Originally Posted by barrywheeler
Chris, why then, do most sites or "experts" recommend articles of around 500 - 750 words in length?
Is it simply to relief reader fatigue?
Probably because they don't know any better and are just repeating something that was said as a throwaway comment by Jill Whalen way back last century, and because the "experts" are always looking for exact figures
where none actually exist.
The Reverend Ronald Knox had it exactly right with:
"A sermon should be like a womans skirt, Long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to be interesting"
If your topic requires a thesis of a thousand words then do so.
If you can get the information into a hundred words that's ok too.
If the topic can be "serialised" in discrete parts (chapters) with any loss of cohesion for the reader, that's ok as well.
If it is a tutorial or explanatory piece that can be a single entity or spread across several pages, then do either or maybe both.
Don't get hung up on the silly people who quote exact numbers because nine time out of ten they will have guessed.
WRITE for human beings
We read books that are thousands of words long by reading a chapter or a page at a time, put the book down and pick it back up hours maybe days later.
We read searialised novels in magazines at a chapter a week.
Do NOT underestimate and insult your audience by assuming they have the concentration span of a fish and need feeding with little bits of information at a time. The human brain is a remarkable thing, the more information you can feed into it the more it can absorb.
You can even give your readers the option by making a serialised (paginated) version AND a "long" version available for them to choose, track the data from that and you then know what YOUR
Do a short survey and ASK them which they prefer, if you are smart you can then give personalised version of your pages for each user.
The posibilities are many fold, do not limit your choices to what you think search engines "prefer". Because they also want what is best for users!