Thin Content

Thin content is defined as webpages that 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 SEO Office Hours notes below cover insights into how these algorithms view pages with thin content, along with further advice from Google for managing thin content.

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.


Soft 404 Errors Can Identify Thin Pages

November 7, 2014 Source

The Soft 404 errors report in Webmaster Tools is a good way of identifying thin pages which Google don’t think have any original content.


Add Content to Thin Content Pages

August 25, 2014 Source

A case study involving Matt Cutts found very thin content pages (e.g. regional branch pages) were not ranking. After adding more unqiue content, the pages performed better. So Google still requires a minimum amount of unique content per page.


Related Topics

Copyright/DMCA Issues Duplicate Content Embedded Content Images User Generated Content Hidden Content Interstitial Pop-ups Expired Content Keyword Optimization Header Tags Page Structure Web Spam Videos Social Media