Why I stopped writing long blogs and my results. Google has done an about-turn on blog length so you need to comply to win
How many words should a blog have
The simple answer is as many as it takes to provide an acceptable solution to a question or request.
Yet in history, things were not always that simple. Blog writing needed at least 1500 words to be considered Kosha.
I remember my first attempt at blogging and struggling to find 300 appropriate words to try and fill a page. After time and many blogs later it was hard to write less than about 1300 words and keep it concise. We went out to 3000 words when this was the best solution but settled on a 1500-word average.
Google changes the rules to suit the time.
The blogging world is dynamic so becoming comfortable is not recommended. Google worked on exact match Keywords to rank your page in a search term. But that has changed. They now use reader intent or what Google thinks the answer should be. If your answer is not the best in the class you are likely to be sent to the back of the queue, a place where no one goes.
And worst still this is done by robots or AI so arguing the point is certainly a wasted effort.
However good old faithful Bing and Yahoo remain steadfast in exact match keywords in search terms.
Therefore you have a conundrum of who gets the traffic.
This is a bit like looking back on an argument What I really wanted to say versus what I actually said before my thinking brain gets into sync with my mouth. At least here we can confront the issue early
This changed the ideal content length
We all know that most readers could be shown as having attention deficit syndrome. They don't want to waste time ploughing through a bundle of words to get an answer.
So Google in its wisdom indicated that a 5-minute read was a perfect length to suit a majority of subscribers. My Yoast SEO tool tells me that this is around a thousand characters or even a little less and way below the 1500-word average we have been subscribing to.
It is also interesting that in most early readings the length of a blog should be indicated at a minimum of 500 words.
It has only been fashion that has taken us for a ride to the high numbers
Restricting subheads in your writing
I built my writing style by starting with a dozen or so headlines that created a reader's journey
Looking at a problem Seeing who else was affected providing a solution and getting some action
The aim now is to condense my headlines and writing but achieve the same results.
This AIDA method has stood the test of time and can be used to really simplify the process.
Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Some like to add a close to this to complete the process.
Why I stopped writing long blogs and my results with advertising
It will affect advertising revenue
With half the page space available to run advertising there must certainly be a lessening in popups and hence income.
The same could be said about your own permanent widgets placed along the right side, far less real estate to house your link targets.
We may have to play among the bottom widgets to add that length of marketing material
What can be said in 5 minutes
It is interesting as you try and cut back your words that it is in fact much harder than the reverse.
At this stage of this blog, we have about 600 words and a 3-minute read. Well, below what Google would expect as a reasonable effort.
I use the Yoast SEO plugin which now has a friendly read timer as well as a writing critique. Now Yoast does not always get it right and I think he often marks too harshly so I ran it against my old favourite Hemminigwayapp. but alas no word timer
What results do you expect with shorter blogs?
I check all my blogs on a search tool (Jaaxy) to see where they reside on a Google or Bing search. This gives a good insight into keyword research.
In fact, in most cases, you get the first page on one but rarely on both. It is like a Birthday gift when you get their page ones in a row.
However, the shorter blogs reflect no different to the long ones. Are we just adding a lot of fluff to make our subject a lot more intelligent by being long and involved?
I have come to the conclusion that short is good and can in fact provide a better result.
However, you really do need to get your head into place before starting this journey. It is hard to write a long script when you start out but harder still to reverse the process after a thousand or so blogs.
Google is fast trying to adapt to the user experience. They want us to supply what the readers want and not what culture tells us.
This is a new experience for many that rely solely on Keyword match and will no longer be getting, and keeping those first-page positions.
The robots want the best answer to a question and if it's not yours then go to the back of the class.
Short blogs rank as well if not better and save the writer a lot of time.
It must be good for all of us.