Thin Content

Thin content is defined as webpages which provide little or no value to site visitors. In order to ensure users receive a good experience, search engine algorithms were created to distinguish between high and low quality content. Our Hangout Notes cover insights into these algorithms, along with further advice from Google for managing thin content.

Focus on Creating Fewer Stronger Pages Rather Than Splitting Them Up

June 25, 2019 Source

John recommends focusing on having fewer, stronger pages rather than splitting up longer pieces of content into separate pages to target different queries.


A Small Proportion of Thin Pages Is Not an Issue

March 22, 2019 Source

Thin content is a normal occurrence on websites and shouldn’t be considered a critical issue if it only impacts a small proportion of pages e.g. large news publishers may have some shorter articles which still provide unique content.


A Small Proportion of Thin Content Pages is Fine

November 10, 2017 Source

Thin content pages can be a natural part of a site, like on category pages, and isn’t an issue with Google providing it is a small proportion of a site’s pages.


Microsites Can Be Seen as Doorway Pages

November 3, 2017 Source

Microsites often look like a collection of doorway pages. If you are looking to build these microsites up in the long run then this might be an option, but if they don’t have value beyond driving traffic to another site, then microsites aren’t recommended for search and should be noindexed.


Google Tries to Figure Out Full Content When Encounters 206 Response Code

September 19, 2017 Source

For pages returning the 206 response code (don’t have full content), Google follows that response code and tries to figure out the full content of the page so they can index it. Google doesn’t do anything special for this 206 response code, they try to follow the HTTP standards.


Doorway’ Pages May Result in a Manual Penalty

May 30, 2017 Source

A large number of thin pages, with boilerplate content and nothing unique except for a few changed keywords, may be considered doorway pages which could result in a manual penalty from the spam team.


Manual Action Penalties can be Applied to Thin, Spun or Aggregated Content

March 7, 2017 Source

Thin content penalties can be applied to sites manually by the web spam team where the entire site seems to be thin, ‘spun’, or aggregated from other sources without any unique additional value.


Google Considers Amount of Unique Content Per Page and Number of Pages with Unique Content

December 27, 2016 Source

Google looks at how much text on each page is unique, and how many pages have unique content.


Return 404 or Noindex for Empty Pages

September 9, 2016 Source

Google prefers you to return a 404 status or add a noindex for empty pages, like category pages with no items listed, even if temporary.


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