To avoid thin content penalties from Google, a blog post should be at least 300 words long. Other posts on how long should blog posts be give you specific numbers. I’ve seen 1,000 2,000 2,400 and they are all wrong. Google tells you the answer and in this post I’ll explain how.
The equation that tells you Google’s post length for SEO
The equation I am talking about here is an average. Every keyword you rank for will have a different average. That is why anyone giving you a specific number is lying.
They may not even know they are lying. Several years ago, some of the top “SEO experts” gave some numbers and most people just regurgitate them.
Sounds disgusting huh? That is because it is. So much misinformation about websites blogging and SEO is spread all across the internet. That is one of the reasons I created the blog on Pro Site Help. I want to give everyone a reliable resource.
Longer posts aren’t always better
Part of the discussion about word count and blog post length was that longer posts rank first. While that is partially still true there is a such thing as too long of a blog post.
SEO expert Mathew Woodward said that he had a post with 26,083 words in it that wasn’t ranking well. The Surfer SEO tool suggested he delete 22,210 word to be in range of the top 5 posts ranked on Google for his keyword. He did it and the result was him landing the number 1 spot on Google. source
So how long should a blog post be?
As with most SEO, Google tells you the answer for free.
In this case, you go to Google and type in your keyword. Then open the top 5 results. How long are they?
You can copy their content into a site like https://wordcounter.net/ to have it count the words for you.
Once you have the word count for the top 5 sites on Google, figure out what the average is. That is your target post length.
Your post doesn’t have to be the exact number you came up with, you just want it to be in the same range.
Why your blog post length needs to be average
Google has one goal and that is to give the searcher what it thinks the best result is for their query. Google is not a human. It doesn’t know that the best answer is really 300 words or 10,000 words in length.
Google takes in to account many factors in ranking a search result. If the best posts from its other factors all have a similar post length, it is going to assume that the best answer is that length.
If your post is way too short or way too long it is not going to rank well. Google can only make decisions based off the data it has.
Conclusion of how long blog post should be
How long your blog post should be is going to depend. Every keyword you are trying to rank for will be different.
How long should a travel blog post be will be totally different than how long a recipe post should be. Even within a single blog, your posts will probably be different lengths depending on the keywords you are targeting.
Minimally you want 300 words to avoid thin content penalties but the sky is the limit.
Steps to find how long your blog post should be:
- Go to Google
- Search for your keyword
- Count the number of words in the top 5 results
- Take the average word count
- Write the best post you can in that range
No one wants to be average but for good SEO and ranking on Google you need to be average.
P.S. If you haven’t read my post on how to do keyword research for free, it goes good with this post.
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