Saturday, October 29, 2016

Long-Form Content Increases SEO Rankings and Website Authority

Long-Form Content Engages Readers

Unless you truly enjoy writing, you do not want to create content that's more than 700 words in length.  It's simply too much work!

You want the SEO benefits of content creation which is why you've become a publisher.  Unfortunately, publishers can no longer get away with the bare minimum word count on articles published on their blogs.  Why?

Long-form content is slowly becoming the accepted publishing norm.  It's not new, people have been publishing 1,000 to 2,000 word articles for the past few years. 

Remember Squidoo?  Publishers on that platform used a TOC to help readers navigate long articles some of which contained videos and, of course, images.

Long-Form Content should Contain 2000+ Words

SEO professionals have been advising clients to publish long-form content for more than a year.  And it turns out that that is great advice!

The infographic below details the benefits of publishing articles which are more than 2,000 words.  Articles longer than a couple thousand words provide SEO benefits and help the publisher create website authority.

Other benefits include:
  • Increase in online visiblity
  • Increase in social shares
  • Increase in back links
  • Higher ranking in the SERPs
According to the infographic, which I liberated from the website, the average content length of the top ten results of search queries is more often than not, more than 2,000 words.

There's also a direct correlation between the length of an article and social media shares.  All the major search engines now include social signals to rank web pages in response to a user's search query, so it's important to get on top of the action now while it's still easy to rank well on the strength of great content.

Content Marketing Strategy Shifts in 2016

If you're not publishing long-form content, maybe it's time to create a new content marketing strategy that includes articles that are more than 1,000 words long.

How far along is Google from using social media signals as ranking factors? Can Google use engagement and follower metrics from Twitter and Facebook to evaluate the authority of an individual?

To me, the answers to those questions were the buried headlines in a Google Webmaster Help video (embedded below) by Matt Cutts. Even though Matt is currently on an extended hiatus from his job as head of Google’s web spam team, I believe what he had to say in this video remains the case today.

Supporting that, Google’s John Mueller stated categorically in an August 14, 2015, video that Google does not use social signals in its search ranking factors. And John Mueller and Gary Illyes both reiterated this stand in June 6, 2016 tweets.

My purpose in this post is to examine Matt Cutts’ comments in great detail in order to understand why Google does not incorporate social signals as a ranking factor.



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