Today’s guest post is from Ginger Bread Marketing. I had the pleasure of meeting with Tommy and would encourage anyone looking to do some content marketing to look into this. Enjoy!
Why Is Thin Content Bad for SEO
Google is learning, and it’s learning fast.
While we’re still pretty far from any Skynet situation, many small businesses still need to worry about Google’s ever-changing algorithms and updates.
After Google’s Panda update was released, the entire SEO game changed. There are now tons of nuances to forming an SEO strategy that actually works – but it isn’t impossible, and it becomes easier once you break down the changes that came with Panda.
One big change was Google’s decision to hurt sites with “thin” content.
Thin content is a lot like a thin beer; sure, it’s still beer, but the flavor isn’t there, and you just don’t enjoy it. Any content that doesn’t provide the reader (or Google) with something memorable and unique is going to start to fall under that thin content umbrella.
The result? Your site’s SEO scores plummet, and you find yourself fighting an uphill battle while your competitors dominate the SERPs. Trust us, this is not something you want to deal with.
Instead of fighting that impossible fight, all you need to do is create large content or any content that isn’t skinny. In fact, the larger, the better! The right content won’t only prevent your site from getting penalized -it will also push you higher up Google’s rankings and closer to that coveted #1 spot.
Here are a few tricks we use when creating large content:
Be the only one
Before you even start thinking about writing some content, you need to know this: do NOT duplicate your own stuff.
Google likes to cruise through sites by checking every single URL and seeing where it goes. This helps it find out what content is good, great, and excellent, making it easier for it to rank the excellent sites above the good and the great.
To get more exposure on Google, some businesses try to create multiple URLs that lead to the same content. It makes sense in theory – there are more instances of the content, so the content can rank more than once.
However, Google gets confused when it sees multiple URLs leading to the exact same content. It doesn’t know which instance of the content is best, so it usually just picks one – and that one could end up being some competitor that has scraped your content.
This can also hurt your SEO because inbound links can be going to more than one page, virtually dismantling your link building efforts.
Duplicating hurts the effectiveness of each piece of content, making each one “skinnier” than an article would be on its own.
Don’t copy yourself
Any duplicate content on your site is also going to confuse Google, especially if it’s on most pages. For example, your site has web copy, much like most sites online. However, many sites repeat this copy over multiple pages.
Here’s the problem: Google sees this and, once again, gets confused. You aren’t helping your landing pages by reusing the same block of text again and again across multiple web pages.
To put it simply, don’t “copy” yourself. Any web copy you have should exist on the page that it was intended for and nowhere else. Repeat instances of your copy are going to thin out your landing pages.
With these first two tips, you’ve prevented all of your web pages from being inherently thin. That’s a good start.
Write like nobody else
If Google knows when it sees two of the same thing, then it must know when it sees two completely different pieces of content.
Your content should be unique, particularly in comparison to the content produced by anyone else. The more your content has in common with other pages, the thinner Panda is going to think it is.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to create large content: be original. If you write content from the ground up, you’re already helping your cause and giving Google something original to read.
Of course, it can be difficult to create perfectly unique content, especially if you end up quoting other web pages or repeating a phrase you’ve used before. That’s why your content doesn’t have to be perfectly unique.
Think about it this way: keywords are an important part of SEO. However, every page that wants to rank for a specific keyword is going to use it, and Google will see that many different pages use this keyword.
Your content will also probably have the words ‘and,’ ‘if,’ ‘but,’ ‘so,’ ‘there,’ etc.
Panda is cleverer than you might give it credit for. It can tell the difference between keyword stuffing and well-formed content. This works to your advantage – given that you’re creating original content.
Why else is original content valuable? Because your site needs to have an identity, and you want people to read it. Nobody wants to visit a site that tells them the same exact thing as every other website.
Large content isn’t just important for Google; it’s important for the people who read it. Which brings us to our next point…
Have something to say
There’s no point in creating content that doesn’t offer any specific value. To start, people are going to hate it, and that doesn’t bode well for any SEO efforts.
But Google can also tell if the keywords you’re targeting are related to the content you’ve produced. Yes, it is that good at understanding content.
Long gone are the days where you could trick search engines into ranking your content high. Instead of looking for shortcuts that will inevitably fail, you should be investing your time in your content.
This can be the most difficult part of avoiding thin content. Coming up with topics and useful information is hard for some, especially if you’re trying to create content on a regular basis. But we’ll solve that for you right now.
If you’re looking to avoid thin content, then you’re probably interested in SEO. If you’re interested in SEO, then you know all about keyword research.
Basing articles off popular keywords is an excellent idea, but only if you know how to make the content interesting and engaging for your audience (and Google is part of your audience). Take a keyword, find out why people are searching for it, and think of solutions to their problems.
That’s an excellent way to start a piece of high-quality, large content.
Just be you
The most important lesson you can learn from this is that you should just be you.
Originality is important to Google and your readers, so you should be providing it to them. Sure, it can be difficult to take seemingly stale and uninteresting topics and put an original spin on them. But you’ve made it this far through this article, and plenty of people think that this is about as boring as it gets.
Keep all the SEO tips and tricks you’ve learned over the lifetime handy, and use those marketing skills to make your content convert. Just don’t be afraid to add some flare to it.
Guess what? The more original you are, the stronger the brand you’ll be promoting, too! It takes effort to create and maintain a consistent brand over your content, but you need that originality to make it.
The more of “you” you put in your content, the more interesting it becomes. Remember, this definition of thin means “boring” and “undesirable.” If your business is neither of those, then you should have no trouble creating large, epic content.
Gingerbread Marketing is a B2B and B2C blogging service that creates epic blog content. If interested, follow this link to get started on a free sample!
Let us know if you need help with your marketing. We have plenty of connections at Journey Coworking and can point you in the right direction.