Google uses phrases and keywords within an article plus as many as 200 other factors to determine which results to display in its SERP’s (Search Engine Results Placement), it stands to reason that a longer article say 1,200 – 2,000 words will contain more phrase combinations which can therefore perform across more phrases.
Paradoxically articles longer than 4,000 words don’t seem to perform better than ones up and to 4,000 word, which suggests that Google either limits the length of a page which it uses within its algorithm or otherwise longer articles dilute down the ability of text to perform.
We know that over the last 5 years Google has been making use of user metrics and this seems particularly to impact on more competitive results and the those on the first page. So whilst text and backlinks maybe enough to get you to page two, moving up to page ones needs your content to outperform its peers based on user metrics. We know that google uses the following:
Time on page – measured in seconds or milliseconds that a user stays on your page. It therefore stands to reason that a longer page is going to perform better as it takes longer to read more content.
Bounce rate – what % of visitors then return back to search after reading a page
Hopefully you can see how start to see how Google is crowdsourcing quality here, high quality content engages its readers and keeps them on site, it is also sticky in holding the user to a page.
So in order to get the most out of your content, focus on Quality and quantity. A longer higher quality article is going to perform far better than shorter ones. Our own algorithm rewards members who write high quality content through our Brasskangaroo website. Pro members are the regular contributors who have good metrics, we reward these with more prominence and links their links are dofollow.