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?
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you are right. I also think it will work this way.
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.
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.
Nowadays time is too short to read a long article. I think you are right. Thanks for your advice.
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.
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.
Haaaaaa!!! you are right in some cases. But entirely it depends on good writing skill.
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.
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