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How to Remove Thin Content Articles?

Long-form content helps you in improving search rankings and reducing bounce rates. But, what if, it does not provide value and is stuffed with a lot of keywords? It is true that some of the content can become of no value, or in other words, it turns out to be thin content. People don’t want to waste time reading poorly written, low-quality content or content that isn’t interesting or engaging.

In this Knowledgebase article, we’ll talk about thin content, its effects on SEO, and how to identify and remove them.

1 What is Thin Content?

Thin content is nothing but the content on a web page that provides little or no value to the visitor. Although it does not have a negative impact on your ranking, it definitely tampers your brand value among your audience.

Duplicate content, content scraped from other websites, auto-generated content, low-quality affiliate pages, doorway pages, etc., are considered thin content pages too.

Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a term used when content appears on more than one web page. It can have a significant impact on rankings.

For example, if more than one URL has the same content, search engines will be confused to show which URL to list higher in the search results. In such circumstances, search engines would rank both URLs lower and might give preference to other web pages.

Content Scraped from Other Websites

Content scrapping means copying the content from other websites and pasting it on your own site. This also involves a slight modification, such as rewriting a bit. This will lead to serious plagiarism issues, and search engines might blacklist your website.

Auto-Generated Content

Auto-generated content is generated programmatically by using a computer program or by using a set of pre-defined templates. They are created with the help of code with the sole purpose of publishing and indexing large amounts of pages in SERPs.

Low-Quality Affiliate Pages

Low-quality affiliate pages include content from a brand or affiliated brands that are copied from the merchant site and pasted across multiple pages or domains.

Doorway Pages

Doorway Pages are not the main content, but instead, force visitors to take action such as to click and lead them to another page where they find it useful and the one they have been searching for.

2 How thin content hurts your SEO

Unfortunately, when you provide a sub-standard user experience, your rankings are going to hurt. The presence of thin content diverts visitors’ attention to another resource to meet their search needs. This will ultimately result in loss of present traffic.

Lowers Domain Authority

Domain authority (DA) is a numerical score that is used to rank websites in search engines. It is based on the number of relevant and quality links pointing to a website. Thin content can be a hindrance to your search ranking by lowering your domain authority. If you are not able to provide valuable content why should someone refer you or link to your site?

High Bounce Rate

Although a high bounce rate does not hurt your SEO ranking factor, it will still hurt your conversion rate. If the visitor or reader finds your content useless, they won’t even stay for a minute and they might go with your competitor. As a result, your competitors will overtake your ranking position.

Manual Actions Penalty

According to the Guidelines of Google, there will be a manual penalty action against thin content articles or useless articles, that provide zero value to the users. This will not only result in loss of ranking, but also, result in the removal of your web page or entire website from search results.

3 How To Detect & Remove Thin Content Issues?

Finding thin content is a tedious and time-consuming process, and the best way to audit content is to use a tool that is available on the market. There are different tools available on the market that can help you identify thin content on your website.

3.1 Google Webmaster Tools

Analyzing the traffic for a particular web page or blog post on Google webmaster tools is one of the best ways to identify the thin content. If your blog or any other web content is not driving traffic even after taking enough time to rank, it is considered thin content or content that is having low quality.

Manual actions- Google Search Console

Another way to detect thin/ useless content is via the Manual Actions Penalty by Google. To find this penalty log on to Google Search Console. Then, navigate to the left side of the GSC dashboard and scroll down until you find Security & Manual Actions, then select Manual actions.

This penalty is applied by Google manually. As a result, this penalty will reduce the ranking of your site as well as remove the website entirely from the SERPs. If you want the search engines to reconsider this, you might have to delete or rewrite the offending content and provide original content that adds a lot of value to users.

3.3 Rank Math Analytics

Rank Math’s Analytics feature takes all the required data from your search console, Google Analytics, and fetches you meaningful graphs and insights.

It is very easy to find out thin content from Rank Math’s Analytics feature. First, turn on the Analytics module from Rank Math’s dashboard.

Enabling Analytics module

Then, you have to do is connect Rank Math with your GSC and Google Analytics under Rank Math > General Settings > Analytics.

Search Console and Analytics configuration

Once you’ve configured the GSC and Analytics property of your website under Rank Math’s Analytics, you can access the Analytics module under the Rank Math menu from your WP admin area.

Analytics under Rank Math menu

From the RM Analytics, click the SEO Performance tab as shown below.

Navigate to SEO Performance in Rank Math Analytics

The SEO performance tab gives you a quick update on your search traffic, search impressions, the total number of ranking keywords, total search clicks generated, CTR, and the average position of your site on search results.

Choosing metrics for line graph

When you scroll down you will find the “Content” section under the “SEO Performance” Tab in Rank Math’s Analytics. From here, you can find out the pages that are not generating any impressions or search traffic.

Content section under SEO Performance in Rank Math's Analytics.

We recommend you review these pages and see whether the content is relevant or long enough to fulfill the needs of the visitors. If the content is irrelevant, duplicate, or orphan page, then it is definitely considered thin content. And, you might either need to delete it or add relevant quality content.

3.3 Auditing by SEO Tools

You can use SEO tools like Ahrefs to detect duplicate content, duplicate titles, or duplicate descriptions that lead to thin content. For that you can go to Ahrefs > Site Audit > All issues and find the Duplicate content issues among the crawled results.

Duplicate content- Ahrefs

4 Final Thoughts – Content Audit

We believe that finding thin content is not a difficult task but at the same time, you’ll have to apply your consciousness. Back in old days, you can rank for any irrelevant content with spammy links, with keyword stuffing. But after launching the Panda update, Google has become so strict that only those contents that provide high value get a chance to rank on SERPs. It also removes all low-ranking content from the search results. So the best option is to do a regular content audit and regular optimization of your web content.

And, that’s it! We hope this article was helpful in understanding thin content, how to detect and remove it, etc. If you still have any questions on using Rank Math’s Analytics feature, feel free to reach our support team, and we’re always here to help.

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