Sebastian's Pamphlets

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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Optimizing the Number of Words per Page

I'm just in the mood to reveal a search engine optimizing secret, which works fine for Google and other major search engines as well.

The optimal number of words per page gets determined as follows:
  • Resize your browser window to fit 800*600 resolution.

  • Create a page with three columns below the page title in a H1 tag. In the first column put your menu. In the third column put an AdSense 'Wide Skyscraper' ad (160*600).

  • Write your copy and paste it into the second column. Reload the page. If the ads match your topic, fine. If not, rewrite your text, or add more, or remove fillers.

  • You have written too much words, if the middle column exceeds the height of the right ad.

  • Link to this page and leave it alone until Googlebot has fetched it 2-4 times. Time to index is 2 days, so reload the page 2 days after the last Googlebot visit to check whether the ads still match your content (respectively the keyword phrase you're after). If not, tweak your wording.

  • Then re-arrange the ads and move on. You've achieved the optimal number of words per page for your keyword phrase.

Actually, the gibberish above is a persiflage on AdSense optimized content sites.

Seriously, a loooong copy with fair link popularity attracts way more SE traffic, especially if it is supported by a few tiny pages which are naturally optimized for particular phrases, for example footnote pages pointing out details, or one-page definitions of particular terms used in the long copy. This structure is comfortable for all users, either for experts on the topic and interested newbies as well, thus search engines honor it. There is no such thing as an optimal number of words per page.

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