Thin content, according to Matt Cutts is content that has

little or no added value to a visitor to your website. (such as thin affiliate pages, cookie-cutter sites, doorway pages, automatically generated content, or copied content)

because these practices are in violation of the webmaster guidelines they could lead to a manual penalty being applied to your site. So lets look at the three most common causes of ‘thin content’.

  • Pages on a website that have just been placed there to show your company services different local areas. So for example, Accountants in Bromley, Accountants in Beckenham… duplicate pages except for the geographic reference.

What to do: For each page you need to put some local specific content on the page to differentiate it from the others and add value. So for example, put in some local statistics – how many businesses are in the area, and definitely put on some client reviews from that area. Whatever local content you can provide for that page you must do. Another idea would be to link to local sites that add value, the local chamber for example.

  • Pages that are filtered, in WordPress this could be tags on a blog post, or on an ecommerce site it could be where a user has filtered by a particular variable, price for example. Both of these leave a footprint that can be indexed.

What to do: There are only two real solutions to this problem. Either add some unique content to the filtered area if that’s possible, or add a ‘no-index’ rule in your robots file so that Google ignores it. If the page has already been indexed, you can use the Google page removal tool that you’ll find in your webmaster area.

  • Pages on your website that are copied content (quite often automatically generated)

What to do: Just remove it. get rid of automatically generated content, and create your own unique content that your audience want.

If you are removing a page from your website you need to use the 410 gone http status command (and not a 404) as that is the correct way to let Google know you have removed that page and not replaced it.

If you know that you have some pages on your website like those listed above, spend time looking at your analytics and make sure that any page that has 100% bounce or a very low time on site actually adds value to your website users, if it doesn’t then why bother keeping it there??

Fatten up your website, your audience will thank you!