Stop Creating Content That Google Wants
Any blogger will tell you their number one concern for their blogs is getting traffic to them. It’s a valid concern because, without that traffic, blogs will fizzle out. You need people to consume your content, and that requires traffic.
To get that traffic, bloggers try all kinds of schemes and tricks. They try to trick the search engines into rewarding their blogs with high rankings. This, in turn, leads to more traffic, or at least in their minds. One current misguided piece of advice is to create long-form content. All the influential bloggers have touted the benefits of creating long-form content. They all point to tests that report that Google likes it better than short-form content.
These influencers are probably correct, at least in the short term. The reasoning behind why Google wants longer form content makes sense. They can gather more information about what your post is all about. This, of course, assumes that the long-form content piece has a narrow focus. This is where it all starts to get a bit fuzzy.
There are several problems with this long-form content movement. The first is adhering to a word count primarily because Google wants it, becomes a purely academic exercise. This has the potential for the content to suffer in quality. Imagine you are a blogger, and you create a post that succinctly tells what you want to tell. It turns out to be 500 words. Then, because of this long-form movement, you decide to fill the post with a bunch of fluff. But, at least you got your word count to come out to 2,000 words. The question is, will your readers be happy with what you did?
Another potential problem is the fact that the metric will fade as more people jump on. As more bloggers realize they need to create longer posts, more will create longer posts, whether it’s warranted or not. They hear that Google wants longer posts and that is what they provide. Therefore, it will be commonplace, and the benefits will fade over time.
If you can create long-form content naturally and without filling it with nonsense just for the sake of a word count, then, by all means, go for it. However, if you are creating quality content for your readers and they appreciate what you are providing for them, it’s difficult to imagine Google will penalize anyone for doing this.