Rogerwilco’s Michelle Jones says Google has made it clear that it is looking for content that offers expertise, authoritativeness or trustworthiness (EAT) – thick content. She says if it’s not filled with quality content, that page will be given a low rating and won’t appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Of course, this is nothing new. This is something that has been on the minds of content marketers since Google’s 2011 Panda algorithm and subsequent updates. New updates earlier this year further showed how seriously Google is taking this issue.
Panda does its work by scanning a website’s content. If it finds the quality of the content to be of value, the site will be rewarded. On the other hand, if Panda does its checks and finds the content to be lacking in EAT, it will be penalised and demoted in the SERPs.
Yes, quality is subjective. However, Google has provided in-depth guidelines for how it determines the value of the content on a site. Google describes high-quality pages as having very high-quality main content, a very positive reputation, and very high levels of EAT.
Simply put, content must be able to provide answers to those who are searching. If your website is currently home to pages of thin content, you might just be experiencing penalties and demotions.
What is thin content?
Thin content can refer to pages that are too short, but it can also mean pages that are lacking in value. This could mean the writing of the content was rushed, not researched properly, or created by an inexperienced junior. There are many websites filled with content rich in grammatical, spelling, or factual errors. Those are a surefire way for alarm bells to go off at Google.
Long-form content, of at least 2 000 words, generally performs better than shorter pieces. This is because the longer word count allows for more room to expound on a subject and fully explain the topic, providing more valuable content. Other types of pages that Google recognises as thin content includes that of automatically generated content and third-party content.
What can you do to fix thin content?
Have a quick look around your site and, if you spot any of these types of thin content pages, be sure to systematically go through each to improve them. You could delete these pages, no-index them, or add to the content.
If at all possible, it’s the latter you should prioritise. Yes, it’ll be hard work, take plenty of time, and possibly be fairly expensive, but it’s the one that will be most worthwhile when you see your pages climb up the SERPs.
After all, creating this type of valuable content will help your readers by answering their questions. It’s this that ensures leads and conversions. Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, says it most effectively – “Every piece of your content should be excellent enough that customers are compelled to share it.”
*This article originally appeared on Media Update.