Quality & Originality Is Your Trump Card
Thin content has a serious impact on SEO. And not in a good way. We are often asked if there is an easy way to generate SEO rankings. The simple answer is no. Unless you love to generate lots of high quality, original content. A couple of weeks ago Webspam guru, Matt Cutts, released a video answering this question “Does Google take action on automatically generated pages that provide no added value?” In this post I’ll give you a synopsis of how Google defines thin content, why it’s never a good idea, and suggestions on how to add the good stuff to your website.
Thin Content Definition
The simple definition is non-original content found on a website. For example, some sites use feeds from other sites. Thin content also refers to “doorway pages.” These are webpages that have little content on it. Let’s say you sell plumbing hardware and your site includes a high-level page that lists all the different types of hardware you carry. You separate the plumbing hardware into categories: kitchen, bath, industrial, etc. with hyperlinks. There’s no content to read. That’s a doorway page. That’s a no-no.
If you use any of these tricks, you most likely have thin content on your website:
- Cookie-cutter sites with scraped content
- Affiliate site that adds no value (repeats content that exists elsewhere)
- Pages with only hyperlinks or limited text
- Free content from article banks or republished RSS feeds
- Scraped or copied content from other sites
- Automatically generated pages
SEO Penalty for Thin Content
First check your Search Console account to see if you have a warning. If you’ve received a notification, creating new, original content should be a priority as your ranking is going to be handicapped until you fix it.
The only way search engine bots can figure out what your website is about is by crawling its content. The more prolific you are, the more you are telling the crawlers that you mean business. You’re establishing the site as a credible authority on a particular subject. The more focused your content, bots can properly index and categorize your reader-worthy prose.
Not convinced? Then watch this 7:37 video from Matt Cutts on the subject.
Writing Insightful & Researched Content
If you don’t have the skill, time or inclination to write, your only SEO hope is to outsource it. But do keep in mind, if you’re choosing to outsource the content the quality is likely to drop unless you are willing to pay your writers well. Another option is to pay for online advertising with Google AdWords and/or Bing Ads in an attempt to counteract the lack of quality content by advertising to generate traffic.
Online marketing takes time and money. If you want to generate online leads, you have three options:
- Organic search results with content that adds value and visitors want to read. This includes social media engagement which points to your share-worthy content.
- Paid search results by placing ads on Google, Bing, etc.
- Get inbound links on related websites that drive qualified prospects into your sales funnel. Note: this option still requires plenty of original content. Without it, there’s little incentive for others to link to your site. If you believe link building without quality content will generate SEO juice, you are mistaken. You’ll get a better ROI with the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.
Humans don’t like thin content. Therefore Google punishes sites that have it. So how do you generate quality content that adds value?
How can we help?
Need help generating high-quality and optimized content for your website? Or, are you tweaking your website to take advantage of White Hat SEO sustainability? We are The Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence.