'Thin Content' Penalty?

16 replies
  • SEO
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I received an email from Google a couple of days ago that says this:

Webmaster Tools sent you the following important messages about sites in your account. To keep your site healthy, we recommend regularly reviewing these messages and addressing any critical issues.
My Website: Thin content

Google has detected that some of your pages may be using techniques that are outside our Webmaster Guidelines.
As a result of your site having thin content with little or no added value, Google has applied a manual spam action to www......./ . There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site.


This site has about 36 pages of content - all product based. I talk about the particular product, what to look for, how to tell if the product is quality, etc.



I don't know how much more to write to overcome the 'thin content' problem. Since this site is about many variations of a certain broad product, I am sure I cover the same 'what to look for' pointers in several articles. Although I try to approach them differently, etc. Nothing on this site is copied or has been published elsewhere.


What do you suggest I do to beef it up before resubmitting to Google?


Thanks!
#content #penalty #thin
  • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
    Here's what could be happening, I'm going to make some assumptions about your site, If one or more is inaccurate then my apologies. Use the accurate information and disregard the rest.

    These could be potential problems:
    1. Every article on your site has a link outbound from it selling something.

    2. Every page is all promoting one product.

    3. Google's reviewer doesn't see how you're giving the searcher a unique and great experience.

    Think of it this way, you are not Google's customer or their concern. The searcher is. Google is looking for unique content and you have many pages all basically with the same goal of selling this ONE product.

    In the future if you want to do reviews make a major blog in your niche let's say it's Camera's.
    Make The site name (this is only an example) The Best Camera's On Earth!

    Then just blog like a mad man about your beloved niche and ad in reviews, video pages, tech pages, how to pages etc.. with only about 1/2 of the pages linking to something to buy.

    This should work well for you.

    Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    Yeah that's a bummer. But you should just put up 36 pages of pure content now, with no recommendations to buy any products. Like Patrick says.

    Obviously, Google is just dictating how they want your site to be, and taking control, captaining YOUR ship, but if you want to be in their search engine...

    Well, it's their media. Their rules.

    This should be an easy fix though. Just go to EzineArticles and find some people who are posting some TOP NOTCH content in your niche.

    Then...

    Put their articles on your blog!

    Give them their signature link and everything. You have to play by those rules, as well. But it's worth it for you. Just try to pick people who are linking out to content sites, etc.

    That way you're not adding additional links to obviously promotional content to your blog, and you can go from "thin content" to "Google approved" in like a day probably.

    Marc
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  • Profile picture of the author scrapgirl42
    Good advice Patrick! Thanks so much. I will start adding some other pages that take the topic in a different direction rather than selling it While I am at it, should I beef up my other pages?
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    • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
      Originally Posted by scrapgirl42 View Post

      Good advice Patrick! Thanks so much. I will start adding some other pages that take the topic in a different direction rather than selling it While I am at it, should I beef up my other pages?
      I cant answer that, I have not seen your other pages.

      What Marc says is correct you can get some of your content from Ezine. Be sure to read it very well before you chose it. You don't want it's agenda to go against your own that will confuse visitors.

      IMHO you can use Ezine etc for SOME of your content but Google rewards unique original content which means you write it or have it written by someone who actually writes 100% fresh content and doesn't copy it or spin it.

      You should also make a few fresh posts with links linking out to authority sites like .Gov sites, Wikipedia, .EDU sites etc...

      Like this: You see an EDU site has a wicked article about camera aspect ratios (our example is you have a camera site) you write a nice 400 word post praising the article and link to it. Be sure to have the link open in a new window so they are still on your site when they close it.

      You won't lose any real traffic but gain the respect of your visitor.

      Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author scrapgirl42
    So Marc, publishing articles from Ezine won't look spammy? I have always stayed away from that - preferring to write my own content (and look where it has got me!). So if I publish a few Ezine articles in my niche on my site, keeping the same links as in the original, Google will be okay with that?
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  • Profile picture of the author scrapgirl42
    Thanks - my brain is thinking now! That is what I needed, a push in the right direction. Tomorrow is a new day to revamp and start fresh

    Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    There is a lot of debate about re-publishing content because it's quote unquote "duplicate content" but it's not a real thing. It's just an internet marketing myth.

    Obviously it has to be quality though. And Google probably does reward unique content, but they don't penalize people for republishing high quality content either.

    That's why you should definitely follow Patrick's tips. You know, make sure it's well-written, and not in conflict with your point of view.

    You definitely want to move in a direction where it's ALL your content, because, well, it's your content and that gives your site authority.

    But you could always continue to publish from Ezine as a percentage of your content, maybe 1 or 2 out of every 5 or 10. But for a quick fix, it's perfect.

    Marc
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    • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
      What Marc is saying is correct. You won't be punished for duplicate content otherwise News Syndication could never happen.

      However, duplicate content is difficult AT BEST to rank, most of the time you likely won't get it to rank at all unless you're an authority site in G's eyes.

      But like Marc said and to the best of my knowledge as well you won't be penalized for it.

      Patrick
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      • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
        One more thing that I just thought about is this:

        Make your site an experience for the user. Do you feel good on a site or really trust a site where every single page is selling you something?

        But when you're on a site that gives you extreme value and great info & advice etc. and then you see they recommend a product that you also happen to want you trust them, like them and maybe even want to help them because they helped you.

        You will (in the long run) make far more money with that type of a site and you'll never have to worry about a thin content penalty.

        Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author Marc Rodill
    Yeah, it's enormously difficult to rank, because the content has already been indexed first somewhere else. But in your case, you don't really care. You're not trying to SEO the article.

    You just want Google to stop penalizing you for building your site exactly the way you wanted to build it. Lol those knuckleheads. But like Patrick said, it's their user experience.

    Marc

    PS. Patrick I would "thanks" you, but I ran out. I tend to do that quickly!
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    • Profile picture of the author Enfusia
      Originally Posted by Marc Rodill View Post

      Yeah, it's enormously difficult to rank, because the content has already been indexed first somewhere else. But in your case, you don't really care. You're not trying to SEO the article.

      You just want Google to stop penalizing you for building your site exactly the way you wanted to build it. Lol those knuckleheads. But like Patrick said, it's their user experience.

      Marc

      PS. Patrick I would "thanks" you, but I ran out. I tend to do that quickly!
      Hey, no worries, and thank you!

      Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author scrapgirl42
    Ok, so I have been going back through my site and it seems that most of my pages have a 2-3% keyword ratio. I am not sure what the going percentage is, but when I read through them it seems to me that the keyword is in there a lot. I rewrote one 1200+ word article and dropped the main keyword ratio to .9%. I think it reads better - to me anyway

    So, what is the general idea of keyword density these days? Should I worry about it?
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    • Profile picture of the author bretski
      This is why I don't use Google Analytics. You don't get those pesky messages if you don't have Google Analytics installed.
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      • Originally Posted by bretski View Post

        This is why I don't use Google Analytics. You don't get those pesky messages if you don't have Google Analytics installed.
        Old Post Revived.

        "This is why I don't use Google Analytics."

        I don't use Google Analytics on my affiliate websites. I do use it on my Customer Websites.

        On my affiliate sites... I use software on my own server. At random intervals... my software will poll the major search engines for relative stats / terms, etc. That way I have an idea of what's happening "above water".
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  • Profile picture of the author clever7
    You should basically give valuable information to your readers, and use important keywords that you should select from the beginning after making a research. It’s a good idea to read other people’s articles and then write what you can remember from what you read. You should also include your personal opinion and talk about your personal experiences.

    It’s also a good idea to send your documents to an editor for improvements and corrections before publishing them.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Hang on a minute...

    Why not just show us the website so we can at least give you some useful advice?
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