BillBelew.com

Minimum number of words in typical blog post2677

Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
I use the Yoast plugin. Others may be familiar with this plugin telling you when your post is fully "optimized" by giving you the "green light" on various aspects - such as the number of words up to 300, being the ideal amount. However...if this a LAW per se? By that I mean, what if you have 270 words and publish anyway? Wonder how the search bots treat a post under the 300 word amount? Or does it really really matter? Curious about that.....
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Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
Google has cracked down on so-called "thin content." So IMO, the word count matters.I have only been watching SEO trends for the past 18 months. Even in that short time a lot of the rules have changed. Many of the SEO tricks that used to be sure bets are now just the opposite.

I'm not sure the new focus on quality content will last, but right now it is *the* thing to do. I am waiting to find out if the trend toward video over written words is going to gain momentum. If it does, I'll need to learn to write explainer scripts!
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
I'm thin then....until I reach 300 words. I figure since last March, 45,000 words have been added to my blog.....maybe I'll re-package those words and either sell as an e-book or............
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
It's clear that pages with more words get better search results. Often times those pages are filled up with long articles.

However, search findability does NOT equal readability.

How many times have you left a page before your finish reading it just because it was too long?

I have solid results, don't we @SusanDay? that you do NOT need long articles to get good results. And we have this as recent as, let's see, yesterday.

It is outright stupid to think that an 800-word answer to a 200-word question is better for anybody, including searchbots, just because it is longer.

Nor is a 200-word answer to an 800-word question better because it is shorter.

How long should a post be - long enough to satisfy the query ... and no longer.

Thomas Jefferson foresaw this principle for good search results 250+ years ago.

"Never use two words when one will do."
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew HaHaHaHa!!! Now I may just post 100 word tomes!!! Seriously...I think I'll try one. I could post links to a couple blog posts that are #1 on top of G's first results page but don't want to "promote" here, so I wont. In any case 100 word tome....here I come
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@DansCartoons

Go for a minimum of 150 words.
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
If I publish what I call a "microtome", can I link it here?
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@DansCartoons

No. External links are reserved for teachers and students.

Upgrade?
Post 8 • IP   flag post
Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
Just writing 100 word posts, or 150 or 800 or 2000 -- or whatever is good for you, is not the answer. Read @Belew's initial response in this thread. The key is always that the post answers (fully) the question posed by the search. If you understand what your target audience is looking for and you write complete answers (posts) in answer to the likely questions they will ask, your posts will do better in search than others that don't.

These days, posts that fare the best in SERPs are the ones with expert, authoritative, content that best answer the search query, and much less about SEO technique.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Perhaps I am in a disagreeable mood @Rev ... not really. Really.

I beg to differ that the posts that are best in SERPs are not the best results any more. The Searchbot makers have gone full circle.

Spam posts were short and took over. Now it's long posts that have taken over.

I, too often, go looking for a bit of information. When I click thru I find out I have to read the history of question asking, compare that to the Socratic method of learning, and dive into the architecture of basketball arenas ... just to find out who won a tennis match.

I think the results in search are NOT what I am looking for anymore. I need a search function AFTER I get on a page.
Post 10 • IP   flag post
Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
At some point, the SEARCHBOT dudes are going to figure out that they have displayed a result that will take 6 minutes or 10 minutes to read but 98% of people are leaving after 30 secs or some such numbers.

In other words, the results are not satisfying the query after all.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew

I haven't found what you suggest. I get pretty good search results most of the time and typically find a suitable answer in the first 5 offerings. I seldom go to page 2 and cannot remember when I last went to page 3 except when checking for client positioning.

Perhaps it is the way I construct my search query. I typically jump right to the long tail first try.

For example, if I wanted to find great SEO service in the city where I live I would probably search something like,

Best SEO Expert in Hutchinson KS

rather than starting with SEO Expert, then SEO Expert Hutchinson to narrow it to local and then what I posted above when I discover there are three "Hutchinson" locations in the U.S. and an SEO company owned by a guy named Hutchinson.

Starting to the complete long-tail reduces the chaff dramatically.
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Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
When I write for myself or clients, my goal is to aim for the knowledge box or featured snippet. Even if I don't get there (I have not)I want my writing to answer questions in a way that could put me there.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@TParker

Most often that information comes from the first or second organic return (non-ad) so you want to reach 1st or 2nd spot in the SERPs in order to your goal.
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew Absolutely!

