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Do you want to know what thin content is? Alright, this article will explain every bit to you. Here, you will learn what thin content is, the types of thin content, the effects of thin content on search engine optimization.
Additionally, you’ll learn how to develop your content if you have been a victim of thin content or if you want to avoid been a victim of thin content. Sounds great right? Yeah!
Basically, thin content is a very short content that can be found on a web page. This may be anything from 50 words to 150 words. It’s considered as thin content.
However, according to Google, thin content does not necessarily mean little content. Thin content could also mean content that provides no information with regards to its title or content with low-quality information or even duplicate content. In this case, users may not be satisfied with the content they have on your website and will lead to high bounce rate from your website.
There are lots of websites out there with thin content, but the owners might not have noticed till now. This is because these websites do not have a system where users or visitors can rate the article they have read and how relevant and informative it is to them.
So to quickly notice if you have a thin content on your website, you have to add a system whereby your users or visitors can rate the content they have read on your website. By doing this, you visitors will be able to decide if the content is not informative, and you’ll notice quickly and be able to judge. Additionally, there are free tools and plugins available on the web that can be used to find thin contents on your website.
Having said that, there are types of thin content, and we’ll check them out accordingly.
Types of thin content
According to Google, thin content was classified into 4 main types and there as follows:
- Doorway pages
- Automatically generated content
- Stolen content
- Affiliate pages
Now, let’s get an understanding of the above types of thin content.
A doorway page is basically created for indexing with many keywords inserted into the page, and this will bring visitors to the site without providing any information. However, search engines especially Google sees this type of page as a spam page to on their search engine.
Automatically generated content
Automatically generated content can be defined as contents automated from feeds of other websites. When Google notice you are using someone’s feed content, then it’s considered as thin content
Do not expect to rank higher in search engines with content that is stolen because Google doesn’t like duplicate content. Stolen content can be defined as content that is directly copied from other websites.
Affiliate web pages usually add no value, or they have duplicate content all over the internet. This is because the website owners are not interested in rankings, but they are interested in making money. So they copy product descriptions of their competitors and place it on their website. When this is done, Google sees it as thin content and penalize them.
The effects of thin content
Some people may wonder if a thin content has any effect. Of course! Thing content has a lot of effects. It affects the user and the search engine rankings of the website.
Firstly, let’s look at how thing content affects your website visitors.
We all know that when a visitor visits your website or blog from search engine and spends a good amount of time on your website, then we can say the user found valuable and informative content on your website.
But if a user visits your website from search engine and bounces out of your website in 15 seconds because there is no valuable content, then we can say your website has thin content. So if you have thin content on your website, users will not spend much time on your website because the title and description of your website or webpage don't correspond with the information that is provided.
Now, let’s move on to the other side effect of having thin content on your website.
Thin content has negative effects on SEO as it can decrease your ranking and also make your website to be penalized.
Some years ago, the giant search engine Google, updated its search algorithm and named the update “Panda.” Since then, the Panda algorithm has been active and fighting against thin content on Google search engine.
Once you have thin content on your website and the website is crawled by Google, Panda may notice the page and reduce your ranking from the search engine. This will make you lose traffic and lose money.
In some cases, you’ll receive a warning or penalizations in google webmaster tools. Your website may be removed from Google search engine completely until you remove all thin contents from your website and submit an appeal to Google.
You may wonder how on earth does Google Panda detects these pages on its search engine. To make it clear, Google Panda is a bot that was created for this purpose because Google can’t manually check all web pages for thin content. Currently, google has indexed more than 30 trillion web pages, so it makes it difficult for them to perform a manual review; hence Google Panda was rolled out to ease this process.
Once the bot identifies thin content web pages, a manual penalty will, therefore, be passed on the website according to Google.
How to improve your content
If you have thin content on your website, you should consider improving the content in order not to face Google penalization and increased bounce rate of users on your website. To improve your content, you have to do any of the following:
Rewrite your content
You can actually rewrite your thin content from scratch, and this will help you and your website. Rewriting content from scratch consumes a lot of time and causes a lot of stress because it deals with ideas, thinking and bringing something unique out of what you have.
Having said that, it has some wonderful advantages. It will enable you to rank better on search engines because you’d be able to fit in your keywords naturally as you rewrite the content. So it’s worth the stress.
Ratio of unique content should be greater than ratio of duplicate content
We all know that Google also considers duplicate content as thin content and can also penalize you for it. Duplicate content is mostly common in e-commerce stores where items are sold. Most stores in the same niche have the same description for a specific product.
While this is considered as a thin content by Google, it can be improved by making the ratio of unique content to be greater than the amount of the copied content. For example 85:15.
Although this may not be the best method to improve your content, it is better and safe than a direct duplicate and plagiarized content especially for people in the e-commerce niche as they don’t usually have time to write content.
Remove the thin content and start all over
This is the best way to improve a thin content. You have to delete the whole content and start the process again. This can be a very stressful process because it involves you to write from scratch, but it’s the best.
After deleting the thin content from your website, then it’s time for you to write the content again from fresh. This process needs a lot of understanding and research. Few things you should notice are:
You have to write a table of content
For you to write a good and informative post, you have to write a table of content where you must have listed all the sub-topic of the content.
Ask yourself what the goal of the content is
You need to ask yourself what is the goal of the content you’re about writing. Why am I writing this content? What is the objective of this content? If you can answer these questions, then you can proceed to the next step.
Who is your audience?
Before you write any content, you need to know who your audience are. If you can’t answer the question, you may end up writing the right content for the wrong audience which is also considered as a thin content. So it’s a necessity that you ask yourself this question. However, if you can answer this question, you are good to go.
If you have used one of the above methods to improve your content, the next step to take is to place an appeal (if you were not penalized initially, you may ignore this section).
Before you place an appeal, you’ve to make sure your thin content has been removed from Google search engine, and you can remove it manually with Google webmaster URL removal tool.
When this has been done, you can move on to place an appeal. Here, people make a lot of mistakes that makes their requests to be turned down, but I’ll guide you on how to do it right.
When submitting your appeal to Google, make it look professional. Don’t just submit two lines and expect Google to say yes! You need to look professional as possible.
Another thing you should consider is to list all the errors you have corrected, so they will be able to confirm you have modified the content.
This tip will help your appeal application to be accepted provided you have done what is required.
Michell Morgan is currently working as a Content and Digital Marketer at Lilo UK. Lilo is a web development and online marketing company based in London, United Kingdom.
Michell is a passionate writer, with more than 7 years of experience in digital marketing. She writes articles on latest online marketing and e-commerce trends. She loves learning about the social media marketing trends and how to improve conversion rates on eCommerce websites.
This project was last updated 3 months ago