What is Thin Content and how do you fix?

Most of the SEO tips related articles say to avoid thin content on your website. At the same time, they also say that high word count isn’t necessary to rank well. So, it leads to confusion among newbies who are learning SEO. To be clear, Thin content is one of the most confusing terms and it has been misused a lot. You need to understand exactly what is thin content before you go and fix it. So, I thought to write an in-depth article explaining thin content and what can you do to fix the issue on your website.

Google started pushing thin content down in SERP starting February 23, 2011, with the first Panda Update. Google introduced Panda algorithm to slap thin content pages. After series of further updates, Google pushed several bad quality websites having low quality content out of top 10 pages in SERPs. This forced website owners to write better content. If you own a website, you need to know what is thin content and how to fix it.

What Is Thin Content?

Thin content is the content that doesn’t add any real value. It could be a short article or a poorly written article. It doesn’t necessarily be the content with low word count. In short, “the content that has no value is thin content.”

For example, there could be thousands of pages on an e-commerce site because of product pages, search pages, and category pages. But with just specs table on the product page and similar listings on different category pages, most of these pages don’t add any unique value.

Here is what good say about thin content.

What is thin content

So, don’t consider a content thin by its thin word count, but consider by checking thin quality. Thin content affects the SEO of a website badly. Your good quality articles won’t get good ranking if your website has a majority of thin content. It damages the reputation of the domain in SERP. So, it is really important to find out the thin content and fix this issue to improve organic traffic to your website.

Content is still king and plays really important role in SEO. So, you need to focus on putting great content. This is the reason you should avoid cheap content writers. They may provide plagiarism free content, but not of good quality.

If most of the pages on your website found to have thin content, Google also issues manual penalties. Here’s how it looks in Search Console.

Thin Content Penalty SEO

Here is a video from Matt Cuts explain thin content and how do you fix it.

How to find pages with thin content?

Most of the times, thin content pages could be

  • Pages with Scraped content from other sites
  • Auto-generated content
  • Doorway pages
  • Affiliate pages you forgot to deindex
  • WordPress or Tags pages in WordPress
  • Duplicate content
  • Pages that are no more relevant

If you have these kinds of pages, you need to start thinking of fixing the issue as soon as possible.

For a clear picture, use site operator n Google search to check how many pages of your domain are listed. While doing this, remember that site operator results are random in order. It doesn’t list pages with good quality at the top. This will give you an idea if only genuine pages are indexed or there are many unwanted pages as well.

Screaming Frog is a good tool that can help you in identifying and fixing low-quality content. Screaming Frog crawls a website and provides important data of each URL it finds. The free version does this only for 500 URLs. If you have a big website, you will have to buy the license. The license costs £149.00 Per Year.

This tool gives you a clear picture if there are pages with duplicate title tags and low word count.

You can also use SEMRush. In SEMRush, check the Organic Traffic Insights and Content Analyzer features. The Organic Traffic Insights report shows you what pages are generating organic traffic. Make a list of pages that are not generating organic traffic or not ranking well. Then check the content analyzer report to find content with low word count, less number of cubist and old articles with low traffic. When you have made a list, you are ready to fix pages with thin content.

How to Fix Thin Content Issue

Now when you have a list of pages with thin content, it is the time to fix them. You have three choices.

  1. Remove pages with thin content
  2. Mark then no index
  3. Improve the content

You can do any of the three ways depending on the page. If you can improve the old content, improve it. Google also recommends updating the content with high-quality stuff in place of removing the page. So give some time and add SEO friendly content to improve the quality of the page. Don’t forget to perform proper keyword research. Use any good Keyword research tool. I recommend SEMRush.

If English isn’t your native language, it is recommended to use a good grammar checker tool for error-free content. I recommend Grammarly.

Not just improve the content, take some time to think good headline and add high-quality meta description with a call to action for better CTR in SERP.

If you are running an e-commerce store where thin content is due to the content you copied from the manufacturers’ website, remove the content and rewrite the content explains the features of the content. You cannot remove these pages, so the only option is to improve the content to get a better position in SERP.

When you are dealing with a huge database-driven website where there are thousands of autogenerated pages, you need to use the technical approach because it could be hard to fix pages one by one.

Not just the content, also check for mobile-friendliness. Google has now switched to Mobile-first indexing, so it is important to have mobile-friendly pages.

After thin content is gone from your website, wait for some time and allow Google to recrawl your pages. After Google finds updated contempt, it will index the new content and will calculate a new better ranking for your pages depending on SEO and the quality of new content.

If your website got a manual penalty, you need to file a reconsideration request with Google using the Google Search Console.


Pages with bad or think content is really bad for SEO. So, it is really important to fix the thin content issue for improving the organic visibility of your website. A proper audit strategy is required to fix the issue. Start by identifying the pages with thin content and then take action. Do this twice a year. Keep track of your changes and always try to add content that adds value. Google wants good content and mobile-friendly pages. So, give them importance.

I hope this article was clear to give you an idea of thin content. If you still have any confusion, you can ask using the comment section. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @deepanker70.


I am a tech blogger, traveler, and entrepreneur


Leave a comment