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Google penalizes web sites that have “thin” content, low-quality pages that are merely designed to build traffic by having keywords, duplicate content, lots of images or links, and other space-filling methods. They’ve been trying to weed out sites that are identified as thin sites, but sometimes a legitimate site (like yours?) has some pages that get caught in the effort and penalized.

Adrienne Erin has a good overview of How To Avoid Google Thin Content Penalties on SiteProNews. It starts with a clear definition of what is considered undesirable, then has some practical suggestions for screening your site to see if there is content that needs attention. Then she suggests you become ruthless and either improve it or eliminate it. Her tips for improving thin content are pretty straightforward:

  • rewrite it — go into greater detail about what makes this thing unique
  • merge some pages — take two or more “thin” pages and make them one good one
  • add interactive content — quizzes, surveys, imbedded maps, etc.
  • decrease internal links — a page full of useful information might just be too full of links, so unlink some things
  • go into greater detail to highlight differences in similar pages — regional offerings may have a lot of the same information that looks like duplicate content. Adding more detail improves SEO, too.

The less “filler” content on your site, the more legitimate it will be in the eyes of the search engines. What’s more important, it also will have more authority for your readers. For more information on quality web design, visit


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