What Size Body Section Ranks Highest?

This is another one of the controversial questions in many of the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) forums, yet it is very easy to answer for any particular search engine. While popular belief seems to be that pages should be very short (less than 10K) to rank well with the leading search engine, this article conclusively answers that question? with a completely different answer.

The methodology is really quite simple for this question. I gathered the results of the queries naturally performed last month by myself and three associates using Yahoo and Google. I then visited each page and wrote down the size of the body section of the page. Those sizes were then tabulated for the top 20 rankings and converted into a normalized "ranking correlation".

The resulting number shows each group of body section sizes normalizing into a number between ?100 and +100 showing the likelihood of being ranked higher/lower. A value of +100 shows that all 10 rankings were in the proper order to show that pages of the studied size ALWAYS rank HIGHER than pages of another size. A value of ?100 shows that all 10 rankings were in the proper order to show that pages of the studied size ALWAYS rank LOWER than pages of another size. Numbers in between show the varying likelihood of rankings proportionally between ?100 and +100.

That is the number you see on the Y-axis. On the X-axis, we have groups of page sizes varying from 0 to >100K bytes. Here are the graphs for Yahoo and Google:

http://www.searchenginegeek.com/graphs/dey02.gif

http://www.searchenginegeek.com/graphs/deg02.gif

(Note to Webmasters: Feel free to hot link to the above graphs or even copy them to your own site. Also feel free to delete this note.)

There is an obvious correlation on Google, which shows that body sections of a size between 50K and 60K generally rank much higher than shorter or longer bodies. The Yahoo graph is a bit more erratic, but also shows a nice peak at 60-70K (and another one at 20-30K). This goes against the popular belief that states that shorter pages rank highest. The popular belief is shown to be completely inaccurate with this study.

Notes:

1. For the purposes of this test, the actual body section size in bytes was used. The page was saved to disk and then everything before the body tag and after the end body tag were deleted. The resulting size of the file as reported by the operating system was used. Graphics and any other external references were completely ignored.

2. Over 1,000 queries and over 10,000 sites were examined for this study.

3. There was no exercise to attempt to isolate different keywords. I merely took a random sampling of the queries performed by myself and three associated during the prior month.

Conclusion:

Pages with a body section size between 50K and 70K rank best on the two leading search engines!

This is merely a correlation study, so it cannot be determined from this study whether the leading search engine purposefully entertains this factor or not. The actual factors used may be far distant from the factor we studied, but the end result is that this search engine does, in fact, rank pages between 50K and 60K higher than pages of other sizes.

Copyright 2004 Jon Ricerca

About The Author

Jon Ricerca is the lead researcher and author of the Search Engine Ranking Factor reports at Search Engine Geek. For more information, please visit: http://www.SearchEngineGeek.com

In The News:

Can SEO Be Made Predictable?  Search Engine Journal
What Does It Mean to ‘Do SEO’?  Search Engine Journal
SEO Hamilton  Search Engine People
My experience with SEO  Practical Ecommerce
What Is Forensic SEO?  Search Engine Journal
Can SEO Have a Negative Effect?  Search Engine Journal
7 Coding Barriers to SEO Success  Practical Ecommerce
SEO Critique of 3 Ecommerce Blogs  Practical Ecommerce
WeWork Selling Conductor SEO Company  Search Engine Journal
5 Best SEO Tools for Digital Marketing Agencies in 2019  99Signals - Tech News, Tech Hacks, & More

Google - PR & Backlinks

Here are some observations that I have made recently:1. On... Read More

Google Page Rank Is Dead - Or Is It? - Part I

For a long time now, marketing gurus all over the... Read More

SEO Basics - 8 Key Strategies For Online Business Success

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) can be a... Read More

How MSN and Yahoo Sells Your Traffic

Yes, it really happens. Now you might find it hard... Read More

How To Stay One Step Ahead of the Google Dance

It's taken you 6-months of hard work, constant changes, reading... Read More

SEO Expert Guide - Ongoing Monitoring of Results (part 9/10)

In the Guide, you have, so far, learnt how to... Read More

Google vs. Yahoo -- How To Rank High On Each One

Google likes incoming links, especially links from high-ranking, on-topic pages... Read More

SEO = Search Engine Optimization, tips on successful page ranking

One of the key things to remember when developing your... Read More

Google Page Rank Is Dead - Part III

HELP! My PR page rank is grey, call the development... Read More

The Google Phenomenon: Greatest Hits Collection

As my readers know, I've been one of Google's harshest... Read More

Keep Your Web Site Content Relevant

Visitors and search engines love content-rich web sites, but just... Read More

How To Get Listed In Google For Free

Google does not accept payment for inclusion in their main... Read More

The (Not So) Shocking Truth About Getting A High Search Engine Ranking

I have seen my site hit #3 at Google, and... Read More

Ten Steps To A Well Optimized Website - Step 2: Content Creation

Welcome to part two in this search engine optimization series.... Read More

eMarketing Sabotage - Top 10 Steps To Kill Your Search Engine Marketing Practices

We at America Web Works find ourselves amazed at the... Read More

Does Javascript Affect Ranking?

Almost all SEO's agree that using too much javascript can... Read More

Google Traffic Report Card-Does Your Website Pass? Part 1

This is part 1 of a 7 part series that... Read More

Google Adsense Optimization Tips

There are plenty of tips to help you enhance your... Read More

How To Get Listed in Yahoo!

Getting listed in Yahoo! (The Very Top Search Engine/Index) is... Read More

Importance of Keywords in Links to Your Website

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very complex process. It... Read More

Analyzing Googles Backlinks Is Close To Worthless

... Read More

What are My Chances to Get the First Place in Search Engine Listings?

You must have heard the stories how people became rich... Read More

How To Rank High On MSN Search

The new MSN Search is quickly gaining popularity among internet... Read More

SEO Tips for Google

Getting a high ranking on Google is a big achievement.... Read More

The Myth of Search Engine Submission

Contrary to what most people think, it is not necessary... Read More