Thin content

How to avoid thin content penalties

Thin content also known as low-quality content is a very big problem. The internet is overrun by thin content even though Google started to devalue it a while back using the Panda algorithm. Even your website could be harboring low-quality thin content without you realising. It is not uncommon for low-quality content to be found hiding amongst your web pages. Maybe a member of staff had just started a product review and forgot about the page. The way Google sees thin content is that it has no value to users, so the page will be penalized and in some instances, the whole website can be penalized. Here I have listed some tips to help you find thin content and how to rectify the problem.

What is thin content

Thin content is content that has no value to the user, usually thin content is created to drive traffic to a website. These pages typically offer no value / information and are genuinely spammy and keyword rich. When Google update Panda they are searching for:

  • Pages with lots of links
  • Doorway pages
  • Scraped content
  • Image duplication
  • Copied text

If you have these problems on your website it is time to take action to rectify the thin content problem. A good way to identify a problem with your content is to ask other people to read your copy before you publish. Sometimes problems can be seen easier with someone else’s eyes. They can examine your copy for good grammar and to see how easy it is to understand, this is called proof reading. Google Web Master Tools is a great resource to see if you have any underlying issues with your website. They will also alert you if there is a problem with your content, but it is good practice to find any problems before Google Web Master Tools finds any errors. As when Google source the problems they will probably give you a penalty.

What to do once you have found thin content

Once you have located the thin content it is up to you to decide whether the web page is worth rectifying or whether you should just delete the page altogether. No matter which course of action you take, it will have a positive result on your website. Sometimes it may be worth deleting the page, an example would be an old case study where the links are now dead and the content is no longer relevant to the services you now offer. Or maybe you wish to save the page and spend some time improving it. Here are some tips on how to improve thin content.

Rewrite the content

A poorly written short copy can only be improved by rewriting. You can either do this yourself or employ a copywriter to do the task. It is best to decide on the keywords you will be targeting before you rewrite the article.

Less internal links

Try to decrease internal links, this can be useful to help boost your web page in the SERPS.

Interactive Content

Interactive content can be great at making your webpage stand out and will boost your user engagement. Examples could be:

  • Contact forms
  • FAQ
  • Google maps
  • Popups
  • Interactive apps/games

Avoid problems in the future

Now you are on top of your thin content issues it is good practice to safeguard from any future problems. This can be done by revisiting your web pages at least once per month to check for any broken text and missing paragraphs etc. If there is one thing to remember it is that good quality content is king for high rankings in the SERPS.