Planet13 - 4:48 pm on Jul 15, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:28 am (utc) on Jul 23, 2013]
I am sorry I don't have an answer for how to improve your rankings. I wish I did.
However, I think I MIGHT have something that will help you in determining if your articles are too long FOR YOUR READERS....
Advanced Content Tracking with Google Analytics: Part 1
This is some google analytics code that tracks events, and there are instructions on how to determine how many people read down to the bottom of your content compared to how many people start reading the article.
You can also set it up so that it will measure how many people make it to the bottom of the page - meaning past the comments and past the footer of the page to the bottom
Anyway that will at least let you know how many people are making it through the article. And it will give you (in my opinion) a better idea of your true bounce rate, since people who scroll down your article past a certain point (that you decide upon) will NOT be considered as bounces.
Hope this helps.
Mods note: The Cutroni article cited above was written by Justin Cutroni, currently the Analytics Advocate at Google, with input from members of the Google Analytics team and authorities in the field. It's a step beyond the default content tracking in Google Analytics.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 5:28 am (utc) on Jul 23, 2013]