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Thin content – what is it and how does it affect your website?

A lot of time has passed since the introduction of the Panda algorithm, but the effects of its operation can still be seen today. This is one of the most important Google updates, after which you can finally say out loud: Content is a king. The content of the site is currently one of the most important ranking factors – under fire, there are sites with duplicate content and a lot of low-value subpages. So Panda has issued a sentence for those containing duplicate and thin content. Content is important not only for customers looking for the necessary information about a product or service, but also for Google robots that analyze the content of the site very closely. In this analysis they take into account factors important from the point of view of Internet users – the content is to be adapted to their needs. In the ranking of algorithms, therefore, pages with high-quality content definitely perform better. How do you know that the content of the page is of little value to both users and search engine crawlers?

Low-value pages – what is thin content?

Recently, much has been said about duplicate content and the dangers posed by such a practice. Much less space has been devoted to an equally harmful activity, which is worth a closer look, because it can bring great damage to the position of your site. Thin content is a very broad concept that can be broadly reduced to low-quality content. The “black list” of this algorithm therefore includes:

– pages with automatically generated content,
– pages with too little unique content and little different subpages,
– too high content saturation with keywords,
– hidden content on the website,
– low-value texts for users.

Pages with automatically generated content

I am talking mainly about texts created with the help of various types of generators and synonymous articles, often saturated with keywords. Although you do not usually place these kinds of texts on your own subpages, remember that the quality of incoming links and the value of the content they are surrounded on your site will influence your ranking in the Google ranking.

Too small amount of unique content on the website and little different subpages

An extremely important step in building and optimizing each website is to enrich it with valuable and unique content. A very common mistake, therefore, is the complete lack or too few texts on the page. This can be seen especially in the case of online stores that do not have descriptions of products and categories. In this situation, the sub-pages differ only with the name of the product and its technical data.

Another common mistake is duplication of descriptions in the case when each of the product variants is presented on a separate subpage. No matter how many subpages your site has, you should ensure that the content placed on it is varied. If you do not want to create separate descriptions for individual product variants, it will be much better to put them on one subpage – with the option of choosing a particular option from one place.

To high content saturation with keywords

Another Google practice is excessive content saturation with keywords or using only unchanged phrases. Such texts are rated by Google robots as artificial and of little value to your site. Remember that optimization for SEO is, as the name suggests, optimal, not the maximum use of elements that affect the position of your website. The text is supposed to look natural, be useful and easily absorbed by the reader. As a thin content, text can also be classified, which is targeted at phrases unrelated to its subject – robots evaluate it negatively because of low relevancy.

Hidden content on the site

Hidden content on the website is one of the examples of black hat SEO activities aimed at deliberately outsmarting search engine algorithms. This is done most often by changing the appearance of the text using CSS styles or displaying the changed content only to the crawling robot. This does not mean, however, that these activities can not be detected – this is what the so-called fee rate, ie Google employees who manually verify websites, control.

Low-value texts for users

What is appreciated is everything that makes the reader want to stay longer on the site. Texts that do not convey any specific information and use generics are of no value and are not useful for visitors to your site. On the other hand, the content should be user-friendly. It is therefore not a good practice to include only a complex technical specification in the product descriptions. The text should be supplemented with additional information that is fully understandable and useful to recipients. Interestingly, Google’s algorithms also take into account the formatting of content. Unattractive text visually, that is, without paragraphs or designated headings, does not encourage reading. It is worth having this in mind, additionally enriching the content with photos or multimedia.

How thin content affects your website?

The biggest threat is of course the decrease in the rating of your website in Google. The low value of the content and the lack of its uniqueness make it unattractive for both users and crawlers. This, in turn, contributes to the decline in its position in the search results and the increase in the bounce rate. When your site develops and is systematically expanded with new categories and enriched with new products, its content can quickly get out of hand. That’s why it’s so important to constantly monitor your site. If it is struggling with the thin content problem, this information should be included in the Google Search Console: Search related traffic -> Manual actions. In this situation it will be necessary to improve the quality of the texts on the page – only after this action you can send a request to reconsider the matter. Of course, prevention is better than cure, which is why it is wise to invest in high-quality texts at the stage of building and optimizing the site.

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