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August 5, 2021

What is thin content pages and how to fix it

Thin content can damage your site's reputation in the eyes of search engines and visitors. Yet, the problem may only become apparent once your site has been slapped with a manual penalty and warning. For this reason, it's always best to strike first and identify issues quickly, this is where Labrika can help thanks to our SEO audit. Our SEO audit offers you a list of thin content pages on your site.

What are thin content pages and how to fix them?

Thin content is typically easy to identify as it has none of the information a user seeks:

  • No relevant information and authoritative sources.
  • No content that satisfies the user's search query.
  • No apparent knowledge of, or expertise in, the subject matter.
  • No actionable material or relevant and helpful links.

Basically, thin content delivers zero value to the users of a site. The user, therefore, has no choice but to click off the page and search again for the information. This leads to a high bounce rate on the page and a negative user experience.

Why thin content is damaging to your website?

Thin content can have a negative effect on your ranking in the search engines, and your brand's image. Users will be unlikely to click on any call to action or to navigate to other parts of your site. They may also bounce off the page, which Google views as a negative indicator.

In the last 10 years, Google has taken a lot of action to improve its algorithm and prioritize high user satisfaction.

Their system has now developed into a highly intelligent 'rubbish content detector'. It’s best to avoid having your site considered 'low value' as it will not appear at the top of the SERPs. Or, even worse, you may receive a manual action from Google. If you receive this warning your site will not appear in the search engines at all until the issue is fixed.

9 common sources of thin content pages

Thin content is an on-page SEO issue that is frequently triggered by:

  1. Doorway pages
  2. Affiliate pages
  3. Scraped content
  4. Duplicate content
  5. Category pages
  6. Automatically generated pages
  7. Poor quality copywriting
  8. Pages with not enough text 9
  9. Keyword-stuffed pages

Google does recognize that certain pages are expected to have thin content, such as:

  • Contact Us pages
  • Login pages

Short content is not necessarily thin content

We are very clear not to mention a minimum word count. This is because genuine value can sometimes be delivered in a few hundred words and doesn't always require 2000 plus words.

There is no one size fits all, and that is why we say that you normally know thin content when you see it.

Google's algorithm has become highly intelligent since the Panda update in 2011, which focused on poor-quality pages. New releases, such as BERT, are very skilled at identifying poor content and recognizing valid, well-written copy.

How to fix thin content SEO problems?

The solution is simple: add value! Google wants to present users with pages that fulfil their query intent. This is why they have been the number one search engine for so long. This means you must either remove/hide (noindex) offending pages or rewrite them so that they add value to the user. Although a challenge for a site with thousands of pages, it is vital to maintain or increase your position in the SERPs.

How Labrika can help you to identify thin content pages

A data-driven approach is useful for identifying thin content pages, and saving you the energy of trawling through every page. Start by performing a site audit in Labrika's dashboard. You can then extract the list of URLs with thin content and analyze key metrics so you can narrow down where to start:

  • How much revenue (if any) does the page generate?
  • Number of visitors to the page.
  • Duration of typical visits.
  • Does the user navigate to other pages on your site?
  • What external backlinks exist to the page?
  • How well the page ranks for the keywords you have assigned to it.

After this, you can then prioritize the most important pages to fix first.

How to fix the problem pages you've identified

Review and rework problem pages

That might mean rewriting them to create more valuable content. Or, adding headings and sub-headings. Generally, ensure the content matches the expectations of the keywords for the page.

Consolidate pages where possible

If several pages address the same keywords or topics, then move or amalgamate content. Typically, we move content from the lowest-performing pages to the best-performing ones.

Redirect pages to better-performing ones.

Pages that already have some minor link juice can be redirected. This may be a better solution in some cases, especially where content is near-duplicate or cannot really be improved.

In summary, get help by using SEO professionals or data-led SEO software such as Labrika’s site audit.

Larger sites may present too much of a challenge to be easily and quickly rectified. Using software to identify thin content pages can save you time and money in the long run.

