Thin website? What’s that? Is that when a fan is looking for the Thin Lizzy website? Or does it mean a website that’s devoted to diets and health? Perhaps, it means a site that’s all scrunched together, where the font is squeezed so small, it’s barely readable?
Actually, a thin website is one that either repeats the same original text or has little to no content on it. And because the search engines can’t see images and other embellishments, it appears as a “thin website” meaning there’s too little to index or too little to assign a measured rank.
A Content Rich Property Versus a Thin Website
What search engines lack is reasoning. In its place are markers that are looked for when the spiders crawl a site. What those spiders or robots “see” is text and code. Now, every site has some type of code behind it or it wouldn’t appear on the internet. But what some sites lack is text or content–written content.
One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content. —Google Webmaster Tools
That content has to be relevant to the site, to the industry it represents and unique to the business behind it.
But there are a number of websites that simply do not have enough content. They may even have dozens and dozens of static pages, but nothing dynamic. And that’s where a blog comes in handy. Call them blog posts, news articles, a newsletter or whatever you’d like, search engines reward sites that are updated on a regular basis with new content and let sites that remain static slip in organic rank.
How to Escape the Thin Website Penalty
Okay, there’s not really a penalty for having this kind of near empty site, unless of course, there’s something on the site specifically there to manipulate the search engines. What actually happens to it, is it falls in rank as others around it publish more content. And that’s only one part of the equation:
- Go over your site to find and remove repeated text. The Chief Webspam Engineer at Google has used this example, “Our handcrafted pizza is lovingly made with the same methods we have been using for more than 50 years…”. What he goes on to explain is that it’s not helpful to the reader to see the same information over and over again. In fact, it’s a turn off to readers and to search engines.
- Get rid of useless affiliate links now. The search engines are very good at finding affiliate links that are simply there for the sake of driving traffic to or from a site. And that’s bad SEO. A better way of search engine optimization is to publish ads or coupons that customers can use for your business’ products or services.
- Regularly publish informative content to expand your site. Let’s face it, if you landed on a site that had a great article on a particular subject, you’d probably return to that site. But what if you did only to discover nothing new? You aren’t likely to keep coming back thereafter.