Is Longform Content Obsolete Now?

It’s a popular opinion among bloggers that you must write long-form content if you want to rank higher. If your competitor has 2000-word content, you should go with the article that has about 2100 to 2200 words. 

But does this practice of surpassing word count still work? No, Google has debunked all the myths about “word count” with the recent updates. The game isn’t about word count anymore; it’s more difficult and requires your complete attention towards the “value” you provide. 

So, does that mean you can’t create long-form content? Well, you can create, but there are many things you need to understand first, which I’ll explain below. So, let’s get into the details. 

What Is Long-Form Content & Should You Create It?

Long-form content means pieces of content (articles and blogs) over 1000+ words. This type of content is considered long reads, as the articles are generally more detailed, covering every aspect of the topic. The question is, should you still follow long-form writing practice? 

The answer is yes and no, both. It might prove to be a bad practice if the audience your blog has wants to read short-form content. Also, it can be a good practice if your blog is about a niche that requires a detailed explanation. So, you see, the game is about what your users want, not what the search engine wants. 

So, here’s a tip: Before choosing a blog topic, consider your readers. Do they prefer shorter content or longer, in-depth content? 

Only create long articles when the topic truly demands it, and don’t go too far by writing 4000 to 5000 words. That’s a bit excessive. Even for long content, it’s usually best to stick to 2000 to 2500 words, that too, if it’s necessary. Otherwise, you should only keep the content length up to 1000 to 1500 words maximum. 

My suggestion is to create topic clusters. Instead of writing a detailed article about one topic, create three to five articles that are related to one another. Interlink all of these articles. It will help in ranking and the user as the content will be easy to digest. 

Do People Still Read Long Articles?

Most people don’t like reading long articles these days. Research shows that average attention spans have become shorter, lasting around 8.25 seconds. [source]

This is why every other social media platform, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, has launched reel or short video features in the last ten years. Google also launched the feature snippet back in 2014. All of this is because they know the users now want quick info as they don’t have time to spend a lot on long content. 

However, long articles aren’t completely obsolete. Some topics and niches need in-depth, well-researched content. For instance, in the affiliate marketing niche, in-depth content is essential. People looking for product reviews want to know all the details and pros and cons before purchasing.

Do Longer Articles Rank Higher?

No, the word count of the article isn’t a ranking factor anymore in SEO. The only thing Google consider is:

“Original, helpful content created for people in search results.”

I’ve seen websites with long articles that were not helpful, and Google pushed them down in search results. On the other hand, websites with high-quality content rose to the top. The biggest example is Quora, which is at the top of the search engine ranking nowadays, all because of great content. 

Benefits of Long-Form Content

Here are the top four benefits of long-form content. Just a quick reminder: when I talk about “long content,” I mean the genuinely useful content. It’s not about piling up words without purpose – that doesn’t help anyone.

  1. Making Complex Ideas Easy: Long-form content offers detailed explanations. You can break down any complicated topics with a simple step-by-step process. 
  2. Showcasing Your Brand’s Personality: Longform articles perfectly showcase your brand’s voice and message to the target audience. 
  3. Becoming an Authority: When you create content that’s longer helpful about a particular subject, people see you as an expert in that specific field.
  4. Keeping Readers Engaged Longer: Long-form quality content can keep readers on your site for a longer time, which helps increase dwell time. 

3 Drawbacks of Long-Form Content

Here are the three main reasons a long-form content marketing strategy is bad. 

  • Takes a Lot of Time: Writing long content requires time. You have to spend more time researching and putting every fact together as compared to the shorter content strategy. 
  • Short Attention Spans: Many internet users have short attention spans, so they prefer shorter content they can digest quickly.
  • Hard to Read: Long-form content can be tough to read, and not everyone has the time or patience.

Why Shorter Articles are Better?

Short articles are better because they can easily captivate your audience. A large number of readers want the answer to their question within a minute. If you give them an answer in a lengthy article, they’ll not be satisfied and will go to any other site. 

This is why it’s best to make your content short and valuable. Try to provide a good reading experience by providing as much information as possible to solve the searcher problem. It will help establish a connection of trust, and the audience will come to your website again. 

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Final Words

If you asked my opinion, short-form content is a better option. Long-form stories and blogs were in trend a few years back; they’re not useful today. You can create longer content if you think it helps your target audience. However, I’ve noticed that a cluster of articles about a specific topic performs better on search engines than one long article.  

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