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words per article
what is your range and why?
Graham Wellington




msg:3249147
 10:42 am on Feb 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

My articles are a minimum of 500 words (never less) and rarely exceed 1000.

I took a guess as to what google considers a serious article, rather than a few lines of rabble. 500 words seemed respectable in my opinion. If you consider a paragraph 4-5 lines, that means each article will average about 6 paragraphs. That amounts to an introduction, 4 paragraphs of body (the meat), and a conclusion. The body in my opinion should be twice the amount of the introduction/conclusion to be considered a true "article"

Sometimes I need 800 or 1000 words to fully complete my thought without the itch that "something is missing". But I try to keep it at around 500-700 for both times sake and the fact that most people will never read 1000 words, so writing more can be an inefficient waste. At the sight of a long article, many web users are immediately turned off, subconsciously thinking "wow this is long, forget it, CLICK."

Well thats my logic. So whats the range of your articles and why?

 

kneoteric_V




msg:3249795
 6:41 am on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

In My opinion, web wiewers spend first 4 seconds to scan the relevance and authority of the article open in front of him (her). Therefore, the caption and initial 3 lines should be very catchy and powerful, as well.

Secondly, if he finds it of his interest, we would sepnd another minute (60-70 seconds) to go through further. Here, comes the 'real information' part.

Further, if he still finds it interesting, he would devote minimum 3 more minutes to read it.

Thgerefore, he would spend average 4-5 minutes where he can read as many as 1200 words.

Ideally, my articles are 240 - 400 words, spread out in 4-5 paragraphs: the prelude, information part, humour, inference and call for action...
Some time I write upto 800 words for technical write ups.

linkedin




msg:3249798
 6:47 am on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi Graham,

I have a couple of different sites, for one site articles are typically about 500 words each, however for another the word count goes up to about a 1000 words.

And honestly, there's no difference between them. The one thing that makes all the difference is that the articles are quality. I believe the articles are really helping people that visit my sites.

That being said, I think there is something to be said about the design. Typically, I'll only include 500 words on a page, I'll put a link to 'more' if there is an additional 500 words. It all has to do with user interest, there's been multiple studies that show if a visitor just sees a block of endless text it looks unappealing and there's a good chance that they'll hit the back button and try another link. Make sure you provide a good aesthetic sense to your design and that can be eliminated.

All in all, I really do not believe word count matters all that much on the web...it's what those words are providing for the visitor.

Turbulence




msg:3250087
 2:51 pm on Feb 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

In My opinion, web viewers spend first 4 seconds to scan the relevance and authority of the article open in front of him (her). Therefore, the caption and initial 3 lines should be very catchy and powerful, as well.

Secondly, if he finds it of his interest, we would spend another minute (60-70 seconds) to go through further. Here, comes the 'real information' part.

Further, if he still finds it interesting, he would devote minimum 3 more minutes to read it.

Therefore, he would spend average 4-5 minutes where he can read as many as 1200 words.

Ideally, my articles are 240 - 400 words, spread out in 4-5 paragraphs: the prelude, information part, humour, inference and call for action...
Some time I write up to 800 words for technical write ups.

My tactic is in general the same as the quoted above.

I place a very strong accent on a catchy prelude, as short and informative as possible body and a influencing finish.
What I find to be my rule to remember when writing web materials is to keep as clear, concise and powerful as possible.
That is why my *perfect* article is up to 500 words long.

seo_4_u




msg:3254386
 1:09 pm on Feb 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

My articles are as long as I want provided they have covered my keyword(s) in good number to keep a normal keyword density. Normally they range from 400 to 600 words per article.

If I'm writing for my own website, I do keep adding more works/keywords over a period of time to keep it fresh. As Google also takes into account how recently the page has been refreshed. The frequency and the amount of change.

kneoteric_V




msg:3256592
 6:53 am on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

"If I'm writing for my own website, I do keep adding more works/keywords over a period of time to keep it fresh. As Google also takes into account how recently the page has been refreshed. The frequency and the amount of change."

Definitely true, for an optimal refreshment.

Fortune Hunter




msg:3257158
 7:54 pm on Feb 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Although I would agree with others that a 500 word article is about right in my opinion it is very similar to a newspaper or magazine article. I guess I don't believe that just because it is on the web that it must somehow be different or shorter from a print article.

The fact is if the headline of the article and the first few lines of are good enough to hook them they will keep reading regardless of length. In a printed news or magazine article you have the same effect, some are long and hence people won't read them and some will.

People will read an article regardless of length because they find value in it and it probably doesn't matter if that article is on the web, magazine, or newspaper.

Fortune Hunter

Turbulence




msg:3257758
 2:20 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

People will read an article regardless of length because they find value in it and it probably doesn't matter if that article is on the web, magazine, or newspaper.

I share the same thoughts on the topic with you, Fortune Teller.

However, in Internet, in my humble opinion, reading turns out to be a bit different from reading print. People prefer short web format. I don't have a reasonable explanation why, but my observations so far prove this to be true. That is why I take it as a kind of a rule of the thumb and stick to it.

Fortune Hunter




msg:3258138
 8:39 pm on Feb 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

People prefer short web format.

While this won't be a popular suggestion for the SEO people reading this but you could always format the longer articles into PDF docs for people to download, print, etc. as opposed to HTML pages. Obviously the huge downside is the lack of SEO help you get with PDF docs vs. HTML pages, which we can argue is the sole reason for developing the content in the first place. That problem I don't really have an answer for, but if needed it is an alternate solution that could be used.

Fortune Hunter

kneoteric_V




msg:3261236
 9:32 am on Feb 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

“People will read an article regardless of length because they find value in it and it probably doesn't matter if that article is on the web, magazine, or newspaper.”

Vs.

“However, in Internet, in my humble opinion, reading turns out to be a bit different from reading print. People prefer short web format.”

My opinion

By virtue of our busy schedule, we can’t ponder over too much on an article for long, rather would move attention to others…
Therefore, I will vote for “People prefer short web format.”

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