Time and time again readability and giving your readers what they want is the best approach.
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Teacher SusanDay private msg quote post Address this user
@Rev, do you think most people searching use that approach?
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Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
People may be typing in a single word getting a deeper search by using Google autocomplete or "people also searched for." The way Google presents results has changed rapidly in just the past 6 months.
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Member lunar_ranger private msg quote post Address this user
Thin content could better be defined as content that fails to establish a premise or answer the searcher's inquiry. Google will also factor in several other factors as well into Page Rank, or a pages ability to pull rank in the SERPS (PR is still a thing - let the fists fly), such as indexability, mobile responsiveness, load speeds, bounce rates, relevant and appropriate internal linking, inbound links, time on page, proper markup, and a host of other things.
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Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanDay
@Rev, do you think most people searching use that approach?


If they want results, they should.
Post 19 • IP   flag post
Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
I read an article about a year ago that mentioned this issue of user search methods. The gist of the article was that in the past we were "trained" to perform searches badly to satisfy the limitations of the search engines. Now, the search engines are adapting to human language and we all have to be retrained to begin searching like humans again!
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
Search engines now have deep data they can rely on to display results.

I think it is called contextual search. If enough related words are placed in reasonable proximity of one another, the bots will conclude this is what they are looking for.

As for me ... I have found that the search results I am looking for are getting worse. Am I the only one?

I don't mean search is down for me, I mean I am not finding what I am looking for.
Post 21 • IP   flag post
Student TParker private msg quote post Address this user
Sometimes I have trouble with convincing Google that I'm not interested in what everyone else thinks is relevant.

I recently needed to research the process of osmosis for a science-related article. I wanted to explain how osmosis is used as a filter in different biological and industrial applications. What I get when I put osmosis and filter anywhere in the same search phrase was page after page of "reverse osmosis" water softener articles.

I had to come up with more obscure search terms to avoid the mainstream suggested results.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@TParker

Same problem here. I look for a fact on some such subject and I have to read the history of that subject plus the history of facts, then the relevance of facts to interpreting history, then a long list of comparative facts. Then I might get the fact I was looking for depending on what time of day the fact was delivered and what cookies had been saved in my search history up till that point.

Search has gotten poorer IMHO.
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Member lunar_ranger private msg quote post Address this user
Google's Knowledge Panel tries to overcome the threat of information overload by parsing information in the SERP's. Kinda hit or miss, but it's getting better.
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
I think Google is getting worse rather than better.
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Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
some of my blog posts have hit the top of page 1 for my chosen keywords in a week to 10 days - I'd have to double check but have been surprised. Of course, the Yoast plugin helps me and when I tag the page(s) I only use the key word or chosen keyword phrase (no other words / tags) with a minimum 300 words up to 450 or 500 words per post. I then Tweet it and make a quick post on my LinkedIn feed (which allows you to add pic).
The good thing is Yoast automatically creates that XML sitemap and that has also probably helped in getting specific posts to propogate quicker . . . .
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Forum Owner Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@DansCartoons

Congrats on your successes. These page one rankings, are they bringing visitors, too?
Post 27 • IP   flag post
Member DansCartoons private msg quote post Address this user
Thanks. That's the kicker, last Feb/early March I had around 3,700 visitors on average....which I assumed was low. Someone here said to commit to at least one blog post per day (which I've done) and at last check in my Analytics, visitors are now on average at just over 2,000 - go figure (and this is steadily blogging one new post every 24 hours.....it's still nice to see some posts at #1 on top of the heap though, despite the 2,000 number
Post 28 • IP   flag post
Teacher Rev private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by TParker
process of osmosis for a science-related article


"a liquid moving from a weaker solution to a stronger solution through a cell membrane"

Drop your phone into a bowl of water. Ir it gets soaked, and dies, that's osmosis!
Post 29 • IP   flag post
Member KathrynLang private msg quote post Address this user
Answering the question "how long should the blog post be" is about like answering the question "how long is the rope."

It depends.

It depends on what you have to say.
It depends on what your readers want to read.
It depends on what you are trying to do.

The best thing to do is to know your audience, know your keyword focus for your business, and then write until you tell the story.
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