In a previous article, the SEO analysts at Radd Interactive described the different Google manual actions & penalties. Here, we’ll go into more detail about one of the penalties – specifically, the penalty for thin content.
You may remember that Google defines thin content as content that provides little value. There are several kinds of content that might fall into this category:
- Automatically generated or artificial content
- Content that’s repurposed from other sources
- “Doorway pages” (pages that exist just to drive traffic to other parts of your website)
- Obviously nonsensical content
- A lack of content altogether
If you’ve gotten an email from Google flagging your website for thin content, you may be uncertain of what to do next. Don’t worry! There are several options when it comes to fixing thin content on your website.
- Add more content
An increase in well-written content is probably the most sensible solution when it comes to the long-term health of your website. “Fattening up” your thin content by adding in your own content is an easy solution for a number of problems. Repurposed content from another page on your website or from another website entirely stops looking so cookie cutter if it’s mingling with a few sentences of original content – and if your content is sparse, it can never hurt to add more.
When adding more content, it’s essential to keep from making the same mistakes that got you that thin content warning in the first place. Make sure the content you write makes sense and isn’t obviously keyword-stuffed. Remember: Google’s priority is user experience. You aren’t writing for Google’s algorithms – you’re writing for the person who will be reading the content on your site. (Also, remember that PDFs and images don’t count as content; Google will scan over them and won’t be able to read text in an image or other file.)
- Delete the content
This solves the problem of spammy or artificial content. In the long run, though, a lack of content will hurt your website. It may be a good idea to delete content if you know for sure that it’s hurting user experience – but replacing it with a large amount of well-written content should be a priority.
- Rewrite the content
Maybe your content is too much of a keyword-stuffed, unintelligible mess to fix with a few extra sentences. Or, maybe you’ve copied the content from another website and it looks too similar to the original site, even if it’s fattened up. Whatever the reason: rewriting content is sometimes the best solution. This gives you a chance to work keywords into content more organically; you can also control the flow of your sentences, delivering an optimal reader experience.
Once you’ve deleted, edited, or added to your thin content, it’s time to file a reconsideration request with Google. This lets Google know that you’ve taken steps to fix your thin content problem – the Google reviewers can then give your website another look and hopefully remove the penalty. Once the penalty is removed, your website can rise back up the Google ranks. And now that its content has been improved, it should keep going up!
Radd Interactive works with businesses to improve their SEO ranking. Contact us today to see how we can help your SEO campaign!