Length Of Content And Its Impact On Search Engine Rankings

Length of content

When you write articles or copy, what sort of word count do you usually aim for? If you are like many other people, then my guess is you probably aim for around 400 to 600 words? Well, I am going to let you in on a bit of a secret concerning length of content. I’ll also demonstrate how content length can have a negative impact on search rankings and conversions.

Word Count Is Not King – Content Is!

If you have been churning out tons of 500 word articles, believing that this is the right thing to do, you are in for a surprise. Don’t beat yourself up over it though because millions of people have and still are making the same mistake. It’s happened to all of us, myself included.

Now, I’m not saying that you should never write another 550 word blog post ever again, but I do want to point something out: Neil Patel, one of the world’s most successful internet entrepreneurs, recently experimented with the word count of the sales copy on one of his sites. The original page had just under 1,300 words, and he wanted to see if a lower word count would lead to more conversions.

He then created a new page with a word count just below 500, but soon moved back to the old page. The old page had an average conversion rate that was 7.6% higher than the new page. He then went on and used a software program to see if there is a correlation between word count and search rankings.

Using the software, he searched for 20,000 keywords and keyword phrases. He then analyzed the word counts of the top 10 search results for each of those 20,000 searches. Guess what he discovered. On average, the top ten pages all have a word count of more than 2,000.

Obviously there are billions of high ranking pages with lower word counts, but it is certainly something you need to keep in mind, particularly if you are trying to create a high authority page and a high authority site.

Google and Content Length

Do pages with high word counts rank well because it is something the search engines want? Not really. In fact, Google doesn’t really care how long or how short your posts are. Google ranks pages and websites based on their perceived value.

If people are spending time on your site, and they are linking to your site, then that quite understandably suggests that your site has something which is of value to your visitors. In other words, the search engines like information-rich content. How do the search engines know if your content is valuable? Let me explain.

Word Count and Back Links

The people back at SEOmoz went ahead and analyzed 495 of their own blog posts to see if there is a correlation between word count and backlinks. What they discovered was quite astonishing. Posts with a high word count consistently generated substantially more backlinks. In fact, some of their 3,000+ word blog posts earned them over 8,000 backlinks each.

The reason for this is actually quite easy to understand. People LOVE interesting content, and if you provide them with a lot of interesting and factual content, they are more likely to view your site as being an authority site, and will therefore be more likely to link to it.

As you no doubt already know, backlinks drive traffic. Get enough quality backlinks out there, and you will get a massive amount of traffic to your site. You can find out more about creating high quality backlink by visiting this services page here.


Length of content is certainly not as influential as backlinks in terms of increasing conversions and search engine rankings. Nonetheless, if you can use word count to your advantage, then surely that’s a good thing. Remember though, a 2,500 word article that contains 70% fluff is of no use to anyone.

Your content must be compelling; it must captivate your readers, and it must have value which your readers will want to share with their own readers. If you are struggling with content creation, click here to see our professional content creation service. Or, click this link to view a full list of professional SEO services that we offer. Alternatively, if you want to read an earlier post in which I talk about writing content, you can click here.