What is Thin Content and Why Does it Hurt SEO?

This type of content with low quality is unlikely to ever rank since Google has classified the content as thin. When Google has flagged a website as having poor quality content, it will be very difficult to get back. It is best to stay clear of the use of thin content, but there's a chance that thin content may have ended up on your site .

What is Thin Content and Why Does it Hurt SEO?

Thin Content

Have you ever viewed the website of an Google search that is to be unhelpful? There's a lot of writing on the site however, it doesn't move over any real substance.

Marketers are taught how crucial it is to release information on a variety of subjects, and they do. It's not their fault (or your self). If it's because of a lack of resources, like time, or the people who write, they will are dispersed too thinly. The content isn't delivering.

What is the definition of thin substance?

Thin content is best described as a waste of time. It's not worth anything for the reader. it could even mislead the reader.

According to Google's perspective, thin content is of low quality and has a lack of depth. It demonstrates that the content was created with minimal effort to develop and is often copied from other content sources. However, since Google is not open about their algorithm, it's not easy to determine the exact indicators they use to detect thin content.

Instead, we examine what they would like. It is the opposite of what we want to stay clear of.

The best method to determine the type of content Google finds to be thin content is to study Google's guide to building quality websites.

The guide Google states that top-quality sites must:

  • Original content written by experts
  • Don't use mass-produced content
  • Edit the content thoroughly for clarity and grammar errors
  • Do not attempt to manipulate Google's algorithm by using keyword stuffing, or other SEO tricks that are black hat.

On the other side of the spectrum are websites that have minimal content:

  • Copy content and paste it from other websites
  • Buy content produced in mass quantities that is accessible to any other site owner
  • There are grammatical and spelling errors, typos as well as low readability
  • Try to rig Google's algorithm by using link-building strategies as well as other black-hat SEO strategies

Thin content is simply poor quality content that did not require amount of time nor effort make. According to Google thin content usually is a result of four different categories:

1.) Content generated automatically

This kind of content is generated by automated translations, automated transcriptions, and other sources automated that haven't been checked by a person.

Matt Cutts, formerly Google's head of spam and search and search engine optimization, has a wonderful example of the content generated automatically. Imagine you are to Google search for "risks of drinking caffeine." Click on an outcome with the name, "Caffeine: Risks, Dosage, Etc.," But, when you arrive at the landing page, it's filled with ads. The only message is "We don't have any information about caffeine's risks, dosage and so on.

It's a rare example of thin content that is generated automatically however it can happen.

2) Deceptive affiliate pages

The pages are ones where the owner of the website has copy-pasted exactly what an affiliate is asking him to publish on his site. There's nothing original about it.

Additionally the owner of the website will take deliberate steps to appear as if there's no affiliation between the two sites.

Consider that you manage a website that evaluates business supplies. An office chair company is approached and offers you $50 for each of their chairs someone decides to purchase after visiting your website. They recommend that you write an article on your blog about the chair, and include a include a link to their site. The office supply business is willing to send you an already-written blog post can be used.

If you use the content of another, then make it your own and try to make it appear as there's no paid relationship which could be described as content that is thin.

Google requires you to clearly label any affiliates with whom you collaborate. This can be done by stating your affiliate links, and adding an nofollow tag for that affiliate link.

3.) Content from other sources

These are pages scraped, copied/pasted or repurposed or copied/pasted from different websites. It could also be poor quality guest blog posts for the sole intention of creating links.

If a website posts blog posts which are copied and pasted from blog posts published on other websites, it's called scraping. This is one of the reasons for you to be flagged as having poor content.

In the case of guest posts, you may be flagged for content that is thin when the guest post is clear that it is only designed to bring visitors back to the main site.

It could be because the guest post is filled with too many links that redirect users back to the original site. It could also be low-quality content evidently written solely to gain backlinks to the website that originally published it.

4.) Doorway pages

Doorway pages are similar pages designed to rank on a specific keyword and then redirect visitors to a different page.

For instance plumbers might decide that it's good to have 20 pages with the tagline, "Quality Plumbers in [city name]." Each of them are the same and contain very little information. If someone is able to access one of these pages, it's obvious that the site is seeking to route them to another page.

If the sole purpose of your site is to be highly ranked and redirect traffic to other pages it could become an entry point, and you could be marked as having a lack of content.

