John Mueller from Google continues to light up different grey areas in the SEO universe. On the 8th of July, in a Google Hangout on Google+ he informed the community that Google will not penalize you if you have short articles.
He noted that the decision of having a short or long article should not be based on the search engine, but on the user profiles. The person asking was being told that longer articles will get him penalized since the users are more engaged to it.
Here is John’s response:
So I really wouldn’t focus so much on the length of your article but rather making sure that you’re actually providing something useful and compelling for the user. And sometimes that means a short article is fine, sometimes that means a long article with lots of information is fine.
From our point of view we don’t have an algorithm that council words on your page and says, oh everything until a hundred words is bad everything between 200 and 500 is fine and over 500 needs to have five pictures. We don’t look at it like that.
We try to look at the pages overall and make sure that this is really a compelling and relevant search results to users. And if that’s the case then that’s perfectly fine.