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Article writing: 1000 words or 400 words

By Edited Nov 14, 2015 3 6

Many writers face a common problem in article writing.

They want to know whether a 1000 words article is better than a 400 words article.

When they check online for an answer, they seem to find conflicting views. Some writers swear that articles having more than 1000 words outperform articles of 400 words.

Some writers prefer to have two articles of 400 words rather than an article of 1000 words. Since there are two articles, the potential page views increases.

What is right? Should you write 1000 words or 400 words?

The answer depends on many factors.

1. Keyword density and keyword occurrence

If you write an article of 400 words, and you want to achieve a keyword density of 3%, the keyword occurrence is only 12.

You cannot have more than 12 occurrence, unless you want to jack up the keyword density.

If you are writing for Ezinearticles, one of the most popular article directories, you will find that it accepts only 2% keyword density.

That means the keyword occurrence is only 8.

In this case, it makes sense to write longer arti cle for the sake of better ranking.

This is especially important when you use a very popular keyword. Imagine you have an article of only 400 words, and someone writes another article with the same set of keywords of 1000 words. Whose article is going to rank higher if all other seo factors are equal?

The answer is obvious. The article with more keyword occurrence will rank higher. That means the article with 1000 words will rank higher.


Many writers do not know that comments add to the word count.

It is better to have more meaningful comments than less comments.

If you write an article of 400 words, and you have 100 comments of 30 words each, you would have an additional 3000 words in the webpage.

The total word count is 3,400 words, and not 400 words.

If you do not have the benefits of active readers to add comments, you can stick to 1000 words as the minimum word count for the article.

3. Keyword

How rare is your keyword or keyword phrase?

If you are writing about making money online, you are competing with million of articles using the same keyword phrases.

In this case, a longer article has better onpage seo value.

Beside writing article, you need to get in more incoming links to the article.

If you are using Polyrhachis Vicina Roger as the keyword phrase for your article, you can get away with a 400 words article.

I doubt any other writer will compete with you for the top page in search engine result page for this particular keyword.

4. Content

The content is the deciding factor for the length of article.

If you are writing a book review, it is hard to go beyond 400 words. That is especially so when you are writing a book review on a popular children book.

It is simply stupid to write 1000 words to describe a book of 300 words.

If you are writing about the treatment of lung cancer, it is possible to reach 1000 words. You can write about the traditional methods of treating lung cancer, and the new methods used in clinical trials.

The information is enough for you to justify the usage of 1000 words.

5. Search engines

Most of us know the major search engines. We know Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

However, there are many smaller search engines.

If you search for a keyword in Yahoo and Google, you will notice that the first page of search engine result page differs.

The reason is in the difference in algorithm.

While Google may prefer article of longer length and more backlinks, the other search engines may not.

That is why you will find that some articles rank better in Yahoo, and some articles rank better in Google.

You need to experiment and see whether a longer article ranks better in Yahoo or Google.

The only exception is the usage of very rare keywords. If nobody uses the term, and yours is the only article using it, your article will definitely reach the first page.

What is better for article writing? 1000 words or 400 words? The perfect answer is: it depends. You have to use your common sense.

You have to experiment with article writing.

The best way to experiment is to use the same keyword for both articles. Write an article of 400 words, and another article of 1000 words, and upload them at the same time.

You will notice that one article will gather more page views than the other.



Sep 28, 2010 10:07am
Hello scheng1,
Over the past year I've written many blogs and linked blogs together in addition to linking articles to my blogs but I chose not to use the comment box on certain blogs.

I've been working a one solid blog lately. I will be using this blog for years to come. Anyway, I chose to leave the comment box because I want people to post comments or use the comment box to ask questions. I never thought of the comment box as a way to increase word count. I'm looking forward to how it works out for me. Thanks for the advice.
Sep 28, 2010 10:47pm
Hi Homebase, if you check out Problogger blog, you can see the benefits of having tons of comments.
The risk is that too many comments can reduce keyword density. Many bloggers advise to reply to the comments, and use the keyword, so that keyword density is retained.
I guess I have to remind you that my keywords here are: 400 words, 1000 words.
Sep 28, 2010 7:04pm
This was a very interesting article. You're going to be a great addition to InfoBarrel!
Sep 28, 2010 10:50pm
Hi Deborah, this article is based on past experimenting. I guess you have more experience in this matter of word count.
Sep 28, 2010 11:51pm
This is really good information. Great article!
Oct 13, 2010 3:08pm
Very helpful information. Thanks for sharing.
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