Everyone wants their website to appear high on Google’s search engine rankings and will do everything in their power to get there. But there seems to be so much conflicting advice, particularly when related to the value of articles and blogs in the rankings. What is the Google search engine looking at when it crawls through millions of posts every day? And how does Google rate blogs and articles?
Google is definitely against content that seems to comprise of hastily cobbled together text. This can be described as being on the thin side as it offers little value to the reader. Google looks far more kindly on content that it perceives as being written by authorities, experts and enthusiasts in their field. In fact that is something that Google is likely to push as a stronger weighting factor in search results in the future.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking that ranking is wholly related to word count. All articles will be crawled by Googlebot, which is Google’s spider, going out on its travels, looking for new and updated pages to add to the Google index. It will crawl an article whether it is long or short. Word count is not necessarily indicative of good content. A short pithy article can be full of great, expert content. A long article can be full of waffle. Google’s secret search algorithm is somehow smart enough to differentiate between the two and will even crawl tweets which are less than 150 characters long.
But the most important aspect, which cannot be over emphasized, is that all content must be unique and grammatically perfect. And the search engine is also biased towards articles which offer a balanced perspective on a topic – the pro’s and con’s if you like.
So although short articles aren’t worthless, it is highly likely that most great articles are on the longer side - more information invariably means more words; offering both sides of a story will also require a higher word count.
And when there are a lot of fans engaging with the articles, sharing comments and creating a great discussion, this can only be a good thing for the search engine, right? Well this is where things get a little hazy and there are conflicting reports. One school of thought is that too many comments can dilute the keyword density of a page. A lot of spammy comments can send out warning signals to Google. But maybe the Google search engine just sees the comments in the same way it sees the rest of the information on the page and appreciates how useful comments are to the readers.
Who really knows? The mystery of the workings of the Google search engines persist. But you must choose to either block comments on your articles completely, or welcome all with open arms. If you pick and chose which comments remain on your webpage by deleting those which you deem to be poor quality, you are entering the realms of censorship which really is not going to win you brownie points with your customers.
So in summary and in the absence of a user’s guide to the weird and wonderful working of the Google search engines, make sure your blogs and articles are interesting, come across as an authority, don’t sweat the word count and post well researched articles on your website which boast perfect language skills.