Google’s John Mueller answers questions about SEO best practices for news websites, particularly as it relates to publishing shorter articles.
News sites shouldn’t be overly concerned with the length of articles, Mueller says, as shorter articles are sometimes fine for the given query.
This is discussed during the Google Search Central SEO hangout recorded on February 19.
An SEO named Lene Hegland, who runs a news website, asks Mueller about the risks of having short articles viewed as thin content.
She mentions she’s even considering noindex’ing the short articles, which can be a single paragraph in length, in case it will help her site in search rankings.
Her 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 around reducing the prevalence of thin content with little or no added value.
What should Hegland do about the short articles on her news site? Should she noindex them so Google doesn’t see the thin content?
Here’s what Mueller recommends.
Google’s John Mueller On Short News Articles
As it relates to putting a noindex tag on the short articles, Mueller says that decision comes down to whether the site owner wants the pages indexed or not.
Mueller says he doesn’t think a noindex tag is needed just because an article is short, as sometimes smaller stories can be fine.
“If you don’t want them showing up in search you can use noindex, but I don’t think you would need to noindex something just because