SEO News You Can Use: There Is No Best Word Count for SEO – Google

SEO News you can use

Using the hashtag #PeopleNotRobots, the Google Search Liaison’s Twitter account once again reminded publishers and creators that Search has no preferred word count when ranking content in their results pages.

This aligns with their existing help documentation for search engine optimization (SEO) fundamentals. In the help document, they said that you should “avoid search engine-first content.” They also emphasized that Google doesn’t have a preferred word count:

“Are you writing to a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (No, we don’t.)”

The SEO community is inquisitive of this reminder since they see higher word count content ranking better in Google’s SERPs. One user in the thread asked:

“So why a direct correlation between word count and outranking competition?”

Google Search Advocate, John Mueller, replied, “Are you saying the top ranking pages should have the most words? That’s definitely not the case.”

Another user asked why AdSense is rejecting websites with “thin content.”

The Google Search Liaison explains that “thin” doesn’t necessarily mean low word count. Instead, thin content refers to content with “little to no value” for the readers. Thin pages are discussed in-depth in this part of their help document.

So, how can you rank better?

Google offers insights through its E-E-A-T framework and the quality rater guidelines.

They explained that their automated systems “identify a mix of factors that can help determine which content demonstrates aspects of experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness,” better known as E-E-A-T.

Bottom line: word count isn’t a ranking signal nor an indication of content quality. If you really want to land on Google’s first page of search results, you should continue pumping out helpful content, regardless of its length.

More SEO News You Can Use

Google Explains Why Your Homepage Isn’t Indexed (and How To Fix Them): In another “Search Off The Record” (SOTR) podcast episode, experts John Mueller, Gary Illyes and Martin Splitt answer why your homepage is not getting indexed. They cited technical and non-technical reasons why this is happening. Technical reasons include (1) Googlebot being blocked by your robots.txt file, (2) Googlebot not reaching your website and (3) your homepage URL isn’t linked to other pages on your website. Non-technical reasons include (1) placeholder content, (2) spammy content and (3) canonicalization issues. If you think your homepage suffers from these drawbacks, then it’s best to troubleshoot it as soon as possible. To learn how you can fix them, listen to SOTR’s full episode here. For a quick read of the solutions, here’s a Search Engine Journal post.

Sitemap Ping Endpoint Support To Be Dropped in 6 Months: If you’ve made any changes on your website, then a sitemaps ping endpoint “won’t do anything useful,” said Google in their latest announcement. The Sitemaps protocol was introduced in 2005 to alert search engines about new URLs. However, according to Google’s (and even Bing’s) internal studies, sitemap submissions are “not very useful.” In fact, most of these submissions lead to spam. That’s why they are deprecating their “support for sitemaps ping, and the endpoint will stop functioning in 6 months.” Google offers alternatives to maintain your URL’s discoverability: submitting your sitemaps through Google Search Console or your robots.txt file. If you’re using a content management system (CMS), Google recommends updating the modified page’s lastmod element. Read this Search Engine Land article for more of this story.

Third-Party Research Accuses Google of Failing Advertisers: Have you used Google’s True View video ad product? This is Google’s primary method of showing your video ads on YouTube and third-party websites. If your answer is yes, then Adalytics, a third-party marketing research firm, claims that Google has broken its part of the deal. For context, Google promised you’ll only get charged if your video ad is (1) watched for at least 30 seconds, (2) played with audio and (3) wasn’t accidentally activated by users scrolling a page. Apparently, the study found that this isn’t the case. You were still charged premium fees (True View ad placements are expensive) despite your ads not meeting all the requirements. However, Google denies the study’s claims. Marvin Renaud, Director of Global Video Solutions at Google, published their response and counterpoints on Google’s Ads & Commerce Blog. Among these points, Renaud said that the study’s sampling and proxy methods were unreliable. Furthermore, he cited their efforts to maintain video ad quality and increase ROI for marketers: 90% ad viewability and removing 143,000 websites from their GVP network in 2022 for not meeting their strict policies. Dive deeper into this story with Search Engine Land.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Finally Gets GA4 Support: In their Twitter account, Google Analytics announced GA4 support for AMP, effective June 27, 2023. Right from the get-go, Google’s help document says that AMP requires a different Analytics tag. This means you can’t use gtag.js on them, which are only reserved for HTML pages. Instead, you should use the AMP Analytics tag. However, Google says you should first disclose how Analytics collects and uses data and allow users to opt out of Analytics. The AMP Analytics tag can give insights into the following areas: page data, user data, browsing data, browser data, interaction data and event data. For more details, read this help document from Google. This is good news for publishers wanting to see how their AMP content performs and is served. However, some users point out that the code used for this tag is grabbed from independent developer David Vallejo. Does this mean AMP will play a massive role in the future of Google Analytics 4? Read more of this story from Search Engine Journal.

Investing Assistant? Bing Chat Can Predict Stock Prices Now: It’s no longer just your co-pilot of the web. Microsoft wants to transform Bing Chat into an all-around assistant, including helping with investment decisions. Bing CEO Mikhail Parakhin announced on Twitter“A new feature we’re starting to flight: inferring the market’s probability of future stock prices from option prices.” This new feature is being rolled out to users as of writing, so you may or may not see this yet on your Bing Chat interfaces. However, Parakhin clarified in a separate Twitter thread that the new feature isn’t a “prediction system” but just a mere graphical representation of current option prices. So, should stock traders worry? Not so much since stock investment is a complex affair involving more than just option prices. But this is a cool feature worth trying out. For more information, read this article from Search Engine Roundtable.

Editor’s Note: “SEO News You Can Use” is a weekly blog post posted every Monday morning only on, rounding up all the top SEO news from around the world. Our goal is to make a one-stop-shop for everyone looking for SEO news, education and for hiring an SEO expert with our comprehensive SEO agency directory.

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