Is Content Length a Google Ranking Factor?

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Google Ranking Factor
Google Ranking Factor

There’s no question that executing the best SEO practices online yields great results and a lot of opportunities for a brand or business. The problem here is that these practices tend to evolve, and so content marketing should also adapt in order to stay relevant.

One such argument that can fetch you conflicting views from experts is the value of content length. Is content length a Google ranking factor or not? Let’s discuss.

The Voice of the Majority

If you’re going to browse through most articles about content length and if it’s indeed a ranking factor, you’ll end up with long articles that are of course advocating that it is. 

Before we proceed, let us define what is considered short and long-form content. As per Google, 300 words just won’t cut it. That’s too thin of an article to even warrant any credibility. The sweet spot in terms of length is probably around 700-1,000 words. But what most consider as long-form is right around 2,000 to 2,500 words. 

In fact, most first page articles are right around that mark. Which is further proof that long-form content is indeed a factor for Google ranking. Except that it’s not everything that Google considers, either.

To add a little bit of context, a 2,000 to 2,500-word article will take about 10 minutes to read on average. It would also be about 5 pages long. So, why do most experts say that having a good amount of length matters? Here are a few reasons why:

  • Long articles tend to earn more backlinks: Long-form content has the chance to talk about certain topics in-depth. When done right, it gains credibility and gets cited often.  
  • Better conversions: Studies suggest that longer articles lead to about 45% conversions.
  • Gets more shares: Longer content also gets more interest, thus earning more shares, especially on social media.
  • Dwell time: There’s also what we call dwell time, which refers to the amount of time users stay on your site when engaged in a meaningful read.

What Does Google Have To Say About It?

The fact of the matter is that Google does not seem to care about length aside from super-thin content, as we mentioned above. Google’s top brass themselves says that length does not matter. So, what does?

An obvious factor, actually, and that is the quality of the content written. It’s the ability of the content to satisfy the queries of users. Well-thought-out, well-researched, and well-written articles should rank better than lengthy 3,000-word articles that don’t really say anything. 

Bottom Line (and Other Things That Actually Matter)

Quality over quantity should be our biggest takeaway from this discussion, but also remember that Google is governed by algorithms. 

Please take note of these factors that you’re better off considering i.e. keyword optimization, comprehensiveness of the article, and the little things, like grammar and spelling.

It’s all about the willingness to convey a message, a story, information, and knowledge. 

 

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