How Much Text Is Needed?
Posted 11 January 2007 - 07:33 PM
However, if you are thinking only in terms of only optimizing for engines, there's a tendency to go overboard with content and your visitors may leave in frustration.
Posted 11 January 2007 - 07:35 PM
For example, writing this:
In an article recently, a friend of mine talks a lot about some pretty cool stuff. You should definitely take a look at it and see what you think! This guy really knows his stuff!
is really not doing yourself any good - although a perfectly reasonable set of sentences, there are no valuable terms contained in it. Replace it with:
In his article "The Pillsbury Doughboy meets Godzilla," my friend John Smith covers a lot of interesting points about horror films from the early 20th century. You should definitely take a look at it and see what you think - John really knows about early film history and has some cool ideas about their social impact!
The key difference is obvious: proper nouns and functional descriptions. Granted, this specific example may not bear on anything you need for your site, but the principle holds true. The number of words is pretty much irrelevant: it's what you've said and whether anybody might be interested in reading it.
That said, if you've only got 10 words on a page you're really restricting your options. The long tail of search queries is only going to have an impact if you've provided a tail.
Posted 11 January 2007 - 07:40 PM
Of course every phrase and sentence can be optimized but I think that content optimization asks for a body of text.
My take is that if you write clear and knowledgable so that both the uninformed and informed get and know what you're talking about, you're doing a good job "explaining" to the search engines what the page is about.
Posted 11 January 2007 - 08:37 PM
Edited by lasvegascom, 11 January 2007 - 08:39 PM.
Posted 11 January 2007 - 10:21 PM
The answer, as with almost anything else, is "It depends."
What is the goal of the page? Who is your audience? What is the intent of your content? These are all reasonable questions one should consider in determining what and how much to write.
If I were mildly curious, for example, about "heart transplants," 250 words might do the trick. "First you slice the chest open, get a bone saw, stop the heart, cut these arteries, ..." That would be a high level overview of the procedure, giving the layman some basic knowledge. For me, that's all I would want to know.
If, however, I were a medical student studying cardiology and writing a research paper, I would hope the 'right' amount of information would differ significantly from the example above -- perhaps in the neighborhood of a hundred or thousand fold.
Write the length of copy that accomplishes your goal.
Posted 13 January 2007 - 01:29 PM
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