Content is one of the most important signals for search algorithms in determining the ranking of a web page.
While algorithms have moved on way past the days when you could rank a web page by simply using lots of keywords, the content is still important.
And these days, what will get you ranking is high-quality content that provides value to your readers.
The opposite of this is thin content, which can still be found all over the internet. So what exactly is thin content, why’s it a problem, and how can you avoid it?
What Is Thin Content?
You usually know when you are reading thin content. It’s content that is basically short on facts and useful information, content that does not provide any value, content that has been rewritten from other sources.
But for the purposes of SEO, we have to look at it from the perspective of the search engines.
If you hire an SEO company like www.poet.co/poet-media/, one of the first things they will tell you is that Google wants you to create content that is rich in information.
Having lots of words on the page, but little authentic content, is considered thin content. And this is a big problem for websites that create lots of such content.
Panda and the Purge of Low-Quality Content
Before 2011, many websites made businesses out of publishing low-quality content, getting their pages ranked in the search engines, and then making money when visitors clicked on the ads. It was a huge business model.
But Google didn’t like it. It didn’t like the fact that most of the content was low quality and low value. So it released its Panda algorithm update, which changed the face of the SEO scene forever.
Panda took on thin content. It lowered the value of such content in the results, and suddenly websites that were deemed to have such content lost their rankings.
At the same time, websites that provide high-quality content were rewarded with better rankings.
Examples of Thin Content to Avoid
Obviously you don’t want your rankings to be penalized through creating thin content, so how can you avoid it? There are a number of categories of thin content to consider, and here are some of the worst.
This is where you take content from somewhere else and simply rewrite it paragraph for paragraph. Most of the time this is simple plagiarism, and it is never a good idea.
You can even find tools that rewrite content for you, but the results are barely readable. Fortunately, this sort of thing is not as popular as it once was.
Duplicate content is simple. If you have the same content as another web page, whether that is on your website or on another site, Google will not display that page in the search results.
The results will only show one page to prevent users from seeing a list of the same content to search queries.
If you sell products on your website, don’t use the manufacturer’s descriptions. These will be used on other websites, and they won’t rank, so create unique descriptions instead.
This is a trick that attempts to fool the search algorithms by creating lots of pages of the same or very similar content to increase visibility in the search rankings. These pages are then used as a doorway to a single page.
Content with No Extra Value
Thin content is also simply content that provides nothing new, nothing of value, just rehashed topics that closely match other articles on the same topic.
Sort Out Your Thin Content
If you are worried about thin content, it’s quite simple: Just make sure every page you create provides value to your target audience, whether that is a web page or a blog post.
Put yourself in their shoes. Would they find it valuable?
If it only takes you 10 minutes to write a page, there’s a chance it’s not good enough (unless you are an expert and it doesn’t take you long).
Always try to provide more. That means longer content, more in-depth content, images, screenshots, and videos.
Create Compelling Content
At the end of the day, focus on creating content for humans rather than for machines. Your readers are the ones who will share your content if they find it useful, and this will lead to more links, a better reputation, and higher rankings.
There are no shortcuts with content. So focus on always providing value, and enjoy the benefits this brings.