An Analysis of 912 Million Blog Posts: Length, Link, and Share Trends


Do longer blog posts tend to garner more backlinks and social shares compared with shorter blog posts? Does headline length correlate with the popularity of posts? What share of posts generate the bulk of engagement?

To find out, Backlinko teamed up with BuzzSumo to analyze more than 912 million blog posts published between October 2017 and October 2018.

The researchers examined metrics such as social media shares and backlinks to determine how certain content-related factors correlate with performance.

Below, key findings from the analysis.


Blog Post Length

Longer blog posts tend to generate more backlinks and social shares compared with shorter blog posts, the analysis found.

Pieces longer than 3,000 words garner 77% more referring domain links, on average, compared with content shorter than 1,000 words.

Posts longer than 1,000 words also get more social shares, on average, compared with posts shorter than 1,000 words. However, there are diminishing returns once posts surpass 2,000 words in length.


Headline Length

Longer headlines are correlated with more social shares, the analysis found.

Very long headlines (between 14 and 17 words) garner 77% more shares on social media, on average, compared with very short headlines (between 1 and 5 words).

Power Posts

A small share of pieces, dubbed “power posts” by the researchers, tend to generate the bulk of engagement, the analysis found.

The top 1.3% of the blog posts examined generated 75% of the shares on social media, and the top 0.1% generated 50% of the shares.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of more than 912 million blog posts published between October 2017 and October 2018.

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