In the early 90’s article word count was not such a big issue. You could write a short story on anything and on the next day find your article on page 1 of Google.
During that time people were not savvy about internet marketing and thus the competition in which ever niche was almost 0%. With time people started getting the gist of internet marketing and suddenly article word count become a determining factor in online business.
I remember the days when writing an article with a word count of 250 was the norm. Internet marketers set this standard with a view that an article with 250 words was enough to act as direct traffic bait. The fact that most people just scan through content made short articles even more suitable for marketing online.
Furthermore, writing a post with a word count of 250 is easy. I remember those days posting over 5 articles a day. It worked for quite some time since my free blogs ranked very well. Up to date my free blogs still rank high though I targeted low competitive keywords.
Today, the story has changed completely and a post with a word count of 250 would rarely rank high on search engine results. The only time such a short article would appear on first page is if there are no other results to show.
Nowadays, the internet is not only about generating content but the content has to be of high quality. Search engines determine the quality of a webpage by checking the article word count and the number of backlink a page has.
For example, if there were two articles using the same keyword term and one had a word count of 250 and another 1000, which of the two do you think would rank higher? The answer is obvious; search engines would give preference to the post with an article word count of 1000.
Why? In the eye of search engine bots, the more words you use the higher the quality of information you will give. The driving force of the internet is content thus share quality articles and engine spiders will send traffic your way.
How to determine article word count:
The latest Google algorithm update proved just how important article word count is in regards to SEO. Article directory sites where the major victims of this update, Article Ezine been affected the most. The word limit of Article Ezine is 250 words.
According to Google they use over 200 signals to rank websites. It is possible that article word count could have been one of the parameters that hit Article Ezine and other article directory sites. Notwithstanding, there were other issues like duplicate content which is mostly associated with article directories.
Now that we have established how critical word count is to search engine ranking: how do you determine the length of your articles?
There are different tools you can use to know the length of your articles. Rather than guessing how many words you have used, why do you acquire one of these tools?
Microsoft Word: Almost all computers that come with windows have Microsoft word installed. When you open MS word, on the bottom left corner you will see a counter showing the number of words as you type.
This is a free tool.
White Smoke: If you decide to go all professional then the tool to get is white smoke. Apart from reading your article word count, the software allows you to generate content devoid of spelling and grammatical errors.
You will also get a variety of free writing tools in the English language. The thing that sets white smoke apart from other grammar checking softwares is their support program.
Click here to get a free trial with white smoke and start generating professional and quality content while working online from home.
Word Count Tool: This is a free site that will help you determine the length of your article within seconds. It is very easy to use, just copy and paste your article and the software will tell you the article word count.
Click here to submit your article for word count.
Writing on your site or blog:
When it comes to posting on your site, SEO experts recommend that you publish long articles. By long I mean webpages with a word count of 1000 words and above. In fact, the longer your article is the better for you in terms of SEO ranking.
That is not to say that you cannot write an article of 600 words. It all depends on the topic you are discussing. If you are writing an article about a particular product, you will be limited on what you can share.
But if you are writing on a topic on how to work from home on the web, a post of 300 words is not enough. Actually, by the time you are through with introducing the topic, you will have used more than 300 words.
Therefore, it is upon you to determine how many words to use when writing on the net on a give subject.
According to studies conducted on the net, it has been proven that most readers scan through content. It is important you study the type of visitors that come to your site thus be able to address their needs adequately.
So as to break the monotony of having endless content that will bore your visitors, it’s advisable to add images within your content. In addition, try to compose articles with short paragraphs and when possible use bullets to state your major points.
Note: Writing long articles does not mean quality. Yes! Search engines may bring you traffic but if the content is not insightful or helpful, you will not convert. People are your customers, not search engines robots.
Posting on article directories and web 2.0 sites:
Back linking is a very crucial component of search engine optimization. The more link juice your website or blog has the high your site will rank. Remember, not any link will suffice; you need to link with content that is related to your site.
When it comes to building your link popularity, submitting content on article directories, web 2.0 pages, guest blogging play a major role. You will rank even better when you link to web pages that add value to readers.
As other marketers are posting articles with a word count of 300, you would be better off writing longer articles. Personally, the recommended article word count for building back links should be 600 words and above.
Note: Do not copy paste the same article to all article directories. The more unique articles pointing to your site the higher your site will rank on search engines result pages.
Summary: The google panda update really did change internet marketing as we know it. And before webmasters and bloggers could recover, there came Google Fresh. Believe it or not, we not going to see the end of it, very soon it is going to be ads-to-content ratio update.
But all said and done, what you need to keep in mind so as to avoid been a victim of these frequent updates is to share detailed and quality information. This applies to when you are publishing content on your site and for back linking purposes.
There are over 200 signals that Google has included in their algorithm formula. My bet is that article word count is one of them. Do you agree with me? Post your views in the comment section below.
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Author: Stephen Kavita