Correcting Thin Content on Your Site
In the wake of the Panda update, we’ve all learned what we should have been paying attention to all along, which is placing an abundance of quality, original and useful content on your site is important for rankings. Making your site a valuable place for every visitor now goes even further towards improving your search engines ranking. I’m going to outline five problems affecting sites hit hardest by the Panda update and what you can do to fix them.
The problem: Duplicate content is a massive problem. If your site’s content is also elsewhere, Google may consider you the copy and downgrade you in favour of another site.
The solution: While you may wish to include manufacturer’s copy in something like a product description, you should always have some content entirely your own on every page. A large ecommerce retailer might opt for customer-generated reviews in this scenario; writing a description for each and every product is time consuming and with reviews, your customers will not only do the work for you but will help encourage others to buy if your products are well received and generate good reviews. Sites with fewer pages should invest enough time to have some unique copy on each page.
The problem: Thin content is short with nothing to add to the end user. It may be spun or exist solely for SEO purposes, so it may exist in a slightly modified form somewhere else.
The solution: Thicken up that content with extra copy and adhere to stricter guidelines. While a search engine probably can’t tell that your content has become massively more persuasive, a variety of external factors such as click-through rate, bounce rate, and time on page may be considered either now or in the future.
If you can’t add much copy onto a transactional site, consider introducing a blog to help out with more in depth and long tail content to get your rankings up across the site. It’s also easier to encourage authority links to a blog page, which will help increase the overall authority of your site.
The problem: Too many ads. Even though Google makes money from AdWords and AdSense, a high proportion of ads above the fold on your site often indicates a spammy site, leading to lower rankings for legitimate sites as well as low quality ones.
The solution: Remove some of your ads at the top. In many cases, they won’t all be making money for you anyway. Find out which ads are more successful – banner ads or text ads, for example – and keep those while getting rid of others. Look for other ways to monetise your site, such as ebook publication or affiliate partnerships, that don’t require spammy-looking ads at the top of every site.
While rankings are generally slow to recover on sites that suffer from the Panda update, these best practices will help you set a good standard for the future.Tweet