The Ideal Length for an Article

Articles and content are the real meat of any website.  This is especially true for blogs as their content will consist, almost exclusively, of articles.  While there are a variety of opinions on the correct length for a website article, there are a few factors to take into consideration when determining exactly how long an article should be.  Google’s latest update seems to have added to the confusion surrounding article length but the truth is that is hasn’t changed the fundamental requirements of a website’s content

Most blogs and websites will post articles that are somewhere between 400 and 700 words in length.  There has been some confusion, however, because Google’s Panda update is now factoring in things like bounce rate and the amount of time a visitor spends on a given site.  Some people have assumed that this means they should post articles that are much longer, even 1,000 words or more.  The reasoning behind this is that it will take a visitor more time to read through the entire article.


While this reasoning may seem sound when taken out of context, the truth is that Panda hasn’t really changed the requirements for the length of articles.  What Panda is really concerned with is the quality of the content posted on a website.  This means that an article should only be as long as it needs to be.  If an article only needs to be 500 words in length to cover everything, then forcing it to be twice as long will greatly reduce the quality of the article.  Most writers have found that the 400 to 700 word format is the best way to deliver information in the most efficient manner possible.


Articles are about more than just search engines, however, because they will be designed to inform or entertain readers.  Studies have shown that most people will be more likely to read a shorter article than a longer one.  There are, naturally, some exceptions to this rule such as tutorials and other instructional material but the ideal length for an article is about 500 words.  This isn’t completely ignoring the need for longer visit times.


Rather than posting articles that are entirely too long in an effort to keep visitors on a site for a longer period of time, it’s a much better idea to post a series of 500 word articles that are linked together.  Releasing these over the course of a week or two will increase activity on a website, increase the returning visitor numbers as people come back to read the other articles and it will also increase subscriber and follower numbers as well.  This will greatly increase a website’s standing with Google.


The web is an ever changing entity and webmasters that wish to be successful need to keep up with the many changes.  While there is some debate about the length of articles, the truth is that the typical 400-700 word format is ideal.  This is because people are more likely to read an article of this length rather than one that is 1,000 words or more.  Webmasters looking to increase their ranking in a post-Panda Google should try to post multiple articles, all related in subject and linked together.  This will help increase site activity, returning visitors and subscriber numbers.  It’s important to remember that the web is evolving and building upon it’s fundamentals and not completely changing everything.