SEO: What Is Thin Content, And Why It Should Be Avoided

The Basics of Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is an area of online marketing services dedicated to controlling where a website ranks in terms of search engine listings. In general, SEO seeks to match relevant keywords to a client’s website to make sure that when a viewer looks for those terms on a search engine the client’s website is the first or one of the first listings. SEO is often difficult because an SEO marketer needs to account not only for every possible keyword a user might use to get to a related website, but also competitive websites that are also trying to capture this traffic.

How Search Engine Optimization Works

The bulk of search engine optimization is in ensuring that specific, high traffic keywords show up in the website’s text. This makes it so that search engines rank this text higher, and in turn, the search engines then direct users more often to the website. Search engine optimization can also use meta tags. Meta tags are items in the HTML source of a website, but these meta tags are rarely used with modern search algorithms. Modern search algorithms take into account many variables before returning the user with results.

How Thin Content Works

“Thin content” is an industry term used to reference content created specifically for search engine optimization processes. With thin content, a writer writes upon a general topic phrase given by the website owner, such as “energy-saving initiatives.” A website owner may ask for dozens of such articles on the same phrase. Because the authors writing these topics are general writers and not experts, the content is usually extremely vague and filled with filler words. Often an actual writer will only complete a single article, and then many more will be “spun” from that article. Article spinning is the practice of using a computer to generate new articles based on a single one.

Why Thin Content Should Be Avoided

In the old days, when search engines were more rudimentary, using thin content was a great way to boost your search engine rankings. Today, thin content is practically spilling over in the web, to the point that adding more thin content articles doesn’t truly affect those rankings. The articles written on specific topics are so generic and similar that no competitor can get an edge over the other, and the search engine algorithms are regularly adjusted to detect any content that may have been spun instead of individually written.

The Alternatives To Thin Content

Hiring experts to write detailed and opinionated articles are the best way to avoid the pitfalls of thin content. An expert article generally only costs a little more than a general article, and has a higher return. Search engine optimization can still be used with more specific articles, and these articles show up as more relevant results on search engines because of the ways in which they differ from the other content out there. Furthermore, avoiding thin content is really the only way to build up a readership or spread via social networking, as users will only send articles to friends if they are truly worthwhile and useful.

Jane Heaney wrote this post for Search Factory. Search Factory provides SEO and SEM clients with a level of service superior to that of current agencies within the Australian market.

Researcher and Content Writer at e-Syndicate Network. A constant learner. Learning and growing every day. Salman has over 5 years of experience in the fields of Digital Marketing, Content Writing, Brand and Business Development.