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I have a website about TV shows, and data is added a few hours after each new episode is aired.
People start searching for new episodes before they're aired, meaning before I have useful content for that search.

I'm trying to decide between a few options:

Create empty pages as soon as possible for all episodes so it will show up in the search results, and showing something like "leave your email and you'll be the first to know when the page is updated".
This option will let search engines index my pages, so once people will start searching for them, it's already there.

Create an empty page for each episode, right after it's aired same as before, but might look less spammy.

Create a page once I have the first piece of actual content (a few hours after the episode is aired). To me it seems like the most logical option, but there's a lot of traffic going to waste, as people search and don't find any results.

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  • Really? Have you heard of Panda? With so much chatter about Panda 4.2 surely you should be concerned about creating low-quality web pages. Wait till you have content. Place holder pages will get you in a whole lot of trouble. Even then, make sure each page has a fair amount of content as quickly as possible. I do not want to see you get hurt... really.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 14, 2015 at 4:16
  • So you think that creating "place holder" pages a few hours before useful content is added, will have a stronger negative "low-quality pages" effect over a positive "early publish date" effect?
    – Ronen Teva
    Aug 14, 2015 at 4:33
  • If the page can be found doing a search in Google, the damage has already been done. Thin or empty pages is one of the major criteria for Panda as well as current ranking factors. Please keep in mind that Panda is being rolled into the regular algorithm now and who can say what part of Panda is a part of our daily lives. As well, low quality scores for pages lowers the performance of a site itself significantly. I always say that it is far better to deploy something worthwhile than nothing or little.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 14, 2015 at 4:42
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    @closetnoc Placeholder pages sadly still work even in a Panda World. What doesn't work is when you have several hundreds of these pages, because your authority on the entire domain will be affected. So, if your going to use such a tactic don't over do it, also you should attempt to update those pages as freq as possible while you wait, i.e upcoming news, trailers and rumours. I also recommend have a single page for all the season, not a page for each episode, not only does that dampen the user experience Panda will hammer your arse. Aug 14, 2015 at 9:39
  • @SimonHayter In principle, I am not against placeholder pages if they are noindex. In fact, the whole notion I like- not to gain search- but as a matter of practicality. You are right to put out the caveat that place holder pages should be okay within a limit. That is a good point. And don't get me started on Panda this morning... it is Friday. We should be having fun!!
    – closetnoc
    Aug 14, 2015 at 13:58

2 Answers 2

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Create an empty RSS feed and submit it to PubHubSubBub. Tell PubHubSubBub to check this feed, say every hour if that's what you want.

When new content is available, create the page with the content. Then, create an entry in the RSS feed with its URL. Keep the last most recent 50 entries in it (for example).

It is the fastest way to tell Google there is new stuff available on your website and it is totally SEO safe. Don't forget to add the URL in your sitemap too for other search engines.

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If page is empty, just add noindex robot txt ( dynamically). Once page will live with new content , change robot txt with index,follow

this way,this will be SEO friendly

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