Does Page Length Matter?

by Gary on October 4, 2007 · 5 comments

in On Page SEO

Does it matter how long or short your web pages and blog posts are vis-à-vis your search engine rankings? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t: it depends on your competition. I have seen blank web pages — with just the title carrying the expression searched for — appearing at the first spot on Google, but they are extreme cases.

So ideally how long should be your web pages and blog posts?

As long as it is required to convey your message. Normally, it is good to have between 200-300 words and this may or may not include your headings. Actually longer pages allow you to include elements that increase your search engine rankings for particular search expressions.

For example, if you have say, 4 paragraphs, you can use at least to headings to highlight the main points using your keywords. Then in one of the paragraphs or sections you can use an HTML list to explain yourself ,as words used in bullets are taken seriously by the search engines.

A longer page also shows that you’ve got much to say about your subject. Just make sure you really have something relevant to say. This implies that don’t create every page for the purpose of SEO (there is nothing wrong in that if you’ve got plenty to write); always remember that you are eventually creating your web pages and blog posts for human readers and getting good search engine traffic for them is an added bonus. If you can convey a message in just two sentences, write just two sentences.

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  • Marc Levy

    Gary, I actually did not know that search engines look extra favorably upon words in bullet points. Good tip – I will have to do some testing on that.

    Great point about writing for humans and not the search engines, that is crucial. The way I see it is, if you have something good and useful to write, then write it! The only reason I would not make a page too long is for my users!

    People like clear sections and prefer a number of smaller well written pages compared to one long page containing everything. This is also better for SEO purposes as you can target more keywords by splitting up your pages. This is just some more proof on how creating content with your users in mind naturally helps your SEO.

    • Gary

      Thanks for your comments Marc, I to prefer shorter pages. At one point in time I never had anything below the fold, thankfully I am not quite so rigid now.

  • Simpleton

    Yeah, I think longer pages are better because they give you the ability to include more. Not to go overboard, but to include everything your visitors might need.

  • Vincent

    Search engines are in constant evolution and during that evolution they tend to give more importance to websites that were creating content for human being.

    I believe that in a near future the search engines algorithm will get mature enough in order to deliver exactly what the visitor needs.

    These days are already gone when you were searching something and always landing on an adsense type website.

  • Jane

    In blogging, it pays to provide a link to the main source of your post because not only have you shared your opinions but you also have recommended something beneficial for your readers. Through that, other bloggers and website owners might be interested to link to your website.