I was Moderating over at Highrankings earlier today, when the above question was asked. I gave the standard reply of as many as it takes but keep it to readable chunks. I was then asked what a readable chunk is defined as!
What is a readable chunk? I would say that it is a section that covers a topic, and finishes when you are ready to move on to the next bit. One or two A4 pages is enough, but it totally depends on the subject matter as well. I mean if you asked me if a film was worth going to see and I droned on and on with a scene by scene breakdown is that too much? On the other hand, if you were to ask me the best way to rebuild a transmission, you would not be happy with ‘get some spanners, take it all apart, replace the broken bits and rebuild it’ would you 😉
I am not sure what a prize winning SEO tool is. As for the analysis of top ranking words, you want a laugh? Then analyse the TOP ranking page, and watch it tell you to make changes 😉 If you have an ebook, and break it down into chapters (articles) and cluster the links correctly, cross citing when needed etc, then you will have a damn fine little niche on your site for that subject. Forget the analysis stuff, ‘do what is right for your users’ Honestly I can’t tell you enough.
Here is a living example. you keep to one topic, and you will get backlinks to that page (if it is any good). I link to articles and forum posts of quality all the time. I link to specific pages that are giving out good information ON A DAILY BASIS! No link exchange requests, I just link to good information.
So the question you should be asking is NOT how many words, it is , ‘what makes for good information’? Simple, good information will answer a question completely and/or cite other sources of good information. I set up this blog about 6 weeks ago, I am getting traffic as a result of people linking to some of my posts from their own blogs or in forums.
If you want to know how good your article is then forget about SEO by numbers, and get to grips with SEO for quality. Quality content attracts links, plain and simple.
So finally I would say, read the article, does it have a start a middle and an end? By this I mean, does it raise the question, apply itself to dealing with that question, explain itself as it goes along, and give a conclusion to the question and move you on to the next? If it does, then it is a good article and don’t worry about the word count. What you lose in word count, you will more than make up for in page views and backlinks.