One of the dumbest things the SEO world ever spawned was the 300 word blog post or the 300 word article.
Way back in the day, there was a sort of consensus among search engine researchers that followed Google and used their knowledge to instruct website owners in the practice of search engine optimization that Google only indexed the first 300 words on a webpage. More to the point, it was said that only the first 300 words were used by Google to determine a webpage ranking in its search results. Thus, anything you wrote after 300 words was "wasted."
That may have been true at one time, but it has long since ceased to be the case with Google’s determination to index more of the web. Still, this time honored SEO advice was repeated constantly over the years.
Worse, a 300 word post is seldom sufficient for covering almost any topic in enough depth to make it valuable to a reader. Most web publishers were well aware of this, but they chose optimizing for search engines over writing for their readers.
Google’s recent search ranking updates have slaughtered those who were slaves to the 300 word article rule.
Google Website Rankings Update
As more information about Google’s new search rankings algorithm has emerged, the consensus now is that a plethora of 300-word posts will actually hurt your website rather than improve your search rankings.
Google has stated that it has improved its search rankings by downgrading websites with thin or limited content. In fact, even the good webpages of a website can be penalized if they are on a domain with too much junk content. Those highly ranked, well-written articles are now dragged down by all of those keyword stuffed 300 word posts used before to prop them up.
This is all good news for writers making money online by writing. No longer is it advantageous to pay $1 for fifty 300 word articles from the cheapest freelancer you can find on elance.com. Such thin content actually hurts your website and makes your webpages rank worse. Websites looking to improve their traffic and even those looking to recover from a Panda hit that they took will be better off actually generating or commissioning worthwhile, informative, and yes, longer articles.
This website was started with the writer in mind. Instead of advice of how to make money with websites using tricks and techniques that gamed Google’s search engines, the idea is to show someone who can (and does) write well and publishes useful content how to turn that content into a way to make money writing online.
Make no mistake. The content mills and affiliate marketing scammers are hard at work on finding the next bare-minimum they can get away with.
Don’t fall into that trap. Keep writing the good stuff. Keep using the techniques to link it, index it, build it and monetize it, but keep making it good.
Google is said to be updating the Panda algorithm on a monthly basis now. Whatever garbage method the junk publishers come up with next might work for a month or two, but as soon as it becomes known, Google will be looking for a way to knock it down.
Content to Advertising Ratio
One recent metric to emerge from the AdWords / AdSense world is that of ads to content. It seems that in some cases, Google measures how much content there is relative to how much advertising there is.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that longer articles will fair better in this ratio. A 300 word article, for example, is 10 percent ads with just 30 words of advertising, versus a 1,000 word article offering up to 100 words of advertising for the same ad ratio.
In other words, if your blog is monetized with Google AdSense, those longer articles you have been writing are paying off for you right now.