Content Marketing - Are Long Sentences in Your Blog Posts Good or Bad for Your Rankings?

I’ve been getting more involved in my website analytics lately. Due to this, I found an interesting ranking element I didn’t know about – sentence length.

I know about sentence length in regard to writing for children, but had no idea it was a ranking element for your website.

Apparently, long sentences reduce content clarity.

This has me thinking and editing as I’m writing – adding more time to my schedule.

As an example, I wrote the following sentence in a recent blog post:

“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. Oops.

According to Clarity Grader, a free website analytics tool, your sentence length shouldn’t be longer than 20 words. You should aim for less than 5% in this area. I’m at 14.9 percent.

Again, OOPS.

Rewriting for Clarity

Going back to the long sentence example above, how would I 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.

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.

But, having to worry about sentence length with clarity in mind, along with every other ranking element, certainly puts a damper on creativity and writing time.

It really feels like bloggers have to jump through hoops just to keep their heads above the marketing waters.

Summing It Up

It’s a good idea to think shorter sentences. If you think you have a run-on sentence, check the word count. If you’re over, rewrite it into two or more sentences.

On a brighter note, my readability score is 63 percent. Anything 50% and over is pretty good.


Another caveat is the length of your blog post. I just read it should be at least 400 words.

This post was under that count at 384 words, so what should I do, rant on and on, even though I’ve made my point and given my readers valuable information?

This will be the topic of another post. Keep an eye out for it.


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