Are Long Sentences in Your Blog Posts Good or Bad for Website Rankings?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
by Karen Cioffi

I’ve been getting more involved in my website analytics lately. Due to this, I found an interesting ranking element (elements search engines use to put a value on your website). And, it’s one I didn’t know about – sentence length.

Most writers know about sentence length in regard to writing for children and writing in general. But did you know that it also matters in your blog posts?

Apparently, long sentences reduce content clarity.

According to, a free website analytics tool, your sentence length shouldn’t be longer than 20 words. When I analyzed my website, my sentences ran longer than recommended. You should aim for less than 5% in this area. I’m at around 12 percent. OOPS.

So, now you need to think about writing quality content along with having the right number of words in each sentence. Another tidbit to add more time to your marketing schedule.

As an example of this concept, I took the content below from a sentence in one of my blog posts:
If you copy and republish content from other websites without adding any original and substantial content or value of your own, you could (most likely will) be penalized with a hit to your search ranking.
Hmmmm. Thirty-five words.

To appease the search engines and create an easier read for visitors, that sentence needs to be trimmed. That means rewriting it.

Rewriting for Clarity

Using the sentence example above, how might you rewrite it to create shorter sentences and boost clarity?
If you copy and republish content from other websites, you must include original and substantial value to your reader. If you don’t, you’ll be penalized with a hit to your search ranking.
There you go - two sentences both under 20 words. Not bad.

Here’s another way to reduce the sentence length:
Republishing content from other websites without adding original value of your own will get your rankings penalized.
One sentence – 17 words. Even better.

So, you can see that with little effort, you can easily reword a run-on sentence.

But, don’t stress too much over this. It’ll just put a damper on creativity and writing time. Do though keep ‘short sentences’ in the back of your mind. And, keep an eye out for run-on sentences.

As you keep doing this, it will quickly become a natural part of your writing and editing process that will lead to more clarity for your reader. This is turn will help you be on good terms with the search engines.

Karen Cioffi is a former accountant who is now a multi-award-winning author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, editor, and author-writer online platform marketing instructor. She founded and manages Writers on the Move (a marketing group), and presents online writing and marketing workshops and webinars.

Karen has published 12 writing and marketing eBooks, the most recent, Article Marketing: Increase Website Traffic with Properly Formatted and Search Engine Optimized Content.

In addition to this, Karen’s website, Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing, was named Writer’s Digest Website of the Week, June 25, 2012.

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Karen Cioffi said...

This is just one tidbit of blogging for results. There's also the length of your blog post.

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