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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Hmmm curious, does the number of words on a site counts ?

    The thread's title says it all, i.e. I am interested: does the number of unique words on a site "affect"s SEO or not ?!!


    satyr
    See my computing-related homepage: http://tadej-ivan.50webs.com/.

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    The more unique words, the more potential keyphrases for which your pages could be found.

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    Former Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy HAWK's Avatar
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    Yup, the amount of content is a factor. As hooperman says, you want good keyword rich content, but you have to make sure that it is relevant and reads well. Writing for the web is a skill in it's own... people don't want to wade through screeds of text.

    I would say that around 500 words per page is probably optimal.

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    No. Because search engines don't rank sites. They rank pages.

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    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    The number of words is relevant in that if you have too few words surrounding your keywords, your keywords will look like spam to the spider. You generally want at least 250 words of content on a page although there are plenty of sites in the SERPS that have less.

    Although it means little to SERPs, web pages longer than 800 words are just too long for most people to read to the end. Moreover, when you have too many words, the necessity of keyword repetition to make keywords stand out can also make your content look amateurish and spammy to your visitors.

    An average page in a standard paperback book or a one-page letter contains about 350 to 500 words, depending on formatting and white space use. If you can keep your pages at that size or under, you'll serve content in a size that your reader is accustomed to reading before turning the page.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    The number of words is relevant in that if you have too few words surrounding your keywords, your keywords will look like spam to the spider.
    This kind of theory defies logic. Search engines view every combination of words as a keyphrase, so in theory your whole content is a keyphrase with no words on either side. That implies that every page is spam (that generalisation is probably more right than wrong ).

    I doubt that a page with just a few words on it will be viewed as spam. A page with a photo and a caption, for example, is not spam.

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    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    It would be a mistake to write your content always a set number of words because that's what someone told you the search engines like. Anyone who's saying that "search engines like pages with xxx words on them" is just making it up. Sometimes pages with less words will outrank you, sometimes pages with more will. I don't doubt that the number of words on a page has an effect, but nobody can say how many, or if more or less will help a specific page. Write your content so it makes sense to the people reading it. If it takes you 300 words to get your point across, so be it. If it takes 2000 words, then use 2000 words. You're better off focusing on writing great content that will make people want to link to you, than trying to figure out the magic number of how many words the search engine wants you to write.
    Peter T Davis

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  8. #8
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    Thanks much all for the educative replies ...


    satyr
    See my computing-related homepage: http://tadej-ivan.50webs.com/.

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    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman
    This kind of theory defies logic. Search engines view every combination of words as a keyphrase, so in theory your whole content is a keyphrase with no words on either side. That implies that every page is spam (that generalisation is probably more right than wrong ).
    Your paragraph above has the word keyphrase twice in the content. If your page only contained the word Keyphrase it would be at a density of 100% and that would be spam. Since it has other words surrounding it (all the ones that aren't "keyphrase") the word key phrase would probably be seen as a key word, but the total content wouldn't be spam.


    Quote Originally Posted by peterdavis
    If it takes 2000 words, then use 2000 words. You're better off focusing on writing great content that will make people want to link to you, than trying to figure out the magic number of how many words the search engine wants you to write.
    If what you have to say is so important that it takes 2000 words to get your point across, you are better off breaking your text into several pages than making one horrendously long page.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    If what you have to say is so important that it takes 2000 words to get your point across, you are better off breaking your text into several pages than making one horrendously long page.
    If your goal is to increase page views and annoy users, yea, that's true.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    If your page only contained the word Keyphrase it would be at a density of 100% and that would be spam.
    Where did you get this definition of spam? I think you made that up

    If you take the keyword 'blue' in the content 'blue widget sale' it has KD = 33.33%. However, the phrase 'blue widget sale' in the same content has KD=100%. Is the content 'blue widget sale' spam or not?

    What about all the pages that simply have "click here to enter"? They have KD=100% for the phrase "click here to enter" but they aren't spam. They're pretty dumb pages (in my opinion) but they ain't spam.

