Thin Content is the low-quality content that has little or no value to the users. Most of the time, low-quality or shallow pages that provide no benefit to the users are considered as Thin Content. In this article, we’ll explain how to deal with Thin content for SEO optimization and improvement.
A common misconception about Thin Content is, content with fewer words is thin content. But it’s not just the number of words of a page that makes it thin content.
How To Deal With Thin Content For SEO?
To gain a general sense of the quality of your content for SEO purposes, look at your page bounce rates. Google’s Panda update from 2011 created new standards for the quality of webpages. It enables website crawlers to weed out weak, duplicated, and untrustworthy sites. The update has been in place for years, but many brands continue to struggle with thin content-related penalties. When content marketers fail to balance quantity with quality, they often fall into thin content traps.
How To Find Bad Contents?
Firstly, an unusually high bounce rate for most of your pages. Bounce rates show how many site visitors leave a site after only clicking on one page. While a high bounce rate can signal thin content, some bounce rates are actually good. They can signal a reader received the information he or she needed from the first page of the site.
Secondly, poor keyword correlations within webpages. Thin content pages may include highly relevant keywords, but fail to answer a search engine user’s query. For example, someone who conducts a search on “how to cut hair” may not be interested in an article espousing the benefits of going to a professional salon.
Generic information within webpages. If every other page on Google contains the exact same information, your content is thin. SEO-friendly content in 2020 is unique and delivers both perspective and value to the reader. Research, references, and examples are all great ways to move content from the general to the specific.
Finally, many people mistakenly believe that upping their word counts will solve the thin content problem. In reality, thin content may include pages with 200 words and pages with 1,000 words. Adding more meaningless content will not resolve the issue. Brands must invest in uniqueness and relevance to overcome thin content penalties.
Deal With Thin Content For SEO: Fixes
ve identified the thin content on your site, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and fix it. There are four options to consider.
There are two instances where expanding content can help you out. First, of course, you can expand on content with a low word count. But don’t expand on content for the sake of word count alone. If you add volume without providing value, your thin content becomes shallow content, and you haven’t solved your problem. Beef up your content only if doing so will prove your expertise and add helpful information for users.
Second, if you have two pieces that are similar and both are relatively short, you can expand one of them to give it more depth, or to cover a subtopic that the other doesn’t include. Let’s say you have two pieces on the importance of good oral hygiene, one for kids and one for toddlers, but they’re both very similar. You could expand the part for toddlers to include a section on baby teeth versus adult teeth, or on the best time for your toddler to start going to the dentist regularly.
Of course, if a piece is horrible and it’s getting no ranking whatsoever, you can just remove it from your site entirely. If you have another article on the website that is related or a landing page from which someone would find what you’re deleting, it’s best to redirect to one of those pages. That way, your user doesn’t end up at a 404 error page.
If you have duplicate pieces on the same site, you want to remove one of them, as well. To do that, go into your Google Analytics and see which of the two pieces is pulling less traffic for you. That’s the one you’ll want to remove and redirect.
If you have two pieces that are almost identical, except your lower-ranking piece has one unique section, consider pulling that section into the higher-ranking piece and deleting the lower ranking-piece. Again, make sure you redirect the removed URL to the one you preserved.
Deal With Thin Content For SEO: Rewrite
If your content is shallow, has many spelling and grammar mistakes, or is too similar to another piece, rewriting may be in order. My shallow piece on thin content will need a full explanation of what it is, how to identify it, and how to fix it, with linked sources to back up my facts.
For poorly written pieces, run them through Grammarly, or have them looked at by your editor. It may take only a quick copy edit, or you may need entire sections rewritten for readability.
And, of course, if you have two pieces that are too similar, it may be worth it to rewrite one. Let’s go back to our Christmas ornament example. If you have two articles about Christmas ornament crafts you can make with kids, you may want to rewrite one so it focuses on crafts for toddlers. Or maybe one highlights popsicle stick crafts while the other uses pipe cleaners.
When you rewrite a piece, it won’t be enough to change the text on the page. Changing the metadata, images, and title will signal to search engines that the two pieces are covering different angles of the same topic. And don’t forget to link these two articles to each other. They are still similar enough that if a user stumbles on one, they may be interested in the other.
Some content is so thin, so shallow, or so poorly written that you’re better off replacing it with a brand-new piece. This has a few advantages: You will have more control over the tone and message of the article. You can tailor it to hit long-tail keywords that are ranking for that topic. You can map out exactly what you want the writer to cover to produce the best piece possible.
A word to the wise when replacing a piece of content: When you take the old article down and publish the new piece, make sure the old URL is redirecting to the new one. Search engines don’t like a lot of 404 errors on a site, either.