Just out of interest how long was the content written by the PHD types and how technical did it get relative to the ehow articles?
Ten, 15, 20 paragraphs on a single html page.
Pretty darn technical. I'm well acquainted with the subject matter and I would need a glossary / dictionary at hand to understand it all. And this was on a subject matter that I have been involved with for over ten years.
The main SEO faults of those pages were:
Poor page title Poor use of keywords in URL Poor use of markup (no real use of H1, H2, OL and UL tags) Poor internal linking to related articles Zero social interaction (no like or twitter or digg buttons, etc).
Maybe another SEO fault of those pages was that they quite simply might have been TOO accurate? Maybe the fact that they were technically and historically correct and listed facts might have been working against them?
Because when I looked at the ehow articles, it was like the person writing them was just making stuff up (or pulling it from squiddoo or some other entirely made up source).
Ok, I am just being sarcastic about that last part. But probably the thing about those very long articles is that they lack a simple enough "focus" for google to understand, because they tend to cover quite a few different aspects of a complex subject.
If I had written them, I definitely would have split the material on to several different pages.