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Let's assume I have a website of approximately 40,000 web pages, all of which are currently indexed, and most rank fairly well on Google. I plan on creating new content which will result in a total of almost 200,000 new pages being created (so, 240,000 pages total, six times the original amount).

Can the site be penalized for releasing such a large volume of content in one go? Obviously, if it's poor quality content, I can get penalized for that, but let's assume that it's good content, and pages do not consist of duplicate data.

Is there a benefit to releasing these new pages in batches instead? For example, if the pages are organised by category and sub-category, and I release one category a week, or simply releasing a few thousand pages per week. If so, is there any sort of guideline as to how many should be released, and on what time-scale?

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It's recommend that you do not release in big chunks by Google for their algorithms but this doesn't mean you can't, it just means that the content will be checked and may take longer to appear into the results, already trusted sites are likely to be ok.

From a SEO stand point its in your best interest to release in small batches, by doing so you are always keeping your site fresh and you will earn authority for doing so and the rest of your rankings on the whole site will increase (Assuming this is good non duplicate content).

Also on another point if you was to publish 40,000 articles for example all at once, Google will take weeks to months, it'd be better to release X amount each 30mins and try and get Google to take the site more seriously so they are constantly scanning for new content - Similar to what the Google bot does on the stack exchange.

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There is a benefit to releasing in batches, since it will not trigger alarms for the spam team at Google.

Here is a video by Matt Cutts discussing a similar topic about releasing bulk content.

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