Why do people think long blog posts are better for SEO?
Numerous studies have shown the association of blog post length with various SEO-related metrics.
However, association does not prove causation.
Now let's discuss some common points further.
1. The longer the page, the more external links you get
Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for Google .
We know this because backlinks are the basis of Page's ranking algorithm. Here Google also mentions the role of backlinks in driving useful page rankings.
If you look at the link between word count and backlinks, the two do show a strong positive correlation.
01 correlation between word count and referring domains cn
The data for this case is based on an analysis of a sample of 900 million pages out of the more than 3 billion web pages indexed by Ahrefs' content analysis section. Content analysis is a research tool we use to analyze the top performing content on a topic. However, we are not the first to discover this association. Many people have come to the same conclusion after analyzing other data sources: longer content gets more backlinks than shorter content.
Why do you find this connection?
Let's start with the most obvious possibility: longer blog posts seem to be more impressive, so people link to them.
While this seems like a reasonable claim, our data doesn't directly support it.
Take another look at the chart above and you'll see that 1,000 words is a turning point. For blog posts longer than 1,000 words, we actually found a strong negative correlation between word count and backlink count. In other words, after 1,000 words, the average number of backlinks from independent websites (pointers to domains) starts to drop.
Our theory is that this correlation comes down, at least in part, to a balance between comprehensiveness and brevity.
Let me explain:
In general, longer content tends to contain more "link-worthy" topic points. But it also combines a lot of "need to know" points with a lot of less important "nice to know" points. The result is that fewer people read the entire text in its entirety, and thus fewer people read the "link-worthy" points. The fewer people reading these points, the fewer people providing you with backlinks.
There's also the fact that people don't provide backlinks to blog posts they haven't read. If it takes hours to read your blog post, there are even fewer of them.
What should you do?
Keep the article short and unobtrusive while making sure to include those important "link-worthy" points.
It makes sense. But how do you know what constitutes a "link-worthy" opinion?
One way to do this is to paste links to high-ranking blog posts for your target keywords into Ahrefs' web analytics section. Then go to the Backlinks report and look at the anchor text and surrounding text of those links for trends.
For example, if we did this on top-ranking blog posts for the keyword “SEO copywriting”, we would see a disproportionate number of links mentioning the “app introduction method” [Agree, Promise ( promise), Preview].
1 app method
Now that we know that this part of the content is attracting so many backlinks, we can make sure to include similar content when blogging about the same topic.
That's what we do when we write our SEO copywriting guidelines . We didn't want to copy another blog post and mention the APP method in our own content, so we mentioned another useful introductory recipe.