Google: Short Content Is Not Low Quality Content

May 12, 2014 • 8:35 am | comments (24) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

big smallYou see it all the time, SEOs requiring content to be a certain length or else be penalized by Panda!

A Google Webmaster Help thread has a has Google's John Mueller reiterate this.

He wrote:

There's no minimum length, and there's no minimum number of articles a day that you have to post, nor even a minimum number of pages on a website. In most cases, quality is better than quantity. Our algorithms explicitly try to find and recommend websites that provide content that's of high quality, unique, and compelling to users. Don't fill your site with low-quality content, instead work on making sure that your site is the absolute best of its kind.

It is about the quality of the content, not the length of the content.

Then someone else comes in and says "if write short length content may I penalize in future, Ii need straight forward answer." John Mueller responds:

If you write low-quality content (short or long), then yes, our algorithms and even our manual webspam team may choose not to trust your website.

So again, it is not about content length, it is about content quality.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for big vs small

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Gaurav Srivastava

05/12/2014 12:55 pm

Definitely Barry, As I noticed many time you posted short content, but you still put lots of value in your content/post. Quality maters over Quantity!


05/12/2014 01:11 pm

That time has gone...Content should be approx and above 500 words...!!


05/12/2014 02:01 pm

Rubbish. Where do yet get this "information" from?

Durant Imboden

05/12/2014 02:40 pm

Of course quality matters more than quantity does. But that doesn't change the fact that the Web is awash in low-quality 300- to 500-word blog posts that were written for search engines.


05/12/2014 03:14 pm

there are thousands of websites that post only images on them. what about them? What about Shutterstock or Fotolia that has 3-10 words in description for every image. On these sites there are probably tens of thousands of duplicate titles. But who cares? They are not penalized, actually they prosper better than ever. Hopefully, SEOs Panda bulls*** about short and long articles has finally been resolved with this post and explanation from JohnMu.


05/12/2014 03:24 pm

they(john mu n matt) are getting paid for teaching seo people's. I'm fed up by reading all your stories and tried apply those things and i cant conclude why my site is ranking & why my siten't ranking. moral: things.. this guys are telling us not to do that means we have to do.


05/12/2014 03:35 pm

well, they say that... but why is it that perfectly good sites lose their rankings when trimming down the length of their content? It would be great for them to be less 'wordy', more concise, more to-the-point and less "here's my text for SEO"... but it's not possible. We reinstate the "text for SEO" and the rankings pop back. Meh!

Michael Martinez

05/12/2014 03:57 pm

You're confusing relevance with quality. If you remove the text that makes a page relevant to a query (and it doesn't have to be just the keywords in the query) then you're changing what the page is relevant to. Quality is more about what you do with the content, how you present it to the visitor, and what value they are likely to derive from it. For some queries, a longer answer may be deemed more relevant than a shorter answer; and for some queries all you need is a quick response from Google without all the explanations. In search resolving a user's query is never about any one thing.


05/12/2014 04:07 pm

I couldn't agree more - I'm just seeing examples of wordy SEO text (often down the page, offering little value) trumping concise, helpful text in a nice design. I feel that's a shame.


05/12/2014 07:39 pm

That pattern evolved out of news websites in the late 90s... its no secret that Google's algorithm likes content that looks like CNN articles. Quality is highly subjective too...

Kartik Kadia

05/12/2014 07:42 pm

Yes I know that Short content are not allowed, the content length for Blog 300 - 400 Words, Article 400 - 500 Words, Press Release 450 - 500 Words.


05/12/2014 08:37 pm

It comes from the SEO Recycling Center where all SEO advice goes to live forever. I have hundreds of #1 on Google pages that have less than 300 words... Just about every well ranking product page disproves the claim.


05/12/2014 10:33 pm

You nailed it right!


05/12/2014 10:45 pm

It will came to a point that updating the algo will complicate things; in short crap! Time is to worry about and their words bear no weight anymore. Time to wave our hands and farewell. Just like the cycle of life... Enjoy your seo work; grab yourself an ice cold beer!

Charu Rastogi

05/13/2014 05:48 am

Very true......Quality matters, quantity not .

Gareth Mailer

05/13/2014 06:01 am

There's an increasing trend towards long content on the part of content marketers. I'm not sure whether I like this, or whether it leaves a sour taste in my mouth. A lot of 'big' content seems to be 'filler', I do similar stuff myself. I create huge posts (10,000+ words) and they get lots of links, lots of social shares and provide more information on the topic than any other resource or post out there, but... ...who actually reads all of it? There's a lot to be said for being concise, particularly in an age of 'information overload'. Increasingly, content emanating from marketing blogs seems to be anything but. Verbose is the best word to describe it, I guess.

Gareth Mailer

05/13/2014 06:03 am

I think 'impact' is as big a factor as any in earning links; prevailing opinion seems to suggest the longer, more impactful and more authoritative the content is, the more links it acquires (an opinion I tend to agree with). You make a good point about 'presentation' too, it's quite telling that when all the same information is being shared between a collection of similar sites, branding/aesthetics remains the key variable in the quest for additional visibility.

Jitendra Vaswani

05/13/2014 06:25 am

But michael, I have seen many webmaster use spammy text in their content to rank well, this practice is not fruitful for long run. I prefer to drive users to relevant page and give them what they are looking for . Quality is more imp for me.


05/13/2014 06:40 am

Utter rubbish. Please stop believing these SEO myths. You are wasting your time writing long content just to try and please search engines. To rank well, try and write about something DIFFERENT, or at least offer a DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE to what is already out there.

Ashish Ahuja

05/13/2014 08:22 am

again just confirming what we wrote earlier that length of article does not matter, infact, google cannot judge quality of content from content itself other than if its pure spam or not. But if you write a long article there are more chances of targeting more long tail or LSI keywords naturally, other than that there is no difference in quality depending on the length of content on the page. Read our earlier post here

Ashish Ahuja

05/13/2014 08:25 am

One of the most trafficked post on one of my website is one sentence with a link. Poof here goes all you learnt about SEO

Gerry White

05/13/2014 11:41 am

I am a fan of the ability for long pages to convert providing 1. you write using an inverted pyramid and 2. you provide the ability to escape where you need to - Chunking content is often better for both SEO and conversion however, it really is about usability including from the search engine - i.e. FAQs should ideally be on seperate pages if they are of high enough quality so people can find the page from off site.

Mike Friedman

05/13/2014 11:50 am

This should not be a surprise. Most of you have been hearing that size doesn't matter your whole life.

Sukh Singh

06/14/2014 03:27 pm

lol snap

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