I analyzed the top 10 rankings for 400 keywords. Here are the rankings, average word count for pages at that ranking, and standard deviation: 3,287 words - 3303 STD 3,004 words - 3774 STD 2608 words - 2713 STD 2861 words - 4428 STD 2582 words - 2575 STD 2434 words - 2401 STD 2729 words - 3051 STD 2899 words - 4076 STD 2615 words - 2307 STD 2607 words - 2430 STD On the whole, the average word count for the top 10 was 2,749. The STD was 3207. The total URLs analyzed was 4,000. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient for Word Count and Rankings was -.5768, which shows a high correlation between Word Count and Rankings. I then analyzed what percentile a 500 word, 1,000 word, 1,500 word, 2,000 word, 2,500 word, and 3,000 word article would be for that rank (see table above). This was to see what might happen if I cut costs in half by going from a 2,000 word article to a 1,000 word article (or any other combination of words). Basically, a drop of 500 words is a drop in 5 to 7 percentiles (and an increase in 500 words is an increase in 5 to 7 percentiles). I then compared the article's word count with total links to the article and total links to the site. The Pearson score for Word Count and Backlinks was -.03 (no correlation). The Pearson score for Word Count and Total Domain Backlinks was -.12 (no/little correlation). So, longer articles are ranking better than shorter articles and it is not because longer articles got more backlinks than shorter articles or because longer articles are appearing on more authoritative sites. Its probably because Google has a preference for long articles. You can use the above table to figure out how many words to order based upon what percentile you want to be in. EDIT: I just ran the Pearson score for Backlinks and Rankings as well as Domain Backlinks and Rankings. The scores are .07 and -.03 respectively. These are medium/long tail keywords. For these 400 keywords, there's a much, much greater correlation between word count and rankings than backlinks and rankings!