How The Length Of Your Content Can Affect Your Google Ranking
In the fast-paced world of SEO and Google Ranking, people are competing to see who will earn that first place. They keep creating new content, all up to the standards that search engines set but it’s sometimes impossible to get higher in the rankings.
Experts keep researching the subject of Ranking and factors that affect it. It’s a fine science and no one knows for sure what exactly affects our ranking on Google – at least not entirely. And the other thing is that Google changes its algorithms all the time. So the ranking factors become not as important as they were before and vice versa.
There have been speculations for a while now that length of your posts has a serious effect on your ranking. Take a look at some of the studies that have been conducted over the years and what their general take on this is:
- Brian Dean’s study, 2016 - He was trying to deduct which factors mostly affect Ranking Position on Google and one of those factors was the content length. His conclusion was that length does have some effect on general Google Ranking since most of the highest ranking articles are above 1500 words and second position articles are mostly around 2000 words long.
- Cognitive SEO - This study said that, on the contrary, with top five sites, the shorter length better correlates with their success in the Google Ranking.
These studies have all come to a different conclusion but recent opinions mostly reflect on the SerpiQ study which said that length in combination with another factor or as a result of another factor could be beneficial for your Google Ranking.
There are also thoughts on plagiarism as one of the major factors. You can’t just take text, image or video from another popular website and expect to receive the same ranking position. However, plagiarism is an easy fix by using Copyscape or WriteMyX. Content is a King! Google gives more value to unique content and it ranks better.
Let’s take a look at what those combinations and results could be.
#1. Sites with long content get more backlinks
Links are an extremely important factor in your Google Ranking. They are acquired organically, through your content and they bring a lot to the table when it comes to ranking.
If you are wondering why links provide such a powerful role in this, the answer is simple – they signal to Google that your content is useful and appreciated by your audience.
But how do links and length correlate?
Well, people are simply more likely to link back to longer content as long as it’s of high quality. It often holds more valuable information, graphs, pictures, videos and anything else you might need to back your argument.
Even Moz did a study on this back in 2011 and concluded that the longer the content is the more backlinks it gets both from the social media and other websites in its niche.
Images source: Moz Blog
#2. Google implemented an algorithm that features in-depth content
Most people use Google to look for detailed information like stats, graphs, details about something they have to know. Longer content tends to check all of these boxes and that’s why we usually find longer, more in-depth content among the first few places.
#3. Sites with longer content get more social media exposure
Even research – like the one from QuickSprout – confirms that longer posts have gained more attention and therefore shares on social media. Considering that social media shares are one of the most important factors in ranking, it’s no wonder that longer content is usually at the top of the lists.
#4. Longer content gathers more conversions
This was tried and tested with marketing experiments done on Google AdWords which concluded that people reacted better to the longer copy than to the shorter copy. Even longer copy brought the best results when it comes to conversions.
There are also other things that affect your ranking – directly or indirectly. Spelling and grammar, for instance, can harm you if not done right. People tend to avoid websites with mistakes like these and that seriously deteriorates your ranking. Use spell checks like 1Day2Write.
Length certainly does have something to do with Google Ranking. However, what you should mainly focus on is quality. No matter how long or how short your content is, good quality will find its way to the readers.
Joel Syder is an IT analyst, coach, tutor and aspiring writer at AcademicBrits and OriginWritings. He enjoys helping people to realize their potential in exciting field of information technology as well as creating articles about things that excite him.
Thanks for posting this, and especially the links to the studies (though the SerpiQ one doesn’t seem to open).
From my experience, longer posts and higher quality seem to go hand-in-hand. There’s greater effort in writing a 2,000+ word post, so if you’re putting in the time it’s far more likely you’ll do it properly. Plus, it’s difficult to re-hash a subject or copy/paste your way to something that long and maintain a coherent narrative (not that I’ve ever tried!).