The influence of the text length of a website is discussed again and again. Often the question arises, how long a text has to be in order for the page to line up. Or does the word count already play a role in indexing?
Google recently answered this question to themselves, Johannes Muller, senior webmaster trends analyst on the search engine giant, said that word count is not a criterion for indexing (“word count is not a criteria for indexing”). This came from his answer to a webmaster’s question, wondering why his posts would not be indexed after three weeks, even though they would provide very large content with 3,000 to 4,000 words.
Usually, blog posts are often recommended to have text lengths in excess of 1,000 words or more, as these would work best statistically. For indexation, these numbers obviously do not matter. Decisive is the quality. This too is not new knowledge, as Google has repeatedly emphasized this in the past. The length of a text is not an indicator of its quality (or the potential to achieve a good ranking).
August 2019: Google confirmed – No correlation between ranking and word count
John Muller explained once again that the word count is not a ranking factor. Indirectly, the number of words on a page can still be an indicator of the quality of a website or its content. So far, Google has always expressed only indirectly that the number of words does not affect the ranking, so Muller has now clearly answered this question at Reddit:
Consequently, it makes little sense at first to analyze the competitors or SERPs for the word count. However, if a topic is complex, and the pages ranked above treat it as rich in content, then it can be assumed that short content cannot adequately address the topic. And so that will not rank high up. Here is a small number of a word so not the ranking factor, but an obstacle to a better ranking. Thus, a comparison of the word count can make sense again.
Beware, however, of highly competitive keywords: Competing here for several rivals for the top positions, this could automatically lead to higher numbers of words, without the subject would mandate this. It is difficult to predict whether a short contribution, which nevertheless contains all the necessary information, could nevertheless prevail.
The principle of causality and correlation on the example of text length
Rather, the question of text length is more about cause and effect or causality and correlation. A long text is not automatically better, but a long text often indicates that it covers a topic in detail and the trend towards holistic content goes along with the development to ever longer texts. However, there are many reasons why a website works well, and not for nothing does the Google algorithm contain so many factors. These can even be independent of each other.
This is more a correlation (correlation). The text length is related to the ranking, but does not necessarily mean it. Causality would only exist if a high number of words would automatically mean better ranking and other factors could be excluded. Not for nothing is causality and correlation so often confused.
Meets the expectations of your visitors: The user intent is important
However, the decisive factor is always whether the text fulfills the user intent. Not every search requires extensive information, often a single product, a number or short information is enough. Those who offer their visitors exactly what they are looking for will also have satisfied visitors. And if you still offer something that exceeds the expectations, then that is rewarded by Google and rank well.
What is your opinion about this? Do longer posts work better?
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