You’re about to learn about thin content pages and why they are harmful to your site. If you own a personal blog or business website, you likely pay close attention to your search engine rankings. You might have even done a lot of research to maximize your ranking potential. However, there is one very overlooked aspect of ranking you might not have considered.
“Thin Content Pages.”
What is Thin Content?
A thin content page is a page on your site that offers little to no value to your visitors. However, that’s not always the case. You may have a page that offers tremendous value, but it has little textual content.
Search engines place a value on each page, and they place a value on a website. Thin content pages are those pages on your site that are likely there because you blogging theme; such as WordPress automatically generated them. They may also be pages you haven’t yet completed.
Why is Thin Content Harmful?
When search engines like Google go through your site, the ranking algorithm takes a note;
How long each page is?
It counts how many words each page has. Typically, website pages with more words provide more value to its readers. These are called rich content or cornerstone pages. They’re like a library of content that contain many links to other pages in your site.
A thin content page does not provide a lot of information to your website visitors. Also, it doesn’t point to many other pages on your site. It just sits there, existing for nearly no reason.
How Do I Find These Pages?
You can perform a simple Google search to see all pages it has discovered.
Do this by typing in “site:yoursitename.com,” into its search engine.
This command might be slightly different for other search engines. You’ll see a result of all pages on your site that Google has indexed. Click through the pages of results. Chances are, after a few pages or so, you’ll notice these pages are foreign to you. They might be category pages, tag pages or files you uploaded. Perhaps they are author profiles are long since abandoned.
This process can be quite an eye-opening. It’s likely you have forgotten or never paid attention to these pages!
However, Google pays attention to them, and they take into consideration when determining how valuable your site is.
What Should I Do About Thin Content Pages?
There’s a simple piece of HTML code; you can place on the pages you do not want Google or other search engines to pay attention to.
This piece of code goes in between the
section of your website.
It’s called a meta tag. This tag will tell search engine “spider bots” not to pay attention nor list the page in your index. This tag also tells search engines not to take that page into consideration; when determining the content authority of your website.
The tag is as follows:
<meta name=”robots” c nofollow”>
Copy and paste this code into all thin content pages you do not want to appear in search engines. Because, most spider bots will ignore these pages and move on to the next.
“Noindex” tells the search engine bot not to place it in their index.
“Nofollow” tells the robot not to navigate to any links on that page. It’s as if that page never existed to the search engines.
What Thin Content Pages Should I Keep Indexed?
You’ll want to avoid placing the above-mentioned code on pages that offer value to your visitors. These pages most likely fill with images or videos opposed to text.
These rich media pages offer tremendous value, and even search engines know this. Part of their algorithm determines;
What pages are alternative media?
And they’re weary to offer a thin content label on these pages. Therefore, always keep a page indexed if it will be heavily trafficked.
What About Categories and Tags?
Most blogging and content management frameworks such as WordPress will automatically generate a category and tag pages. That contain blog posts in that category or tag. These is a confusion whether they are thin content.
You must decide whether you consider them worthy to be indexed. One consideration to keep in mind is that these pages have little unique content; as they’re filled with excerpts of content from other pages on your site.
Therefore, even though a category or tag page has a lot of content, none of it is unique. The choice is yours. Some blog owners prefer only unique content pages for listing in the search engines.
One Final Note About Thin Content
Nothing is almost black or white in this topic. There are some highly worded pages that search engines consider low-value. Also, there are some thin content pages they consider very high value. It’s all assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Use your best judgment and intuition whether you feel these are necessary in the search engines.
By cleaning up the thin content pages, you will have improved success in the rankings of your website.
Do your best to fill out all pages with rich, engaging, educational, and compelling content. By doing so, you’ll eventually learn first-hand of the popular phrase, “Content Is King.”