Google’s Algorithm Stresses Long-Form Content to Boost Your Brand in SERPs

Tandem recaps Rand Fishkin's latest Moz blog on Google's algorithm giving more weight to long-form content in SERPs. Boost your brand with these SEO tips!

How to Create the Absolute Best Long-Form Content to Outrank Your Competitors

If you are a brand or a digital marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale, it is very likely that you are tired of hearing the age-old SEO phrase that “content is king”. Over the past two years, this saying has been re-evaluated, ripped apart, degraded, then put back together again – leaving both brands and digital marketers confused. As a top digital marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale, team Tandem has been to numerous digital marketing conferences, local meetups, and is constantly researching industry hot topics; one that always seems to be discussed is content. We hear that long-form content is dead, it’s done, it’s not best practice anymore. We hear that lists, how-to’s, and infographics engage and convert the most. However, are your how-to’s, lists, or infographics helping your brand rank organically for your top key terms?

The growth of social media and the drop in attention spans has led many brands to stray away from long-form content; the common reasoning: who is going to read it? In fact, short attention spans are what have led to the creation of page read times – estimations given to a reader so they will know exactly how long it will take to read that piece of content. Sure, we want someone to actually read our content, we want our social posts to get engagement, but at the end of the day, we need our website to rank.

In his latest Moz blog, Rand Fishkin, the guru himself, explained how certain types of long-form content can make you outrank your competitors organically. This might seem completely counterproductive when we hear that long-form content is no longer best practice, but keep in mind that we are not talking about social media posts or LinkedIn Pulse articles where lists and infographics convert better. When it comes to getting your website to rank, long-form, thorough content is best, and perhaps always will be for search engine spiders.

Types of Long-Form Content that Rank Higher:

  1. Informational and Research Intensive content
  2. Brand and product comparisons
  3. Content that answers broad questions with complex/multi-faceted answers


In order for brands and digital marketing agencies in Fort Lauderdale to fully understand why this type of content is so important to search engines, it is important to know the many facets of Google’s algorithm. Fishkin explains how, as well all know, the Google algorithm for ranking relies on domain authority, link authority, keyword targeting, topic authority, the domain itself, page load speed, freshness of the site, and much more. When it comes to ranking for organic, SEO content, all of the following are what Google looks for:

  1. Searcher engagement and satisfaction. Google gives higher ranks to websites that produce content that satisfies searchers and their queries, but also that has good engagement. A way to measure this: page bounce rates. If a searcher lands on your content as a result of a search query, and continues to read the content because it is actually relevant to them, the lower the bounce rate will be.
  2. Diversity and uniqueness of that content. There is an exorbitant amount of content circulating the Internet. For every search query, there are hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of results. Long-form, quality, unique content will always be king because in order to rank for a search query, your content MUST stand out from everything else there is out there.
  3. Quality content. SEO companies and brands need to understand that “quality content” does not just rely on what the content says and how well it is written. In the eyes of Google, “quality content” means content that receives engagement, satisfies a search query, has a low bounce rate, as well as all the above.
  4. Since long-form content is just that – long – it needs to be easily understood.


The Mystical Creature Called RankBrain and its Possible Effects:

  1. Sometimes it goes against everything we know about SEO. Fishkin explains how in the last 12-18 months, in-depth, long-form content that is very comprehensive has been ranking in positions that most SEOs would not expect, ignoring certain metrics and keyword targeting. However, with the announcement of RankBrain being used in all search queries, it may be possible that Google’s smart-bot algo is changing the way content is weighed.
  2. Smarter content is holding more weight. Content that answers broad search queries with strong research and lots of information ranks higher.
  3. Google’s RankBrain is giving weight to complexity. Let’s face it, complex content shows more value, shows that a brand is more reputable, and shows that digital marketers are doing solid work. When combining all of the above tips and tricks for creating long-form content, RankBrain and Google spiders will recognize that your single page of content not only answers a search query, but answers it better than anyone else.


Tandem’s Tips for creating the best long-form content for your brand:

  1. Choose a broad search query that relates to your industry. Read all results on page one of the SERPs. Identify what each piece explains and questions they answer in relation to the search query. Think about all questions they perhaps left unanswered. Think about a way you can find research on the topic or in relation to the topic. Create your content based off not only what everyone else explained, but more detailed, more impactful, more reputable, with more sources, and make it the very best coverage of that search query.
  2. Change the format. Illustrate sections of your content in a custom format that your competitors did not use; use visuals, videos, interactive displays, free downloads, etc. This will not only break up some of the long-form, but also show that you took a unique route and add to the “uniqueness” points from search engines.
  3. Change your deliverance. If everyone else is making people subscribe or sign up for an offer, offer yours for free or in an easier way.


To learn more about creating the best long-form content for your business, you can read the full article.

If you are looking for a digital marketing company for SEO, Tandem Interactive has over 10 years of experience creating the highest quality content for companies in South Florida and around the world. Contact us today for more information on how to make your business thrive in SERPs.