Google on SEO Best Practices for News Sites & Short Articles

Google on SEO Best Practices for News Sites & Short Articles

Google’s John Muller answers questions about SEO best practices for news websites, particularly as it relates to publishing short articles.

News sites should not be overly concerned with the length of articles, Muller says, because short articles are sometimes fine for a given query.

This is discussed during the Google Search Central SEO hangout recorded on February 19.

An SEO named Len Hegland, who runs a news website, asks Mueller about the risks of seeing short articles as thin content.

She mentions that she is also considering short articles, which can be a single paragraph in length, if it will help her site in search ranking.

His concerns about thin content are legitimate, as Google is known to devalue thin content.


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Google’s Panda algorithm update is designed to reduce the spread of thin content with little or no added value.

What should Hegland do about short articles on his news site? Shouldn’t they watch them so that Google doesn’t see thin content?

Here’s what Muller recommends.

Google’s John Muller on short news articles

As it relates to the placing of noindex tags in short articles, Mueller states that the decision comes down to whether the site owner wants to index the pages.

Muller says he doesn’t think a noindex tag is needed because an article is short, because sometimes short stories can be okay.

“If you don’t want to show them in search you can use noindex, but I don’t think you’ll need to do anything because it’s a short news article.

Sometimes short articles are completely fine. I won’t focus so much on the length of the article, but do you want to index it or not? “


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Hegland says that yes, she wants articles to be indexed in Google search, but she is concerned about sending negative signals with thin content.

Muller tried to reassure him by saying that Google doesn’t care about the length of the content:

“For web search, we don’t care about the length of articles. I don’t know if there is a policy around Google News. Especially if you mentioned that it is on a news website – I vaguely remember some of the errors we made at the beginning in Search Console where we would show this news article whether it was too long or too short.

There may be something that plays a role there in relation to news content. If so, you can use the Googlebot News metatag to specifically block it from Google News. So that you can show it in search and block it for Google News. “

Small materials are not automatically viewed as thin materials. Google does not assess the value of content based on length alone.

If they are full of spam, or if they do not contribute anything unique to the web, then there is a similar risk of long articles being viewed as thin content.

Materials that have been duplicated or scraped from other sources to which no new information has been added are other forms of thin material.

A short article can provide value if it contributes something new and useful to the web, such as a breaking news update that other sites do not have.

Short content may also be corrected when the user answers the query. Google’s goal is to provide Best Results for every search, no The longest.


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Listen to Muller’s response in the video below:

For more coverage of this hangout please see the articles below: