Short or long articles - which are better to get more traffic?

What is the optimal length of an article in the blogs - 200 words? 500 words? Or, more than 2000 words? Let's find the answer here.

I recently came across a discussion in one of the popular bloggers group in Facebook. Here is the essence of the discussion:

"Most of the bloggers think that by writing very long posts, they will rank well but it's not true always. You can rank well even by writing small posts. Take UpWorthy.com as an example: they get millions of visitors from search engines but they rarely have any articles longer than 100 words."

Short or Long articles

This is a common confusion among the bloggers and I have been asked this question many times by other bloggers. So, I decided to write a short post about it so that I can redirect people to this post if I am ever asked this question again.

Short articles or long ones - which are better to get traffic?


It is true that in many cases, small articles get good traffic on many high authority sites, compared to very long articles. However, in most cases, it happens only for high authority sites. If you have a new blog and have only short articles, you will probably get no traffic to them.

Here is the catch - small articles on high authority blogs could get good traffic, but to become a high authority site, you will need to write a lot of highly researched, unique articles, which are generally very long!

Even in this website, the articles with the highest traffic are usually very small articles like "how to " topics and basic tutorials. This doesn't mean search engines always prefer short articles and all the traffic will go to them.

In many cases, when people are searching for solutions, they expect short and precise answers. They do not want to read very lengthy articles but they just want the basic steps to solve their problem. This is the reason search engines drive traffic to short and precise articles.

However, this does not mean you can start a new blog to share lot of small tips and expect to get huge traffic. Search engines will trust your site and start showing your short articles in the search results only if they believe that your site is a trusted site to give accurate answers.

In order to build that trust, your site need a lot of highly researched articles with a lot of strong backlinks. It is relatively easier to get backlinks to highly researched, well written, long articles. Not many webmasters want to link to short posts. This is the main reason long articles are needed to build authority and trust for your blog. Once your blog is well established and build authority, then even the small posts of your blog will be listed in search results.

Optimal length of an article to get the best traffic


There is no such optimal length. Be aware that there is no hard and fast rule on what should be the length of your articles. Instead of cutting your articles at certain length, choose the right topics and write whatever it takes to explain what you want to say about the topic. If you choose to have a mix of short and long articles, that could bring the best results in the long run.

My approach is to use a mix of both of them on my blogs - about 50% small articles (to get quick traffic) and 50% long research articles (to build authority).

Read my blogging tips to improve traffic to your blog.


Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

Follow Tony John or read 643 articles authored by Tony John

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Comments

Author: Timmappa Kamat03 Feb 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Great info for those who are planning to strike big in the blogging world. Sticking to a fairly long - about 800 to 1000 words- content with quite good quality is likely to fetch good traffic. My opinion is one should write articles only on topics you are comfortable with and maybe, you are proficient in. Just collecting points from here and there, and making up an article will not help much. Your articles should contain a better content and a still better presentation so that it will induce readers to read your other articles.

Author: Bhakti Savla03 Feb 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 5

Unless and until it is a short tip or news, most articles can easily go beyond 500-words length. If you are writing on a well-researched topic providing all possible information pertaining to it, you are bound to write a long article of more than 750-800 words. So, kudos to the author above for explaining the importance of having the right mix as far as length of articles in any blog is concerned.

I have seen many bloggers try to add necessary lines just to increase the length of an article. This is not a good practice. You need to write precise articles that will keep the readers interested till the end. Along the way, you need to make efforts to choose comprehensive topics with less competition to write lengthy articles on them.

Author: Sameer13 Feb 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

Long articles are always better than short article in terms of search engine traffic, backlinks and social shares (http://okdork.com/2014/04/21/why-content-goes-viral-what-analyzing-100-millions-articles-taught-us/). One should try to write an article of atleast 500 words as we do in Techulator.com.

Author: Hafeezur Rahman P09 Mar 2015 Member Level: Gold   Points : 0

Well researched and nicely explained article on 'short' or 'long' articles that fetches quality and traffic. Nice to learn here.



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