Thin Content x SEO: Ultimate Guide

This ultimate guide & tutorial will teach you all about Thin content: What it is, how it hurt SEO & how to avoid the Google penalty

By Claudio Pires
Updated on March 24, 2023
Thin Content x SEO: Ultimate Guide

Thin content can be defined as content with little or no added value. Some of the pages in this classification are pages with duplicate content, automatically generated content, affiliate and scraped content, and doorway pages that can be classified as thin content by Google. This ultimate guide & tutorial will teach all about Thin content: What it is, how it hurt SEO & how to avoid the Google penalty.

These techniques don’t provide users with substantially unique or valuable content and violate our Webmaster Guidelines.

Sometimes, webmasters do not use spammy tactics for generating content. However, their pages still fall under the thin content category because they do not answer users’ queries, either because the content isn’t relevant, it is too short, or it doesn’t match what you promise on the page title or meta description.

When this is the case, your pages need more and better content. You can use several tools to help you find ideas and keywords that complement and improve your original content. Some of the tools I like using are Market Muse, Ahrefs, and Semrush.

Thin content

So what is thin content? Thin content is content that has little or no value to the user. Google considers doorway pages, low-quality affiliate pages, or simply pages with very little or no content as thin content pages. This ultimate guide & tutorial will teach all about Thin content: What it is, how it hurt SEO & how to avoid the Google penalty.

But don’t fall into the trap of producing loads of very similar content: non-original pages with scraped and duplicate content are considered thin content pages too.

On top of that, Google doesn’t like pages that are stuffed with keywords either. Google has gotten smarter and has learned to distinguish between valuable and low-quality content, especially since Google Panda.

What About Google?

Google tries to provide the best results that match the user’s search intent. To rank high, you must convince Google that you’re answering the user’s question.

This isn’t possible if you’re not willing to write extensively on the topic you like to rank for. Thin content rarely qualifies for Google as the best result.

At a minimum, Google has to know what your page is about to see if it should display your impact to the user. So try to write enjoyable, informative copy to make Google, but first and foremost, your users happy. Read more about Google Panda.

Results: Thin Content vs. SEO

We recommend writing meaningful copy about the keywords you want to rank for. If you keep a blog about your favorite hobby, this shouldn’t be a problem, right?

If you write about something you love and know everything about, it’s easy to show Google that your pages contain the expert answer they seek!

We understand that every situation is different and that writing an elaborate text about everything is impossible.

For instance, if you own an online shop selling hundreds of different computer parts, writing an extensive text about everything can be challenging.

But at least ensure every page has original introductory content instead of just an image and a buy button next to the price.

Suppose you sell many products that are very alike. In that case, you could also choose to optimize the category page instead of the product page or use canonicals to prevent duplicate content issues. Keep reading this ultimate guide & tutorial that will teach all about Thin content: What it is, how it hurt SEO & how to avoid the Google penalty.

How To Improve It?

The Yoast SEO plugin helps you write excellent copy. It does that by providing content analysis checks. One of these checks is to write at least 300 words per page or post.

We also check if you haven’t used the same keyword before, which helps prevent you from creating similar content repeatedly.

Another check that’s useful for this is our keyword density check. If your score is too high, you’re probably stuffing your keyword into your copy, giving it an unnatural feel. So make sure at least these bullets are green.

On top of that, you can use our readability check to ensure the quality of your text is good and readers can easily understand the text you’ve written.

How to Avoid a Google Thin Content Penalty?

(Original & Unique) Ensure that your website appears legitimate

Initially, if your website appears shady, you will have a greater likelihood of receiving a manual penalty on your website. If someone from Google looks at your website and determines it’s spammy at first glance, they will have a greater propensity to penalize it. To prevent this, it’s essential that: This ultimate guide & tutorial will teach all about Thin content: What it is, how it hurt SEO & how to avoid the Google penalty.

  1. Employ an original template and alter it slightly.
  2. Have a distinctive visual identifier, such as a logo or an original design.
  3. Include an introduction and contact information on the about page.

Increase the content and avoid very similar titles

The most effective way to demonstrate to Google that your pages are worth visiting is to leave them without content. In 2019, I hope everyone recognizes that on-page SEO must include additional content for good results.

Your pages must have at least 300 words of text on them. Please take note of my use of the word copy, not words. If you’re there to advertise, write content. Even on a product page that features e-commerce.

If you’re unsure what to write about, you can always utilize the CognitiveSEO Keyword Tool & Content Assistant. This will guide you on what to include on your pages that will make them relevant to the query you want them to rank for.

Automatically generated captions can also quickly lead to Google’s concern. If you examine multiple products from the same brand and their names are similar, Thin Content affects your SEO.

  • Adidas Superstar 1 Evaluation
  • Adidas Superstar 2 Disclosure
  • Or Adidas superstar 3 Evaluation

After that, you can understand how it might pose a problem. Are those articles of value or are they all the same except for a single digit?

Having keywords in your title is vital, but you can also attempt to diversify them. It’s not always easy to do. A fitting example would be:

  • Adidas Superstar 1 Review | The Best Price vs. Quality
  • Adidas Superstar 2’s benefits of comfort
  • Adidas Superstar 3 | Review After 2 Weeks of Using Them at the Gym

However, Visualmodo I have an e-commerce website that features over 2,000 products. I cannot write original titles for every single one!

That is why I said content is not the sole means by which you can provide value. If you cannot alter the subject and content of the materials, focus on other aspects.

However, the truth is that someone who optimizes and demonstrates love to all of their titles exists, even if there are 2000 of them. So, why shouldn’t they be honored for their achievement?

Typically, very similar titles are the direct result of content duplication issues. If your product has 100 different colors, you may not need to create 100 pages with 100 different titles and content. You can create a single page where users can select a color without navigating to another page.

Combining pages via canonical tags is also possible. However, it’s recommended that only this method be used for duplicate content. Pages with different colors can be considered the same content, only one word is the other, so the similarity is 99.9%.

Ensure that the pages that are canonicalized don’t generate organic search traffic. For instance, if people search for “blue dresses for ladies,” having a separate page that can directly rank for that query instead of canonicalizing it to the black version is beneficial.

Don’t imitate content: Thin content vs. SEO

Attempting to duplicate content from other websites will degrade your site’s standing in Google’s eyes.

Again, this is primarily observed on eCommerce websites, where editors receive descriptions directly from the producer’s official website. Occasionally, they re-duplicate pages to save time and only change a few letters.

Ultimately, this will lead to duplicate content issues that are difficult to rectify once they’ve occurred. Additionally, it will mandate that Google knows that your website supports competitors. By possessing their copy, you’re recognizing its value, right?

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.