3

I know that word count isn't a ranking factor.

Source: Is word count a large ranking factor for Google?

I am going to add a Question and Answer Section for my website.

Some questions like "Do meta keywords have any impact on ranking algorithms?". The answer for this is very simple "The fact is, neither Google nor Bing uses meta keywords at all. And then a link to the source."

There are a lot of questions like above which can easily be answered within 100 words.

Having a lot of pages like above 50 - 200 words but answering the question perfectly, will it be a bad impact for SEO?

6

I'm seeing some evidence that Google likes text heavy pages even for simple queries right now. You might get better rankings with longer answers and filler text these days.

One example is recipes. Pretty much any recipe I find on Google now has 3 pages of text before the actual recipe talking about how much Aunt Marge liked it at Thanksgiving four years ago.

The current state of affairs is poor user experience. Nobody wants to read too much or scroll to find what they are actually looking for. Because of this, I expect that Google will eventually rank more concise articles again in a future update.

My advice is to do what is best for users. Write as much as the topic requires and best satisfies your users' queries. If you can write more without hurting usability, you might enjoy better rankings now and in the long term. I'd avoid "Aunt Marge" filler text though. You could get better rankings now, but I doubt that will be a long term SEO strategy.

  • Thank you very much. I didn't undertand "I'd avoid "Aunt Marge" filler text though". Could you please explain it? – I am the Most Stupid Person Oct 23 at 8:06
  • 2
    That comes from my second paragraph where I talk about recipes coming with useless text about how much Aunt Marge enjoyed the recipe. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 23 at 10:45
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    Man, I too am sick of the pages of unrelated text and photos when looking for the recipe – Rob T Oct 23 at 18:34
  • Thanks. Your answer is perfect. But I added a bounty to get more answers from other users. – I am the Most Stupid Person Oct 24 at 6:02
  • "Google likes text heavy pages" - Maybe everyone is just following the trend and writing longer articles? "One example is recipes." - this may be a case of YMMV, as I pretty much see the opposite. Whilst there are some annoyingly verbose recipe articles with an alarming amount of preamble - these are generally in the minority and do not necessarily rank higher than the shorter concise articles that just get on with it. (?) – MrWhite Oct 27 at 23:59
4
+25

I don't think it's 'correct' to think or optimize for content length.

Straight from the horse's mouth: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en:

Provide an appropriate amount of content for your subject

Creating high quality content takes a significant amount of at least one of the following: time, effort, expertise, and talent/skill. Content should be factually accurate, clearly written, and comprehensive. So, for example, if you describe your page as a recipe, provide a complete recipe that is easy to follow, rather than just a set of ingredients or a basic description of the dish.

Avoid:

  • Providing insufficient content for the purpose of the page.

Concentrate on providing content for the user. Ensure that it is well written (correct spelling and grammar), organized, and above all, relevant.

3

The worst that can happened is that google will consider that single page not worth to be indexed. If your website has 1000 "good pages" and 50 "poor" pages it will not affect the website. If your website has 50 "good pages" and 100 "poor" pages it can be affected. Why don't you simply group the answers by topic, so each page will contains maybe 5 or 10 answer and will be a more complete page about a specific topic.

2

The answer to your general question, is that it depends on the context.

In my experience doing SEO, for over 10 years, it used to be the case that longer word count was better (not so much that low word count is hurtful, although this is debatable). However, Google's algorithms change and adjust over time to adapt to user behavior, it's ultimate goal being to satisfy user experience, and specifically, search intent.

Since mobile use now outweighs desktop, shorter, more concise text, often satisfies user intent better, and quicker, than unnecessarily long blocks of text/content. The attention span of the average user is typically very short, many want quick answers. Essentially now, there's no real golden rule for content length to rank. It should be the length needed in order to satisfy the users intent.

Specifically, for your situation, however, it most definitely makes a lot more sense to consolidate all of your Q&A on one individual page. Or maybe, you want to have a page focused on specific topics with Q&A. For your example, maybe you would have one page dedicated to SEO, or if your whole site is about SEO, maybe one specifically focused on meta tags, etc.

This approach consolidates SEO equity, and value, into one page, making it more likely you'll rank. You may dilute the value of your pages by having one page dedicated to that specific question.

You can also used structured data for Q&A questions to significantly help Google understand the content of your website, as well as make it easier for them to parse through, and ultimately serve this content to users. Google loves schema and structured data, and in my experience leveraging it as much as possible, greatly helps increase the overall visibility of your content and traffic to your site.

Check out the Google documentation on Structured Data. In your case, it actually seems like you would want to use the FAQ schema, rather than the Q&A schema, as the Q&A one is for Q&A sites like reddit, or even stackoverflow.

0

It all depends on the credibility of the site as a whole. If the site is trusted, then even such pages can collect traffic. Behavioral factors are also important, but what will they be on such a page?

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