page title icon Does Word Count Impact Content Website Valuations?

Website valuation is more science than art, but when the average market sales point is in a range like 30x to 40x monthly earnings, there can be some confusion as to what makes one site more valuable than another. There’s also a lot of incomplete or incorrect information out there. 

Especially when it comes to how word count impacts content website valuations.

Let’s get into it!

Does Word Count Matter to Site Valuation?

The short answer is that no, it doesn’t. Site valuation generally starts and stops at revenue numbers. The current market is 30x to 40x average monthly earnings for revenue-generating websites.

Most of the variation in value comes from negotiations on which multiple to use, and whether to use the last 6 months’ earnings to determine a monthly average or the last 12 months’ earnings to determine a monthly average.

Word count doesn’t figure into this equation at all. At the end of the day, what matters are the revenue numbers, not how much work or how many words it took to get there.

For a more detailed guide, check out the write-up on determining how much your website is worth.


Why Doesn’t Word Count Matter?

Because revenue matters. While it can seem odd that word count makes no difference, this actually makes sense when you think about it.

Why would 50,000 words making $500 a month be worth less than 500,000 words making $500 a month?

Both sites have the same money-making value regardless of the number of words. If anything, in many cases a site that takes 10x more words to scrape out the same amount of income might be a red flag. 

Why would a site with that much content have so little income? Sometimes it’s an opportunity but other times it indicates too difficult a niche, a niche without high monetization options, bad keyword research, or a combination of all three.

When looking past revenue numbers, high-quality backlinks matter more than word count, and these generally don’t figure into a website valuation either. Though they often do make a difference in the level of demand and how quickly a site will sell.

The results (monthly revenue) matter more than how much work it took for the webmaster to get there.


What About Starter Niche Sites?

The one potential exception is when buying a non-revenue starter site. These are sites that were built as a hobby or to make money but just didn’t pan out. If there’s no revenue then other factors need to be looked at.

In that situation, the following metrics are used to value the site:

  1. Domain
  2. Backlinks
  3. Content
  4. Content Formatting
  5. Website build-out (theme, plugins, etc.)

The content still has to be quality and even then that is one part of the total package when it comes to figuring out a value for websites that are not generating revenue.

Depending on the quality and amount, and how much of it the content the buyer would actually keep, valuation is often 1-2 cents a word.

Sellers of non-revenue sites shouldn’t count on receiving that amount from all potential buyers.

For an in-depth guide on this topic take a look at this article on starter site valuations.


So When Does Word Count Matter?

When it comes to the valuation of a website earning revenue, it doesn’t. Word count doesn’t affect the bottom line of a site being sold at that point.

For non-revenue sites, it’s a factor because the buyer has to believe the content is good enough to use, improve, or otherwise build up into something that will generate income.

Word count matters most in the realm of SEO. While there are many arguments about whether word count is a ranking factor or not, or what the ideal word count is for SEO, the main point is that certain niches will need more in-depth and often longer articles to rank well.

Getting an average of page one results with a tool like SurferSEO or others will help to get an idea of what Google wants to see, but that’s still not going to be as important as a dozen other ranking factors. It certainly won’t affect the sales value of a site.

Word count is a topic that is better discussed in SEO discussions of a niche as opposed to having any tangible effect on the actual sales price of a site.


Doesn’t Quality Content Matter for Site Value?

Yes and no. 

The quality of content matters because it needs to be good enough to rank in Google and get in organic traffic. Without that traffic, good monetization doesn’t make a difference. 

Beyond being good enough to get traffic or get a potential buyer to a non-revenue generating site the content quality doesn’t matter when it comes to the site value.

In the realm of SEO and site-building word count matters when figuring out how in-depth an article you need to beat the competition in Google. That’s it. 

The traffic and revenues that follow, that is how the valuation is done because it’s the proven money that a site can make. 


Verdict

Word count isn’t an important factor when it comes to content website valuation.

If a site makes consistent revenue, that is the stat that will solely determine value. With non-revenue sites, it is a factor in determining a reasonable offer.

For website buyers who want to sell their sites for a larger amount, the key is increasing revenues. More words that don’t bring in traffic or income won’t make a difference in the final sales price.




Analyzed by Mushfiq S

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 175 website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. Learn more about Mushfiq.


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