Googlers to Webmasters: Remove Your Thin Content

SMS Text

Google’s latest algorithm has come to be known as the “farmer update,” but inside Google it’s known as “Panda.” Unlike many pandas, who are lazy and mostly just intent on eating bamboo, this Google creation is feisty and out for blood – demoting sites it deems to be “low-quality” left and right. However, when you’re using a term such as quality, a number of subjective factors come into play; it’s difficult to know how to avoid being “low quality” since Google won’t tell us the details of what it means. As industry analysts and experts have examined the results, however, they have discovered a few things you can do to make your “post-Panda” site more successful.

The first thing that webmasters need to keep in mind is that low-quality pages will impact all the sites on a domain. While it’s difficult to say precisely what that means, here are a few things to avoid:

  • Pages that duplicate content from another site.
  • Content that has a lot of spelling or grammatical errors.
  • Pages that have notably poor performance on analytics. You should check your bounce rate, time on page, etc., to determine which pages are poor performers.
  • Content that has an ad-to-content ratio that’s heavy on advertisements.

When you find poor content, the best solution is revamp it – creating more value, polish, and retaining the total amount of content on your site. If that’s not possible, or at least not reasonable, then Googlers have advised that the content either be removed or sent to another domain name. This advice comes from none other than Michael Wyszomierski, a Project Manager at Google, and formerly the Search Quality Senior Strategist.

Google is using mathematics to tabulate an already difficult to grasp concept (quality), and it’s a challenge to say precisely what “markers” they’re looking at. However, the focus on original, value-oriented content is clear – even if it’s far from perfect at this early stage.

[via Search Engine Watch]

Update: Thanks go to Jordan, for the correction on what Pandas eat.

Rob D Young
Rob has been insatiably obsessed with Google, search engine technology, and the trends of the web-based world since he began life as a webmaster in 2002. His work as an SEO consultant since 2006, and subsequently to content writing for technology and internet-focused publications, has done nothing but fuel this passion.
Rob D Young

Latest posts by Rob D Young (see all)

Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Jordan Kerr

    “Unlike many pandas, who are lazy and mostly just intent on eating eucalyptus leaves.” You mean bamboo leaves. 🙂 Koala’s eat eucalyptus leaves.

    • Rob Young

      Damn. You’re probably right. I didn’t check my encyclopedia before writing that sentence.

    • Heinz Rainer

      Interesting observation here

  • Natalie

    Since Google changed its concept, I noticed that one of my site has gone from page 6 to page 2 for a keyword. Traffic on another site has increased. Normally I hate it when Google goes off on something but I like this.

  • James

    How are sites like Rotten Tomatoes and Meta Critic affected? They have little to no original content and duplicate content (only small quotes though) from other sites.

  • posicionamiento web

    Hi there Rob, didn’t know this site, and must say it rocks 🙂

    I really like the “good proposal” of Panda’s changes but, are BR and other analytic data correct in terms of “quality”?

    When a user does a search at a SE, he’s asking something or looking for something. What is wrong whit websites that do their function resolving the “question” of that user, and after that he goes to another site. Isn’t in that case, that the site has answered correctly and efficiently the question the user was asking for??

    So, let’s see where all really turns out, but GA data isn’t so accurate to rely on it, imho 🙁

  • veron mitchell

    Well That will give more credence to those who work really hard on their original content

  • veron mitchell

    Well That will give more credence to those who work really hard on their original content

  • Zammax

    One of my blog suddenly disappeared from Google’s index.. I think it is because of some scripts I installed it in my blog a year ago. I have removed all the scripts. Will Google re-index my blog’s pages again as I have sent the letter of reconsideration but up to now it seems not yet listed.

  • Fashion Urbia

    I do not know how bounce rate would affect anything or be an indication to quality one bit. There are many great sites with high bounce rates or web pages with high bounce rates . It all depends on the purpose of your page or site A good example would be a local service provider , I am sure they have a high bounce rate if their call to action is prominent and effective. I think that judging bounce rates is one of the weakest arguments for low page or site quality.