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Capabilities

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Full SEO Audit

  • Probable Affiliates Check;
  • Text Quality Optimization Test;
  • Check for Plagiarism (unoriginal texts);
  • Snippets in Google;
  • Number of internal links to landing pages;
  • Number of duplicate links on the page;
  • Links to other sites;
  • Over-spamming in the text;
  • Over-spamming in META tags and H1 (+3 factors);
  • Excessive use of bold type;
  • Multiple use of the same word in the sentence;
  • Multiple use of bigrams in the text and META tags;
  • Multiple use of trigrams in the text and META tags;
  • Excessive use of headers;
  • Skinny pages (with small text);
  • Pages without outgoing internal links;
  • Check landing page relevance;
  • Pages closed from indexing;
  • TITLE = DESCRIPTION;
  • TITLE = H1;
  • DESCRIPTION = H1;
  • H1 = H2, H3, H4;
  • TITLE duplicates;
  • DESCRIPTION duplicates;
  • Not filled TITLE, DESCRIPTION (+2);
  • Number of indexed pages in Google (+2);
  • Pages closed from indexing in Robots, noindex, nofollow, rel = canonical (+4);
  • Landing pages in the sitemap.xml;
  • Non-indexed landing pages;
  • Landing pages URLs history;
  • Adult content;
  • Swear words and profanity.
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Tools

  • Export your reports to XLS;
  • Import your key phrases, cluster analysis and landing pages url’s from CSV format;
  • Printed version of the site audit in DOCX;
  • Guest access to audit;
  • Generate sitemap.xml with duplicate pages and pages closed from indexing;
  • Labrika highlights texts that are used for snippets.
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Technical audit

  • Errors 403, 404;
  • Errors 500, 503, 504;
  • Not Responding pages;
  • Critical HTML errors
  • W3C HTML Validator;
  • Multiple redirects;
  • Lost images;
  • Lost JS;
  • Lost CSS;
  • Lost files;
  • Multiple TITLE tags;
  • Multiple DESCRIPTION tags;
  • Multiple KEYWORDS tags;
  • Multiple H1 tags;
  • Pages with rel = "canonical";
  • Common Duplicate Content Issues: www. vs non-www. and http vs https versions of URLs;
  • Correct 404 status code header;
  • Duplicate pages;
  • Mobile HTML optimization;
  • HTML size optimization;
  • Page speed time;
  • Large pages;
  • 3 types of Sitemap.xml errors (+3);
  • 26 types of Robots.txt errors (+26);
  • Tag Length: TITLE, DESCRIPTION, H1 (+3);
  • SSL Certificate Checker (+7);
  • Check if the Domain or IP is Blacklisted;
  • Pages with program's error messages;
  • Check a website response from User-agent;
  • Test the availability of your website from locations worldwide;
  • Test the website for Cloaking;
  • Test if some search engine is blocked by the website;
  • Check a website response from mobile.
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Recommendations for text optimization

  • Keyword clustering;
  • Check landing page relevance;
  • Find correct landing page;
  • Find the optimal level of the page;
  • Recommendations for text optimization;
  • Optimal text length;
  • Keyword in the main text (+2);
  • Keyword in TITLE (+2);
  • Keyword in DESCRIPTION (+2);
  • Keyword in H1 (+2);
  • Latent semantics (LSI) on the page;
  • Number of relevant pages on the site;
  • TF-IDF calculation for text in BODY, TITLE, DESCRIPTION, H1 (+4);
  • Estimate the level of the page optimization.
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Keyword characteristics

  • Number of main pages in TOP10;
  • A list of relevant landing pages;
  • Recommended keyword depth;
  • Latent semantics (LSI).
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User metrics

  • Google Analytics;
  • Drawing charts;
  • % of Bounce Rates;
  • View depth of the site;
  • Average session time;
  • Number of visitors;
  • Mobile devices: traffic, bounce rates, visit time (+4);
  • Visits from sources with traffic and bounce rates (+2);
  • Information on the pages with traffic and level of bounce rates (+2);
  • Visits from cities with traffic and bounce rates (+2);
  • Visits from search engines with traffic and bounce rates (+2);
  • Key phrases with bounce rates and traffic from search results (+2);
  • List of all search requests that people used to find your site for one-year period;
  • Pages without traffic.
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Analysis of competitors' websites

  • List of competitors;
  • Snippets of competitors;
  • Labrika generates recommendations for texts based on the analysis of competitors' websites and Machine Learning algorithm;
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Check your search rankings

  • Site positions in Google around the world (+1);
  • All Locations & Languages;
  • Country, city or region levels;
  • More than 100k locations;
  • High-precision analysis;
  • Check search positions in several regions at the same time;
  • Monitor the dynamics of search rankings (+1);
  • Available position archive;
  • Download position lists in XLS format for selected period;
  • Desktop and mobile rankings;
  • Top 50, 100 or 200 results.
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Domain information

  • Domain Age;
  • Domain payment plan expiration date;
  • Website hosting;
  • Hosting region;
  • IP of the site;
  • The number of sites with the same IP;
  • NS Records;
  • Favicon.

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