Thanks to Google Panda update. Many bloggers are now focusing on writing posts that has good number of words. They are writing sentences in way to have the maximum word count. Some are even writing the same thing multiple times in their posts by rephrasing the same sentences. If you are using wordpress plugins like WordPress SEO by yoast, you must have noticed that it insist on having 300+ words in the post.
If you have worked on panda recovery measures you must have heard the term ‘thin content’. Lots of SEO blogs have wrote many things on thin content but none of them have provided exact definition of thin content. In Google’s eyes thin content is just low quality content. Is it really important to have 300 plus words in the body copy of a page? This is what Google says on this issue:-
One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.
However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.
So Google here says both the things, it says to have rich information content and also says that it penalize sites with more words but less authentic content.
Is it necessary to have 300+ words ?
Google does not says anything about the ideal word count or keyword density in the post. Spammers are always ahead in using the so called black hat SEO tactics. If having more words in the post is the criteria of better ranking in Google, then all the spammers and auto bloggers should be leading the search engine results. Because spammers are the one who care the most about such things. There are lots of auto blogging tools that can generate post with desired keyword density and word count. So it shouldn’t be difficult for spammers to rank well. But the Google search results are still very clean and spam free. This shows that more word count is not the ideal factor responsible for high search engine ranking. Even some video and photo blogs ranks well in Google web search results despite having the minimum number of words.
Why it is recommended to have 300+ words ?
The reason for the 300+ word recommendation is that you need to have enough content on a page for a search engine to think it to be worth sending a visitor to it. 300 word factor was chosen as a guideline to prevent people from writing a sentence or two , then thinking they should show up for searches – it is not a hard and fast rule by any means. Just don’t expect to write one sentence then dominate your niche with it.
How Google decide if it’s enough content?
Google aims to provide user with the results that can give him sufficient details about the thing one is looking for. Few lines can’t provide in depth details, so Google prefers the pages that can provide sufficient details. Also Google does not wants to deliver ebook like pages to the user, so too much information contents are also not preferred in the search results. Google prefers pages with moderate contents. So avoid writing articles that are of thousand plus words.
How I can decide if the content is enough?
You can easily check if your content is sufficient or not by by doing a quick search in Google. Search for your targeted keyword in Google and find out how many words the top 20 sites have on average. If most of them only have 150 words, then you would be fine with about 150 well chosen words. Don’t worry about the 300 words recommendation of yoast or any such plugin. Even a 100 word post can rank well, it depends on the keyword competition and other SEO factors.
Always write for your readers not for the search engines. Provide sufficient details in your article, but those details should not be like phd thesis report. Best practice is to write what you need to write first, then check your competition to make sure it’s not grossly out of line with them. Write legitimate content let it be as long as it needs to be. You can have as many words as it takes to be normal for the keyword you are targetting in your post.
Author Bio: Abhishek Shukla is a blogger and stock market trader who blogs at techifire.com where he writes about gadgets, wordpress plugins and apps.