        Yes, I have one that's almost 6k words.

        I just checked it and it is 6,231. It's not doing as well as it used to but has accumulated 346,589 views

    2. Sadaka Ahmed profile image62
      Sadaka Ahmedposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Nowadays time is too short to read a long article. I think you are right. Thanks for your advice.

  4. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 5 months ago

    It's funny how much things have changed.

    When I started here, you could write four or five hundred words or less and still have a reasonable chance of ranking. It was actually a sensible tactic to write something short as a "test" and then expand it later if it got onto the Google first page.

    Nowadays, you have to go all in and write a thousand words plus and invest time and energy, otherwise, you're likely doomed to fail.

    As others have said, the subject matter affects how long the article should be and making it over 2,500 words can sometimes work in your favor.

    However, you also have to be prepared for the article to languish and go nowhere and feel like all that hard work was wasted... That's really the main disadvantage, the SEO won't be harmed, it may even benefit.

  5. Miebakagh57 profile image74
    Miebakagh57posted 4 months ago

    I've write articles of 450 words, that lands on a niche site. Re-edited the article to 501 words.

    Some of my stories are in a 1000, 1600, 2500, words brackets.

    Honestly, I still edited those year after year.

    The good thing is  that the word counts will be increasing, or decreasing.

    All the same, interest  and a captivating read is what matter much.

    Not just at the start, but throughout the read.

    Google, nowadays has removed its limits of 500 words to thousands of words.

    So every good boys here, including the pretty girls, can go on to suit the readers tastes, not the search engine robot.

    1. Sadaka Ahmed profile image62
      Sadaka Ahmedposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Haaaaaa!!! you are right in some cases. But entirely it depends on good writing skill.

      1. Miebakagh57 profile image74
        Miebakagh57posted 4 months agoin reply to this

        For more on 'good writing skill', visit your 'feed' or timeline.                                        Next, click 'help', and you're good to go all the way.

  6. Joshua Crowder profile image93
    Joshua Crowderposted 4 months ago

    Personally, I'm not sure I would write a long article that is "too niche" if the goal is views. I have started a few long articles about retirement and AI as a test to see if I can rank high. I'm going to be 100% sure to limit my subtopics to what is popular and doing well already in the rankings. These articles will be over 3k words.

    To some, these two topics may seem niche but there are a lot of people worried about both and I don't think it will let down.

    1. Sadaka Ahmed profile image62
      Sadaka Ahmedposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, good observation.

    2. Miebakagh57 profile image74
      Miebakagh57posted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Good luck to you.

 
working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://corp.maven.io/privacy-policy

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)