Word Count: Is It A Ranking Factor In SEO?

“You say the best, when you say nothing at all…” ~ Ronan Keating. And just like the song, Google’s John Mueller recently divulged that word count is not a ranking factor of Google. Being an ICSE student, we were conditioned by our teachers to stick to the point when it comes to solving a problem or answering a question. 

Word Count: Does it matters to SEO?

I’m not loonnngg… you’re boring!

Even for essay writing, we were encouraged to be as descriptive as possible, without going overboard with words. Having said that, content writing or creating content for websites, blogs, etc. to get on top of the SERPs or search engine results pages requires a thorough understanding of Google’s algorithms and ranking factors. 

The algorithms governing Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs) factors are a part of a complex system. The algorithms help in acquiring data via search index and putting forth the best results as per user search query – processed through Google Search Engine. And the NO.1 signal is RELEVANCY. Google’s algorithms rank content based on its relevance to the SERPs. 

So, is Word Count Useless? 

Well, honestly, there is a thin line between what works-what doesn’t work in case of word count. I have personally gone through a barrage of blog posts, heard a good load of podcasts, invested my precious view-time on YouTube, and followed (still follow) the best in SEO and Content Marketing niche (Read: gurus) to chisel my knowledge and broaden my skill set. 

Content Gurus Be Like…

And most of them (and I mean almost all of them) advocated to increase word count and the significance of word count in SEO and search engine result pages. 

Google’s Main Man

But when Google’s Main Man Mr. John Mueller (not Robert Mueller) reveals that word count does not matter, then there’s something to ponder. However, he did not downright impede the total concept of word count. 

In fact, he simply shared that following a specific word count will not affirm the position of that particular page to rank to the top of SERP. He further adds to the concept of Google algorithm gravitating towards “Relevancy” of content as a part of its ranking factor – sighting that the content has to be relevant to the subject, topic or query on search engine result pages, in order to get indexed and triggered on top of SERPs. 

The key to getting your content indexed and ranked better on Google’s search engine is to stay true to your users’ queries. They shouldn’t come and get a banana when they search or enquired about apples. Google considers a content piece to be relevant when it understands user queries, is integrated with keywords that are associated with the questions or concerns of your users. 

How to create content that ranks better? Tips for creating page content that meets Google’s ranking factors:

  • Understand your user intend
  • Find out what your user queries
  • Check search results for understanding user queries 
  • Use keyword tools to match the search queries and explore keywords that match the queries 
  • Break up your page content or blog post into comprehensive sections, including – Introduction, Highlighting user queries, problems, Answering or providing solutions to a user query, and ultimately working on the Conclusion 
  • Give preference to relevancy over word count. 
  • Avoid drifting away from the core topic or subject
  • Stick to the point
  • Believe in the intellect of your users because they’re sensible beings, only in the search for answers to their specific problems  

I am concluding my post here. Because I’ve stuck to the point and didn’t go overboard. So, the total word count is okayish?! 

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