What Google's Quick Read tells us about the future of SEO. If you haven't seen yet, Google's running an experiment called Quick Read. It is where they let you know in the search results if something is fast read or not. It looks something like this. It's actually been going on for a bit. So why do you think Google's running this experiment? Let me know in the comments. I'm really curious to hear your thoughts.
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Do you think it's because they want to point out something is short, something is long, something is bad, something is good, let me know, right? No one really knows the answer. Google's not telling us. But I have some insights. Well, think of it this way. We took some data from Ubersuggest. We looked at 562 informational search queries. Can you guess what percentage of the first page results contained over 2000 words? A whopping 41.9%.
As a searcher, do you prefer reading long articles or short ones? The reality is, you don't care what the length is. You just want the answer to your question as quick as possible. In other words you want someone to solve your problem as quick as possible. Whether that's one second or a minute, you ideally don't want to take too long. If you can get it in a minute, great. If not, then you're hoping to get in two minutes, and if that's not possible you're ideally hoping to look to get the solution to your problem within three minutes and so forth, so on.
But no one wants to read a 10 minute article to find the answer when they could have gotten the answer in one minute. A great example of this is, would you want to read a 10 minute article that breaks down the answer to two plus two? Of course not. You just want to know that the answer is four. SEO isn't about word count. And you can see this with what Google is trying to do here with their Quick Read test.
Don't optimize your content for length, optimize it for quality, and give people what they want as quick as possible. Sometimes you just need 10,000 words to do that, and sometimes you only need 300 words. Google wants people to get the answers to their problems as quick as possible. It's why when you type in stuff like Las Vegas weather into Google, you see weather right away instead of having to go to a random webpage.
If you want to do well in the long run, optimize for giving people what they want in the least amount of words as possible. Just imagine yourself searching Google for solution. Are you going to go click on a quick read result, or are you going to take the long painful path? I'm just saying giving people what they want as quick as possible is the ideal thing to do. That's how you win with content marketing in the long run.
Now, if you need help with your content marketing strategy trying to figure out, hey, should something be long, short, how can I give that impact as quick as possible even though my competitors have really long content? Check out our ad agency, NP Digital where we help our customers do this. If you just have any questions, leave a comment below. I'm here to answer them, help you out. If you enjoyed this video, like it, share it, tell other people about it. Thank you for your time.
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Google has always intended to surface quality content that aligns with the user’s search and delivers value in the quickest, most engaging way possible. There will always be black hatters that attempt to find other paths to views and site growth, and Google will always struggle to quality from hacky crap, but it does seem like they’re making their way slowly towards rewarding quality content and penalising hacky content
It does seem like that 🙂 They just want searchers to be happy.
Google managers are either crazy or on heavy drugs, as they demand rectangular circles. On the one hand you get better rankings with more relevant and comprehensive content about a subject. On the other hand Google will reward content as short as possible? This is nuts.
I think it depends on the keyword. I know it can be very frustrating!
Hey Neil. I’ve a big question for you. My competitors are ranking on top with very bad quality content. I’m in movie download niche. I provide a quick and quality content that leads users to download. But, my competitors are just fooling the visitors with stretched content. After the spam update, even though I’ve good content, my competitors are still staying strong *:(* & and I lost 60% of my traffic
They may have a higher DA, causing them to rank higher. Work to grow your DA 🙂
I am leaning towards 500 words of content around the key word, but broken down into answering the most frequently asked questions on that keyword. This would give a short answer to a question, but keep the contact long enough to be quality and recognized by Google for that keyword if that makes sense.
You can definitely test that out! However, be sure that the frequently asked questions aren’t keywords that would need their own pages.
@Neil Patel our family business is signing up with your company
It’s okay for me to create content first on my new website or give time into creating backlinks on every single post?
Any tips for getting approved for ad sense with 10 blog post?
Create content first 🙂 People will need something to link to!
Thanks, Neil! I’ve learned so much from you and UberSuggest!
You are so welcome!
But what about considering the content as “thin” by SEO tools. Most SEO tools (including Ubersuggest) will consider a page containing short content as “thin”. I guess SEO audit tools should change the way they crawl and analyze websites to meet Google’s new update!
