01 correlation between word count and referring domains

Most blog posts should be at least 300 words in length. Any shorter than that, and you should probably question whether you have anything important to say at all.

From there, hitting a certain word count shouldn’t be your aim. Your aim should be to write a thorough, engaging, and well-researched post that’s as long as it needs to be: no less and no more.

However, the fact that you’re reading this means you’ve probably heard that Google ranks long posts higher than short ones.

In this post, we’ll explore why this is almost certainly wrong, and what you should do instead to optimize your blog posts for search engines.

Why do people think long blog posts are better for SEO?

Many studies show a correlation between content length and the things that we associate with good SEO performance.

However, correlation doesn’t prove causation.

So let’s discuss a couple of common arguments a bit further.

1. Longer content gets more backlinks

Backlinks are one of the most important Google ranking factors.

We know this because they’re the foundation of the PageRank algorithm. Google also talks about backlinks in the context of ranking useful pages here.

If you look at the relationship between word count and backlinks, there is indeed a strong positive correlation.

01 correlation between word count and referring domains

In this case, the data comes from analyzing a sample of around 900 million pages from the 3+ billion pages Content Explorer. That’s our content research tool for analyzing the best-performing content about a topic….

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