You have no doubt noticed the increase in imagery across the web and constant sharing of images and videos on social media sites.
Twitter became popular because it was a quick way to express yourself in a limited number of characters. These all seemed to point to the inevitable disappearance of lengthy articles.
However, there are reasons why this conclusion is not only premature in nature but also false.
Web Users Are Getting Used to Scrolling
On laptops and desktops, having to scroll through lengthy articles was a pain. Now scrolling through websites is becoming the norm. In fact, since the introduction of the Kindle many have gotten used to using tablets to do reading. As more and more people get their reading in via eBooks, looking at paragraphs of text on a screen is no longer abnormal or uncomfortable.
If the text is easy to read and the content interesting, viewers have no issues scrolling through articles.
Longer Content Does Better on Search Engines
It’s no coincidence that Wikipedia tends to be one of the first websites to appear when you search for any one or two word query. When users type something short into Google, say “sushi” or “Lisbon Portugal,” they are making what is called an “informational” query. While they may be looking to buy some sushi or take a trip to Lisbon, they aren’t there yet. Instead, they are looking to learn more about a particular subject, and when they want to learn more, they tend to gravitate towards longer pages and articles.
Google has noticed this trend, leading to its consistently ranking content over 2000 words in length
in the top ten results for most queries. And that’s not all: because people tend to trust longer pieces – perhaps they seem more authoritative or better-researched – these pieces also tend to get more links. It’s a win-win!
That doesn’t mean you can just start spurting out whatever it takes to hit the 2000 word mark. Your content still needs to be focused and meaningful, and if you choose a competitive topic like introductory SEO you might never make an impact – there’s already too many great guides on this subject. However, maybe your business could compile lots of useful information in one place. Digital Marketing Ramblings has done this with social media stats
– they’re nearly always one of the top results for any “[name of social network] statistics” query. If a business like Bortek Industries
compiled the web’s foremost guide to industrial sweepers, they could consistently rank for industry-relevant terms. Just remember, quality is key.
There Is Still a Lot to Say
One reason that lengthy text isn’t going anywhere is that this generation of web users has so much to say. People are producing more content today than we ever have before – that’s why 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute
and 350 million photos are posted on Facebook every day
. As we become more connected on a global scale, people are producing and consuming more and more information.
The truth is that the Internet will continue to get longer as more and more people find their voice. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but there are thousands of words that would never be expressed should the internet move away from being "wordy."
Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer who is passionate about social media. If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach her on Twitter at @adrienneerin, or by visiting her blog, Design Roast