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search engine optimization

I Fed Up – No More Long Blog Posts! (Spoiler: Reputation Wins)

17th April 2013

If you followed my blog post about trying to write 2,000-word blog posts, I would like to report that I am today fed up and won’t do such foolish thing again. Srsly!

Well, it’s been 2 months and all I can conclude is this: Your blog reputation wins, no matter how long or how useful it is. You may disagree, but this is what I have found out.

My experiments

Here’s what I’ve tried:

Test Site A: I write long blog posts (a couple 1,500+ words and one 2,000+ words) – with quality resources shared on each – on my 5-month old business blog with Domain Authority (DA) 22 and PageRank (PR) 2

Test Site B: I write long article (2,500+ words) on a brand new site with virtually no DA and PR.

Test Site C: As usual, I occasionally write less than 800 words blog posts on my 5-year old authority business blog with DA 49 and PR 4

After 2 months, I see that long blog posts have no correlation whatsoever with high search engine ranking. Of course this is non-scientific finding – so perhaps it’s not accurate, but still, you can judge after the following report – let’s move on, shall we?

Surprising findings!

Executive summary: Reputation wins!

Based on the test sites above, I find the following:

– Test Site A: My 600 – 800-word blog post ranks on the first page. My 2,000-word blog post (with proper research and plenty of useful resources, with good shares on social media) is indexed but it’s nowhere to be found on Googles’ first 2 SERPs for the target keywords!
– Test Site B’s content is nowhere to be found on SERPs. It IS indexed, though…
– Test Site C: The best ranked page, which delivers considerable organic traffic – is a 600-word article. The 1,500-word one went viral, driving social media traffic even though it doesn’t rank that well on Google.

Overall, Test Site C’s articles get more shares, more buzz and higher search engine ranking better than Test Site A and B – regardless of articles’ length.

I even hire a content specialist to write a 2,000-word article for me. It’s a great read, and it cost me $50+. ROI: Zip, zero, zilch, nada.

Well, Neil Patel was spot-on! Although long copies are generally sitting high on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs,) the ranking factor can’t be decided by long copies in themselves.

As Google (and other SEs) uses many signals to rank your pages, word length is just a factor. Of course, it’s proven that short blurbs will always get you slammed by Google Panda. But that doesn’t mean a 2,000-word copy will rank you high.

Firstly, you need to write authoritative copy with minimal rambles. Secondly, your page must get online evangelists and influencers attention. This is difficult if you are practically a ‘nobody’ (like me!) If you are Neil Patel you will get attention. If you are Ivan Widjaya (me!), you will get attention too, but with much, much less significance.

So, again, Neil Patel is right: You need to have a strong social network to get your content buzzed. Minimal social presence, minimal article exposure, minimal conversion, low ranking. Period.

You also need to have a strong base of readers, who will link to you, share your blog post and so on. No readers, no traffic; no readers, no links (except you build links yourself.) Yes, it’s that obvious…

Conclusion: Again, reputation wins!


So, it’s no point for me to continue with my experiment. Writing 2,000-word content is tiring. Research for it is even more tiring. It’s probably better for you to focus on growing your online reputation and create content that matters, rather than focusing on the length of your content. That’s too shallow, IMO!

Content is king, indeed. If yours are authoritative, you will gain reputation (that’s why you should have your name on prominent place – and link your name to your Google+ profile with rel=”author”. It’s a good practice for building reputation online – and (hopefully) useful for your SEO.

But of course, content alone can’t win you high search engine ranking and good social media popularity. You need to continue to build your reputation.

After you gain considerable reputation, THEN you can deliver more authoritative articles and have (way) much more people who will link to yours. Why? Because of your reputation and the quality of your content itself.

Again, you need both build your reputation AND your content quality. And be sure that you understand that quite often, your 2,000-word copies won’t do better than your 600-word ones. But when you are THERE, your authoritative 2,000-word content will get you content high on SERP. The research has proven it.

So, what to do to get ranked well on search engines? Write content people will love. Period.

Ivan Widjaya

photo credit: strangejourney via photopin cc

Ivan Widjaya is the owner of, as well as the founder of several online businesses:, and He runs his business from anywhere, anytime he wants.

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  • Jennifer Cunningham
    Posted at 8:25 am April 18, 2013
    Jennifer Cunningham

    This is good information. It seems to be a secret how one page ranks and another does not.

  • Ivan Widjaya
    Posted at 9:09 am April 18, 2013
    Ivan Widjaya


    It should be scientific, but for the rest of us, it’s guessing game, I suppose…

  • Jon
    Posted at 8:29 pm May 29, 2013