There are several types of content on the internet, and the reason is that they appeal to different kinds of users. Not everyone likes the same type of content or is looking for the same thing, and not every piece of content sends the same signals to Google. We know this ever since we got a look at the Google content standards evaluation guidelines.
The types of users vary greatly, and if you are starting a blog, purchasing a domain, or have been in business for a while, they are relevant to you and what you are doing. Here are the three most basic types of users.
- Streakers: These are searchers who are looking for quick answers to questions, a short form post, video, or even an audio answer.
- Strollers: Strollers are users who are looking for a little more in-depth answers. They are not yet ready to buy but are doing minimal research. Medium length content, how-to videos, and other shorter content appeal to them.
- Studiers: The perpetrators of multi-thread searches and specific long-term queries, these users are looking for detailed answers, reviews, case studies, and specific dimensions and research on a specific target. Long-form content and detailed descriptions, long-form video, and more appeal to them.
There is a fourth type of user also, the researcher. This is primarily made up of academics and journalists who are researching topics for a specific project. These are the users who will share your work.
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It should be your goal with content to convert streakers to strollers, strollers to studiers, and studiers to researchers.
Besides appealing to these two types of users, here are five reasons long-form content matters to Google.
Here are the 5 Reasons Long-Form Blog Content Matters to Google
5. It Shows You’re Real
One way to show search engines that you are real and engaged is to have different kinds and lengths of content. One type of short-form content on limited topics sends signals of automation and apathy and hurts your reputation not only with search engines but with readers.
Real businesses know all about their niche and also know a great deal about their customers, their products or services, and they can share that information without giving away trade secrets or driving away customers. Think about the number of times you have read a detailed post or seen an instructional video that seemed interesting, but more complicated than something you wanted to tackle yourself.
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First, if the video is interesting, you will share it. Secondly, you will probably look to hire the experts that produced the video if the project is too complicated for you. They have already proven their expertise. It is the same with long-form written content.
4. It Showcases Your Expertise
As mentioned above, long-form content showcases your expertise. This is a big part of the Google site evaluation guidelines, the ones that gave us the E.A.T. principle. Google is looking for expert content that is authoritative and trustworthy.
Long form content that is well researched and linked not only shows users your expertise, but it showcases that to search engines and Google evaluators as well. This increases your ranking in these areas which earn you more links and more organic traffic, which in turn boosts your rankings yet again.
3. It Validates Your Authority
The second part of the E.A.T. principle is an authority. Google looks not only at content but at who wrote it and whether or not they are considered an expert in the field. The more long-form informative content you have on the web with your name on it, the more authority you have with Google and other search engines.
This translates to users as well. Think of it this way. When is the last time you Googled yourself? What did the first page of results look like? Your website, your LinkedIn and your social media profiles? Good. Now, when is the last time you Googled the niche of your site with a long-tail query you have answered on your blog?
Does your content appear on the first page? The second? The third? If it does not appear on any of these, the reason could be the SEO and keywords of your site, but it could also be that you have not set yourself apart as an authority from the rest of those writing the same type of content.
2. It Earns Links and Shares
Here is the thing about students and researchers: they share content, they cite it in their own articles, and they link to it from their own cites. It is much easier to link to long-form content than short form, at least in a natural way. And as Matt Cutts now famously said, “Links do not have to look natural, they have to be natural.”
While indeed you should have link building campaigns and build links intentionally from sites that build your authority and ranking, your content should also be such that it earns those links by sheer virtue of the fact that people want to share it. This kind of sharing and linking is the best for your Google ranking.
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Although Google still maintains that social signals are not a part of rankings, many studies show that even if it isn’t, which we cannot be sure of, the traffic it brings does have an impact. Long form content matters.
1. It Increases Organic Traffic
Which brings us to the final, and possibly most important point. Organic traffic is increased, and organic traffic is the number one indicator to Google that your site matters. The more organic and social generated traffic you get, the more, and higher quality backlinks you have, the higher your rankings. And so the cycle goes. More links, more traffic, more shares equal higher rankings which equal more traffic, more links, and more shares.
Here’s the point of all of this. Yes, you should have a variety of content on your site. Yes, short form, medium form, videos, infographics, and photo stories all matter. However, long-form content perhaps matters the most to Google and is the most evergreen. Long form content is the cornerstone of your blog and makes a difference to users, search engines, and your bottom line.