Seth Godin’s post for today is 79 words long, including the headline.
That’s a pretty short post.
When post-Panda Google finds that post, which they undoubtedly already have, will they consider it to be "thin" and of low value? More to the point, will they then penalize Seth’s entire blog in the search results because of this "thin content"?
This goes to the heart of my biggest problem with the Panda update.
Who gets to determine what quality really means?
As any fan of Seth’s blog will tell you, part of his appeal is that he shares rare nuggets of quality information in just a few words. He doesn’t need to write 500 words to make his point.
But what does the Google algorithm make of his short posts? Can it discern quality within brevity? I bet it can’t.
The idea that brevity should be equated to low value is absurd.
Let’s imagine Seth’s blog does drop in the rankings. So he manages to speak to someone at Google about it, and the Google guy says, "Sorry dude, all I can suggest is that you add more content to your posts."
So Seth then goes back and adds another 500 words to his posts. They would be 500 words of fluff, because he already made his point with 79 words.
Now Google comes back and says, "Ah, 579 words. Now that’s quality!"
But, of course, it’s not. It’s fluff.
There is an underlying hypocrisy here.
Google tells us to write for our readers, not the search engines.
But now, post-Panda, if writing for our readers involves writing short content, we’re screwed. In fact, we are forced to do exactly what Google tells us not to do – which is to write for the search engines by adding 500 words of fluff to our posts or pages.
Am I missing something here? Am I wrong?
If I’m not wrong, then I think Google is making a huge mistake.