    Not to mention my other example of a page containing only a photo and a caption. Is that spam?

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    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Okay Hooperman, you got me -- I didn't make it up, but I did use the wrong word. When was the last time you found a one-word page on the first page of a search? Or for that matter, one single image with a caption?

    If you have too little content on a page it isn't spam, but it isn't usually going to show up in the SERPs if it's indexed at all.

    On the other hand, if your page is too long, it won't be read. People read on the web by scanning since it is more difficult to read on screen than in print. If your subject is long, you should be able to break it into specific parts that contain the information a reader wants to see without him/her having to scroll endlessly to find what he/she considers useful.

    These parts can be optimized for specific niche keywords that help the page in the SERPs result pages, helping your site to get yes... more page views and more unique visits. That's why sites have navigation features like sidebars, breadcrumbs, jump buttons, etc.

    When readers have to scroll too far or too long to find what they want, they'll generally back out of a site and go find one where they can easily access the information they wanted.

    As far as SEs go, I would rather have 5 pages on apples, each one targeting different areas such as history, planting, care, harvesting, preserving etc. than one long apple article. If that's annoying to readers, sobeit. I tend to believe it's more helpful than annoying.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    Former Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy HAWK's Avatar
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    I'm with you Shyflower. Web writing needs to be succinct and to the point.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    I also agree with you Shyflower

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by petertdavis
    It would be a mistake to write your content always a set number of words because that's what someone told you the search engines like. Anyone who's saying that "search engines like pages with xxx words on them" is just making it up. Sometimes pages with less words will outrank you, sometimes pages with more will. I don't doubt that the number of words on a page has an effect, but nobody can say how many, or if more or less will help a specific page. Write your content so it makes sense to the people reading it. If it takes you 300 words to get your point across, so be it. If it takes 2000 words, then use 2000 words. You're better off focusing on writing great content that will make people want to link to you, than trying to figure out the magic number of how many words the search engine wants you to write.
    Well as first, no one has told me that search engines like it; I am simply curious about it. Secondly, I wasn't asking for number of words in general (be it per page or per site), I was asking about "unique words" in particular !!


    satyr
    Last edited by satyr; Sep 27, 2006 at 09:04.
    See my computing-related homepage: http://tadej-ivan.50webs.com/.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by hooperman
    What about all the pages that simply have "click here to enter"? They have KD=100% for the phrase "click here to enter" but they aren't spam. They're pretty dumb pages (in my opinion) but they ain't spam.
    Hehe, you know that my website is one of these (see the link in my signature below); I have my reasons for this though.


    satyr
    See my computing-related homepage: http://tadej-ivan.50webs.com/.

  17. #17
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    Sorry, I actually did look at your home page and there is nothing there that would make me want to "enter". I imagine the SEs feel about the same.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

  18. #18
    Former Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy HAWK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by satyr
    I have my reasons for this though.
    Tell us about them...

  19. #19
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK
    Tell us about them...
    Well, there are personal reasons for the most part. You see, it's that I didn't use such page previously, and the intro.html page was the first/initial one (of course, named "index.html" back then), instead of the index.html one as it is now.


    But then I decided to use some sort of "introduction" page with different layout than other pages with actual content. It just seemed strange to land on the content "intro.html" page right away. Also, my website is so specific that, well, oh nevermind !!


    cheers, satyr
    Last edited by satyr; Sep 28, 2006 at 09:13. Reason: minor formatting fixes
    See my computing-related homepage: http://tadej-ivan.50webs.com/.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    Sorry, I actually did look at your home page and there is nothing there that would make me want to "enter". I imagine the SEs feel about the same.
    OK, can you please tell me, is it any better now that I added a sort of a "site map" onto the "index.html" page (see above or my signature for the link) ??


    satyr
    See my computing-related homepage: http://tadej-ivan.50webs.com/.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy hooperman's Avatar
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    You might want to ensure that your pages have the standard

    HTML Code:
    <html>
    <head>
    blah blah...
    </head>
    <body>
    stuff in them


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