We had this very conversation (arguement) between programmers, content editors and seo types.
Programmers: Keep the page to under 30K in size. It loads faster.
Editors: Keep the page to the size of a page in a paper back book. ~580 words (no I won't count characters).
SEO: Good, more places to stuff keywords.
But as the dust settled...
Users do not like to scroll more than 1 more full page. That is were the 350 word recommendation came from. Keep the content word count to screen size.
Editors: I will have to make a clean transition between the pages
Programmers: I will have to add navigation to split this.
SEO: We are tuning the keyword density of that content to a targeted percentage. Having a fixed "content word count" helps.
So to split up 5000 words would require the Editor to find clean transitions at the 300 to 500 word mark that make sence. Then the programmer can apply navigation to it. And then the SEO can tune it.
The Editor must control this or else it will read poorly.
[edited by: engine at 8:38 am (utc) on July 27, 2006]
[edit reason] See TOS [webmasterworld.com] [/edit] [/edit][/1]