In today’s article, we are going to address a problem that has been with us for too long, and that is how the perfect post should be. Above all, in relation to its content. An issue that surely has touched your morals on occasion … And with good reason. Today, we explain everything you need to know about it, to be able to write the perfect post.
The first thing to say is that this whole problem comes from the arrival of Panda and his misinterpretation.
In the pre-Panda era, everyone copied content and positioned websites without any problem. Absurdly bad content, which did not respond at all to what the user needed and which, furthermore, you could find on a score of different websites.
And, when Panda arrived, that was over.
The SEOs realized the new story: We had to create valuable content. And, well, if before what we did was copy and paste the content of two or three different websites and publish it as our own, it seems logical that what we had to do later was to create original content.
And it’s true, but … Always with the same size? How do we know that Google pulled down ALL the websites with that content because it was copied or of poor quality? How do we know that he did not throw away some of them because they did not respond to the user’s search, regardless of the quality of the text?
And that is the point that I want to address in the next point. Because, in my opinion, SEOs misinterpreted Panda and considered that quality content necessarily had to mean kilometer-long text… And it doesn’t.
What does Google want?
Google only wants one thing, and it doesn’t matter how you get it: That the user is satisfied (or seems to be). And, to find out if a user has been satisfied, the factor they pay the most attention to is pogo-sticking, which we talked about previously.
That is, if a user does a search, clicks on a search result, and then repeats the search, that means that the website they clicked on did not satisfy that specific search.
If, on the other hand, it does not search again, Google assumes that it has obtained the answer it needed and, therefore, that search result has satisfied the user’s need. And, therefore, it positions it higher.
This is clear, right?
That is all that Google wants, that the user is happy. And of course, then you will have many other factors in mind to rank first, such as links or brand and domain authority (all things being equal, better a result from a well-known brand than from a Blogspot blog because it conveys more confidence to the user).
What I want you to understand at this point is that if you were able to create a completely black page, rank it for a keyword of average competition, and, God knows how to make Google not able to see that the user leaves the web and repeat the search, your page would probably rank.
Why? Because the important thing is that Google does not see that the user leaves and does the search again. The important thing is that Google believes that it has already found what it needed on your website.
In any case, if you want to know more about Pogo Sticking, I recommend that you take a look at the article that I indicated earlier. There I explain in greater depth what it is and why you should take it into account.
What does it take to satisfy the user?
And here is the million-dollar question: So … What do I need to satisfy the user? It depends!
Of course, it is not always a 3000-word text. It is very difficult to find the ideal length of a post
I give you an example. Imagine that you want to find the list of the 10 richest people in the world (assuming there is no Google snippet that gives you the answer automatically).
What would you prefer? A page that gives you the list of the 10 richest (informing you of the updated date) and the amount of money they have, a page where only the names appear, or a text of 3000 words where they show you each one in an H2 and they explain a little of their history to you?
Well, probably, if you were looking for a list, you are interested in one of the first two options. Probably the first, because it is the one that gives you the most relevant information and tells you the updated date.
Perhaps for another similar search (like, for example, “the ten richest men in the world”), the last option makes a little more sense, because it is not as indicative of a specific list and a longer text may be interesting.
But again, this is not decided by me, you, or Google. It is decided by the users. If the majority of users who arrive at the post from the simple list do not redo the search, that list is sufficient. If they keep searching until they find the result of 3000 words, then it is the result of 3000 words that meet the user’s needs.
But the important thing here is to understand that the post 3000 words does not have to be necessarily better than just 200.
Another much clearer example: Imagine you want to find the snake game (the one we had in the Nokia 3310… How old we are now!). Why do you want 3000-word text on the landing page?
In fact, that can work against that page if that text is too high and forces you to scroll until you find the game … Because that is what you are interested in and nothing else!
Now, as we will see in the last section, there are ways that, even on this type of page, it makes sense to include a text of quite a few words. But for the fact of positioning for the main keyword and satisfying the user … No.
So … Are kilometer posts necessary?
From the above, it follows that no.
The kilometric posts are not necessary, although, sometimes, they can be. We are going to put some examples of moments in which they may be necessary and convenient:
- Guides and tutorials: When a person wants to learn to do something, it is reasonable to get guides and tutorials to help them go from 0 to 100. With few exceptions, what a person in this situation is looking for is as much information as possible. So it makes sense for the text to belong.
- Biographies, stories, etc: With biographies and similar content, the same thing happens as in the previous case. People want as much information as possible because they want to understand in depth what is being reported (when they don’t want to do a copy & paste for a university job, go). Therefore, we can offer a long text. Of course, well categorized with their respective H2 and H3.
- Informative articles: In general, any informative article makes sense if it has a fairly long text because what the user wants is not very specific information or any other type of content, but a long text where everything is explained properly.
As you can see, in reality, it is only necessary to use common sense a little: The kilometer texts should be for those searches that require kilometer texts … It has no more mystery!
Of course, there are times when a long content but cut into different parts can also be useful.
For example, a guide can be divided into chapters and these chapters, in turn, are one on each page. In this way, each individual page can rank, but so can the initial page with which the guide starts.
In the event that the guide is well done enough, the pages load fast, and it is easy to navigate between the different pages, it is reasonable that the user finds the same value in this guide as in the others.
Additionally, you benefit from being attacking a greater number of keywords from different pages, and that, at the same time, enhances the positioning of the guide.
But here you have to understand that the content is still extensive content, only presented in a different way. And it is extensive content because it is what the user demands to be satisfied, for no other reason.
Watch out! It can be useful
And now, one last point: Even on the snake game page, a long text can make sense.
However, it does not have it for a question of positioning or user satisfaction, but for a question of facilitating the understanding of the web to Google and for attacking a greater number of keywords.
For example, we may say “Snake Game” in the title, but people search for this game by many, many other words.
What can we do? We can include a text with a greater number of related keywords so that Google also displays our page (which satisfies the user’s need for reasons other than the text) when those searches are carried out.
But it must always be borne in mind that what the user needs is the game, and, therefore, that is what must be placed at the top. The text should go below, because, probably, the user will not even scroll to see it.
The experience in online stores
This may seem a bit weird to some readers, but those more advanced SEOs have known it for a long time. In fact, this is how any online store works.
When a user reaches a category page (or the home page) of an online store, what he wants is not to find a text explaining the benefits of “red shoes”. What you want is to see a catalog of red shoes.
However, the SEO that runs that online store does want to tell everything they can about the red shoes, including as many keyword variations as possible. Not for the user, of course, but for Google.
What does he do then? Well, simply put all that text at the bottom or on one side of the store, where it does not bother the user, but where Google can collect that information and use it to better understand the web and position it for more keywords.
As I say, this is something that has been done all our lives with online stores, because it is where it is seen in a more evident way that it is the optimal way to satisfy the user’s search intention.
The question is … Why is this criterion only applied to online stores and, when we talk about other types of websites, we change the chip and it seems to us that a 3000-word post is always necessary?
The truth is I do not know. Perhaps it is because when Google Panda arrived, most of the affected websites were blogs and online stores maintained their position better. I do not know. It would be necessary to verify it.
The fact is that it is like this … And it shouldn’t be like that.
As you can see, the optimal content for the keyword you are interested in ranking for can be very varied. Maybe you do need a kilometric and hypercompetent text … But maybe you only need one line of text (or even none). You have to change the chip because Google does not want text, it wants satisfied and happy users.
And now, to finish, a question … Do you think that what we have just explained would be possible, too, including only a list of keywords that you know that people use to search for the snake game, or is it necessary a more type content blogpost?
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