+4 votes
by (160 points)
I know there is some overlap with other topics, but unfortunately they don't address my exact question, therefor I try it with a new post. I run 2 large websites with hundreds of extensive (often well-ranking) informative articles which are updated frequently on strong domains. Next to these "ever green" articles we have a news section addressing news topics in our niche on a daily basis. These news articles can be quite thin (sometimes < 500 words, or even <250 words, just quick industry updates) and these news articles generally aren't updated. This has been goign on for years. The slug is site. com/news/article-name/ so they are all categorised under news in the url NeilPatel just emphasized the importance of avoiding thin content and updating your content regularly: By having these thin, outdated news articles, should I be concerned about thin content penalties (negative influence at least) and should I be concerned about the negative influence of "old outdated content"? If yes? should I delete or nofollow these news articles? If no: can you please eleborate how google sees those news articles and why it shouldn't be a problem ? (if possible tell me about experiences aswell) We do use schema markup: itemtype="" for these news articles
I know there is some overlap with other topics, but unfortunately they don't address my exact questi

3 Answers

0 votes
by (21.6k points)
I would not be concerned. If you're legitimately reporting on the news you may eventually earn links from historical retrospective pieces across the Web. I write a lot of such content and because all the major news sites follow such bad SEO advice, they remove their old content - which often was a primary source of information. So I find myself linking to the Wayback Machine's copies of those articles, or to secondary sources that copied them illegally. Just because it's short content doesn't mean it's "thin content". That isn't what the search engines mean. And just because it's old news doesn't mean it's no longer relevant. It just relevant to history, and history should not be deleted because someone says that is what is best for SEO. People like Neil Patel promote solutions for non-existing problems. You need to look at your data to determine if you have a problem. If anything, old, deeply buried content is far less likely to cause SEO problems than more recently published content.  
+3 votes
by (4.2k points)
I agree with @narcotize here on thin content. If you can explain what you need to explain in six words, then that's all you need. (That's probably an exaggeration, but. ) Content needs to be as long as it needs to be to clearly express what you're trying to say. Where you might run into problems (and it's not a penalty) is in the "aging" factor. If some articles lose relevance and others are evergreen, it can be hard to tell that. If your evergreen articles are in the same category and "mixed in" at random with the ones that age and become useless, I might examine the strategy. Put the time sensitive things in their own grouping of some sort and let them age slowly and die off naturally. The evergreen ones will have their own grouping and stand the test of time. Again - it's not a penalty - it's more about the difficulty in finding a clear signal through the noise. All grouped together, there's no indication of whether it's evergreen or timely. Google has to figure it out on its own. By classifying timely stuff as a group of content where time is relevant to its value, it takes the guesswork out of other areas.  
0 votes
by (1.2k points)
What @narcotize said is spot on.  
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