This may come as a shock to a lot of bloggers, but Google doesn’t care how many words are in your post.
GOOGLE DOESN’T CARE HOW MANY WORDS ARE IN YOUR POST.
Here it is, straight out of the mouth of John Mueller, Google Senior Webmaster Trend Analyst and de facto social media spokesman.
So, why do we have this misconception?
There are two things that I think contribute to the belief that Google favors a specific word count.
Thorough Doesn’t Have a Word Count
The first reason is that content creators erroneously equate thorough to long.
- Google’s goal is to present searchers with quality content written by experts.
- High-quality content will thoroughly cover the topic.
- Thorough blog posts must have (300, 500, 750, 1000, 2500, fill in the blank) number of words.
Thorough, high-quality content has absolutely nothing to do with the number of words in a post.
If only it were that easy.
Correlation vs. Causation
Before I tell you the second reason, I’m pulling my old statistician hat out of the closet for a short lesson in causation vs. correlation.
When ice cream sales decrease, homicides decrease.
Ice cream doesn’t cause homicides, so this is a CORRELATION.
When the temperature decreases, ice cream sales and homicides decrease.
Warmer weather CAUSES people to crave cold foods like ice cream.
Hot weather also CAUSES people to get cranky, so there are more homicides.
More Words Does NOT Make You Competitive
The second reason for the belief that Google favors a specific word count is an erroneous assumption that a higher word count CAUSES higher rank.
Posts that rank higher than yours have more words.
Therefore your post needs the same number of words (or more) to beat them.
Word count can’t cause a post to rank higher because Google doesn’t use word count in their ranking algorithm.
There are many reasons why a post may rank higher than yours:
- They are more thorough and do a better job of answering the questions readers are asking.
- They have backlinks from a high-ranking site.
- They have been around longer and have had more time to build a reputation.
- Their website looks better than yours.
- Google thinks you have less expertise.
- They are better written than your blog post.
- They are better at any one of Google ranking factors we don’t know about.
But we do know that a post doesn’t rank higher because it has more words.
So please stop adding words to your blog posts in a futile effort to increase your rank.
Instead, focus on finding out what readers are asking and answer their questions.
And only use as many words as you need.