Today i realize that something change again in Google Search results. A while ago Google add instant search, social search improvements, thumbnails and now Google add words count in search result. It is not 100% accurate but close enough. Google will count all words in that page not just in the content area. So if you have lot of text in sidebar, Google will count it as well.
So how this improve Google search quality and SEO? I don’t know yet. But as far as i try to search some keywords. The more word counts the article will have higher rank, just in my opinion with quick and dirty research. More advance research might be necessary.