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The Monster of Website Optimization – The Thin Content Monster

The key player in today’s monster article is the cunning thin content monster. Until October 2014, it freely haunted the internet.

Magazin-Monster-ThinContent-en Thin Content Content

Google designates thin content as website contents that do not correspond to the webmaster guidelines, and do not offer the visitor relevant content and thus no added value. It therefore pays to study the webmaster guidelines well, and we recommend watching this video, because here you can see that relevant content is worth more than attractive images or advertising.

"Even websites in partner programs should create added value and give users a reason to visit them. A high-quality partner website would, for example, be a bicycle blog with ratings and commentary. A website with lower quality would be, for example, one that contains only copied product descriptions with information from partners."

Our Monster Practice Example

The thin content monster can exercise its cunning skills even on your website. This can have consequences, because too little text can, for example, lead to "soft 404 errors." Sites with this error message neither show the content expected by the user, nor correctly give them the HTTP status code 404. This can negatively influence the indexing of the entire web presence, even if only individual pages of a domain are affected.

Be careful; these sites can magically attract the thin content monster:

  • Empty article pages ("Product not found")

  • Sites with copied text (danger with affiliated or bridge sites)

  • Thin tag pages (catchword or topic sites)

  • Search results without content (Search for "XY" on site not found)

  • Empty author sites or profile sites in forums

  • Sites with very little content (only a few sentences or only images)

  • Sites with content or RSS feeds are automatically created by software

Warning: Attention: If you run affiliate sites, you should maintain them intensively so that Google does not regard them as pure advertising sites. The site should provide users with more than information and links to affiliate programs.

The solution for these types of pages is the evaluation of the content. You should have content such as individual product descriptions, tests, and ratings in order to generate unique content. In the text, do not focus primarily on the product, but rather on solving the problem of the user.

Identify Thin Content with Ryte

With the help of the "Word Statistics" reports from Ryte, you can identify thin content on your site in a heartbeat. Our crawler evaluates the total content of a site, including headers, sidebars, and footers. To count the words, in the module Website Success under "Content," click on "Word Statistics" and then on "Word Count." You will now see the documents presented in a graph in intervals of 100 words each.

Screen-Shot-2017-11-28-at-11.11.54 Thin Content Content

Figure 1: Report "Word statistics" in Ryte

You can also use the extended report "Unique word count." Here, each individual word is counted only once. In this way, you will detect blind texts such as "Lorem Ipsum," category sites, or sites with little text.

Screen-Shot-2017-11-28-at-11.12.51 Thin Content Content

Figure 2: Unique Words Report

Screen-Shot-2017-11-28-at-11.20.42 Thin Content Content

Figure 3: Report on Content/Code Ratio

The Content/Code Ratio report shows which portion of the document is "true content" and which consists of code (HTML, JavaScript, or CSS files). Thanks to this helpful report, the thin content monster has no chance.


It isn't news that Google evaluates poor content badly. If you supply your sites with relevant text and don't copy content for affiliate projects, the thin content monster disappears.

Have You Met the Other Monsters of Website Optimization?

The Internal Linking Monster
The Slow Page Speed Monster
The Duplicate Content Monster
The Bad Canonical Tag Monster
The Orphan Page Monster
The 404 Monster
The Missing ALT Tags Monster
The Redirects Monster
The Hreflang Monster

Ryte users gain +93% clicks after 1 year. Learn how!

Published on Jun 27, 2017 by Kathrin Schubert