Google Thin ContentGoogle and its furry animals have done a good job at identifying thin content and penalizing sites that publish it. However, the subsequent updates, especially the more recent manual actions, have finally brought us more clarity on the subject: it’s not about the quality of the content but the value that content adds to the users.

The hardest hit sites were article directories and press release sites. For example, content that can be found on and could reach well over 500 words, but still fail to add any value to its readers. They’re therefore considered to be “thin”.

This article written by our talented search engine marketing team offers tips for avoiding thin content:

1. Bounce Rates

The bounce rate is an important metric to measure the relevancy of content to users. As a general rule, a high bounce rate reflects thin content. Before you fuss over the high bounce rate for each and every page, it’s important to understand that not all bounces are created equally. Google is interested in what the user does after they are on your site. Do they go back to Google and try another website? Or does the web visitor click on another internal webpage?

2. Grammar & Spelling Errors

Grammar and spelling errors send a clear message to Google that your site contains content that is of poor editorial quality. It’s important to get the basics right and that means proof reading every page before it gets published. If you’re not sure about something and how it sounds, ask a co-worker or friend to do a quick read and highlight any mistakes they see.

3. Too Long/Too Short

Content is King!

Publishing pages that are too short is a mistake that webmasters often make, especially those who want to better their search engine rankings and SEO value. In order to avoid any penalties it is a best practice to nix pages that have less than 300 words on it. Google will ignore and not index pages with content of 200 words or less. 300 is the bare minimum and if your keyword is particularly competitive, you’ll need to lengthen your acceptable word count accordingly: 1 keyword per 100 words.

Webpages with content that is too long can also negatively affect you and your rankings. Content is not there purely for Google and its spiders to crawl – the point is to bring traffic to your site and sell your products and/or services for humans to read. Content that circles endlessly around a single topic undoes the hard work that went into getting the viewer to your website in the first place.

4. Unique Content

It’s better to rewrite unique content, then to copy and paste old and reused content. When avoiding thin content penalties, duplicate content must be evaded at all costs. If you know of a particular post that did well, consider rewriting the post with new, fresh ideas.

5. Use Google Keyword Planner & Google Analytics:

Use Google Analytics and keyword searches to come up with fresh, new content ideas. When you use great tools like Google Analytics, you can be sure that you’re writing content that you know your audience will want to read. Targeted posts with original, useful content are your best way to avoid thin content penalties.

About iRISEmedia is a Toronto digital media agency and SEO company, specializing in Social Media and internet marketing. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing and implementing customized and targeted online and social media marketing strategies. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario, the GTA and throughout Canada as well as globally.

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