Good SEO practices for websites with short articles

Article length is usually a common problem in content creation as it is common to believe that this content below 600 words has positioning problems. Google has made this claim in the past short content rank as well as long contentHowever, this is still a complex issue.

The content will be correctly indexed by Google when it provides new information or value to the user.

In one of the weekly chats with users, Lene Hegland, an SEO specialist, asked John Mueller, SEO expert at Google, whether the content of a news website, which is usually no longer than 300 words, is considered by Google as being «Thin content» (Content without value). With that in mind, he wanted to mark some updates and breaking news that were one paragraph long with a “no-index” tag.

Hegland’s concern is based on the fact that the algorithm has been indexing short content worse since the start of Google Panda, as it is classified as “thin content”. This term is used by Google to classify content that is of little value and useful to the user. In short, we could define that “Thin content” as bad content. Unfortunately, this type of content is common on news websites or online stores, where both some news and product descriptions usually do not exceed a few paragraphs.

Regarding this issue, Miller pointed out that the no-index tag may not be the best, as it will only be useful in this case Content should not be indexed from Google. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be marked and you shouldn’t worry about the length either, as, in its own words, “Sometimes short content is best”.

With this in mind, it was also pointed out that Google does not automatically regard short content as “thin content” for news, product descriptions and updates, as the quality of the content is not rated based on its length. A long piece of content that is full of spam or offers no added value and is limited to repeating an idea over and over can also be tagged this way.

Equally extensive content copied or scrapped (ie made from excerpts from other articles) that do not provide new content are also known as “thin content”.

On the other hand, a short piece of content, provided that provide new information or something of value to the user, such as a message, an answer to a user question, or a status update, is ignored this way and is indexed normally.

In the following video you can see Mueller’s full talk:

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