What is the method by which Google detects content that is thin

The Google's Panda update was the largest attack on establishing that a thin content won't work. Since then, they've introduced ways to block websites using manual actions.

Google Updates

Google always states that they give preference to sites that have high-quality content.

Alongside identifying sites with low content, constant changes have led to websites that had low E-A -T and excessive advertisements to be removed from indexes.

While the initial Panda roll-out is more than a decade old, its primary targets are still a an element in Google's algorithms.

Manual Actions

In The Search Engine Journal, Google is aware that its algorithm has couple of loopholes that permit bad websites to be listed. To address this problem, the company has a web-based spam team that identifies and eliminates sites that are spammy out of the Search Engine Results.

Google is more inclined to allow its algorithm solve the majority of questions regarding ranking. Google does not use manual methods to fix a website that is exploiting a loophole that isn't fixable through an algorithm.

This action causes the pages Google has deemed to be thin to be removed from the search results for a short period or even permanently be removed from Google's search listings.

How do you find the content that is thin on your website?

At the moment, it is obvious that you must consider using the thin content that is on your site seriously. That raises two questions:

  1. How can you tell when your website has been penalized due to thin content?
  2. What can you tell the quality of your website's content and hasn't received any penalties in the past?

If you've received a an action penalty that is manual for the content that isn't very good, Google can actually inform you, as long as the application is Google Search Console.

When you sign in to Search Console, you'll see the section titled "Security and Manual Actions" on the left-hand sidebar.

How do solve the problem of the problem of thin content?

If you've discovered the content is thin on your site The next step is to fix it. There are generally three methods to repair pages that have content that is thin:

1.) Utilize the most effective search instruction

The first step is to ensure that you're using the right search directive. To address issues with thin content it is recommended to use one of the two directives:



The directive rel=canonical may be utilized when you have two pages that share nearly identical content. The page will be ranked with this tag. Google will give the page a better rank.

For instance, if you create a blog post on your site and then publish it on a different website The republished version must utilize a rel=canonical tag, and hyperlink to the first version the blog post.

This makes Google to recognize that the version republished is a deliberate duplicate. In the end, Google will not rank the duplicate page. This is good for the original content.

Noindex is a good option for pages with thin content that is required to be present but does not require crawling or rating it.

It can be utilized for pages such as shopping cart pages such as internal pages for search results blog category pages and much more.

2) Beef it up

Consider that you manage a website that evaluates business supplies. Make the content more relevant by adding new commentary, fresh research and other kinds of multimedia, useful tips, and so on.

This can be done by creating entirely new content using the URL or if you've got several similar pages of thin content put them together to create a single page. If you're merging pages however, you must ensure they're valuable. Simply placing thin content pages together will not necessarily boost the value. It could leave you with a small page, instead of another three.

3) Delete it

Sometimes, the content that is thin doesn't have the value of being kept. If the content doesn't receive an adequate amount of traffic, isn't ranked for any keyword, or simply doesn't make sense for your site You can remove it completely.

Make sure you use the 301 redirection on any pages you remove. There may be links from external or internal sources on your site that direct visitors to the page. A 301 redirect can make certain that any person who visits that URL will be directed to a the most helpful website.

When the thin content has been rectified, what should you do?

Based on the circumstances once you've improved the content on your page or ad-hoc content, you'll need to submit your site to be reviewed or leave it alone.

If you've been slapped with an administrative action penalty and have taken the necessary measure to improve your content, you'll have to submit your site to Google to be reconsidered.

You'll be asked what you did to fix the problem. Be precise when answering the question. The real people on Google will look up this information and will be looking for details in describing exactly what you did and the plan for doing it.

There is only one chance to have your site reconsidered therefore, take your time when submitting the request to reconsider.

If you've not been penalized by a penalty for manual actions but you have still discovered websites that are considered thin, you don't have to take any action after fixing the page. Google continues to scan your site and search for the pages have been updated recently.

Search and eliminate your squishy content

It's quite easy for a piece of small pieces of content to appear on a site. Perhaps you were busy and didn't analyze a guest post enough. Perhaps your boss instructed you to build a plethora of websites that rank for the same terms. Google might flag you for poor quality content in any of those situations.

If you're proactive about identifying and removing stale content prior to the time that Google discovers that it's there, you'll end up better on your way. With Google it's not easy to ask for forgiveness and there's no guarantee that they'll accept your request.

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