|Will short blog posts (less than 100 words) damage my site's ranking?|
We're looking to launch a blog on our site - currently all pages are static.
As part of this, we want to publish short blog posts - quotes, embedded videos, etc - alongside longer posts of up to 1000 words.
However, to recover from one of the Google updates a couple of years ago, we had to exclude some pages (with less than say, 300 words of content) from the Google index.
So my question is, will short blog posts damage the site's authority and should we block these from Google?
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I don't think it is a problem.
Keep the percentage of short / thin posts low compared to more full developed content, and it should be okay. But if the percentage tips up to approach or eclipse the percentage of deep content, you could have an issue. And no, I can't tell you exact percentages, Google doesn't work like that. Personally, I try to keep it around 10-20% max.
And if the "quotes" you're talking about have been posted elsewhere, you might consider noindexing those pages because they could be seen as dupe content (unless you have something to add to them).
If I have short things to post, I try to save them up for a single round-up. Just from a user point of view, really short content is likely to be disappointing. What you post should at least be worth the effort of a click.
I believe the question here is whether or not a short post answers the searchers question. If it does then post it. If not and you get a lot of people going back to the serps for another page you are doomed.
Sounds like you're already trying to recover from Panda. And Panda specifically targeted low quality, duplicate, AND thin content. Personally, if you have no more than 100 words, I wouldn't even bother posting it. Lots of pages with 100 words or less of content are likely not going to be looked upon favorably by their algorithm. As Nutmeg pointed out, there is a "tipping point" where too many of those thin posts can trigger a problem.
Actually, there are types of pages that seem to be immune from a word count. Like, pages with lots of original photos or a video that really answers the query well. Pages with recipes or appropriately short answers seem to do fine too.
What I'm saying, however, is if you (for example) wanted to post an inspirational quote about your topic mainly just because your blog readers enjoy being reminded that Einstein once said that cool thing, you might no-index it because while it's great for your subscribers, it won't do much for searchers and Google may frown on it for that reason. It's similar if you have a post announcing a giveaway - searcher aren't going to care about that 10 years from now after the giveaway's done, so why should that page be indexed?
In the Post Panda era it is amazing how much self-censorship has been demanded. That said: If the short and sweet is shiny and new, post it, else post more that is shiny and new. We all know what is dupe... and these days that should be avoided.