SEO is constantly evolving, and SEO tools should evolve with it 🙂
Very true! I love a quick read or I just scroll down to the conclusion piece. For my recipes blog, I’ve been focusing on making my title give the basics like: 5 Ingredient Instant Pot blah blah. Thanks to your tips, my numbers keep going up! It’s so exciting!
Sarah – as a consumer of recipes, it makes me crazy when I have to scroll to the bottom to get to the recipe. SEO and UX go hand in hand. I would keep the title and 1 paragraph intro at the top, give users the recipe (using Google’s Recipe Schema), and then delve into the nitty gritty details about why you selected each ingredient. Great soup recipes by the way! I’ll be trying them out.
@Sarah’s Healthy Recipes You are doing great! I love how you broke out the different ingredients and their benefits Those are things I read if I am food prepping on a Sunday, but when I’ve worked a 12-hour day, taken kids to sports, and am trying to throw something together quick I want to get to that recipe fast. Thanks for the new items to add to our family meals.
@Jayme Welch I get it lol! My kids are 6, 4, and almost 2 and I also watch a 2yo so Im homeschooling, potty-training, breaking up fights, making meals, doing laundry, oh yeah, writing a blog post and editing a video so yeah, life is crazy and I look forward to serving other crazy moms like me 🙂 Hang in there, and thank you for your encouragement 🙂
Hi Neil, Do you think I should consider breaking down my longer blog posts into a couple / few shorter articles? Or is it too early in Google’s trial to consider this? Also, how do we reconcile what apps like Marketmuse are telling us in terms of Word Count needed to rank (they usually encourage higher word count than competitors) and the addition of specific keywords which is bound to make the content longer.
If your article is ranking well, I’d keep it. If you think it would perform better broken into separate posts, then go for it 🙂
Amazing Information Sir.
Great discussion Neil.
I have a little question.
My competitors always uses at least 1000-1200 words absurdly. But I always give the absolute answer with in 300-500 words & that’s enough for my audience.
Am I going to the right path Neil?
How is your competitor ranking compared to you? That should give you your answer 🙂
Glad you think so!
I just wish Google would make up their mind lol. They tell us one thing and then another. It’s definitely frustrating as a content creator.
It is frustrating, but they’re always going to be changing with the times.
Me: “OK Google, it’s taken forever but I’ve done everything you wanted”
Google: “I’ve changed my mind”
Such mixed signals!
@neilpatel – recently I started updating my long form articles with a ‘quick summary’ section at the top, so my visitors can get quick, basic answers immediately, or read the entire article for tons of depth. Do you think Google might ever add something to their algorithms which takes into consideration if a very long read has a quick read summary near the top of the page? IMO that would be the best of both worlds.
They could! The conclusion is also similar to a quick summary.
Make sense Neil. Fast is slow and slow is fast. The real result would be a change in the time scale—the speed with which (new) content would find its own level among the deluge of content.
Come on… Until now, all the advice went in the direction of “write long articles, over 1800-2000 words, because Google wants consistency and appreciates an article loaded with information”.
Suddenly, Google wants short articles. This is confusing.
Of course, in a world invaded by superficiality, where people just want to look at a 10 seconds video and do not use their brains at all, it’s understandable. We will be transformed into a mass of functional zombies. Shortly – we already live in the “Idiocracy” movie.
Lol that movie! On the topic of length, I think some content needs to be longer but other content doesn’t need to be as long. It’s about keyword intent.
Maybe they’re trying to sort these unbearable articles where the answer you’re looking for is buried in the last paragraph of those 2000 words, and put forward content that gives you the answer straight and simple.
I think that’s what they’re pushing for. They want happy searchers.
It’s a balance, though, right Neil?
Think about skyscraper posts. What do you do? Knock those down into a series of 12 posts? I don’t think so. And I’d guess that’s why Google is labeling posts as Quick Reads, because they know some questions need quick answers and some questions need depth. I just picked up a whitepaper saying the key to ranking on Google without all the SEO fuss is maximizing time on page. I’d guess that’s true for some topics.
You’re the expert. And I’d guess, that step 1 is asking yourself:
Is this a question/topic that searchers want the fastest possible answer to?
Is this a question/topic that searchers want the most complete answer to?
Then, write the article that makes sense.
That’s spot on, Tim 🙂 Keyword intent is important to keep in mind.