Google has been continuously tweaking its search algorithm in order to give the users more appropriate results as well as the webmasters who Put-in more efforts to create quality content with top rankings. In this span of optimizing its search algorithm, Google has penalized several websites and blogs that have low-quality content. So, how do you differentiate low quality content from the high quality. This particular question has been raised by many in several SEO forums but very few people have responded with appropriate solutions. So, I just thought of writing an article with the checklist that is required to identify low quality content on your own blogs.
How to Identify Low Quality or Thin Content?
I know what you’re thinking right now! Why Google has penalized my site even though my content was original (written by me) and not copied from elsewhere? To be clear, Low quality content is nothing but the particular article/post on your blog is not able to provide full or sometimes proper information to the end-user (reader) who comes from the search listings. OK! Now, let us look at the ways of identifying the poorly written content on our blog.
1] Article with very few words
Although there is a saying that ‘Quality is better than Quantity’, Google has completely changed the scenario by introducing the algorithmic updates like Google Panda, Penguin, EMD update and the forthcoming Zebra. All Google (in the view of the end user) needs now is well written articles with complete information for what the user is looking for. In short, articles on your blog should be at least 500 words (keep it a minimum criteria while writing the new posts).
Let’s keep it straight. Not all the topics will need/require 500 words to express as there are some topics which can be written in mere 200 to 250 words. In such cases, you can consider adding/bringing more comments to your articles so that the overall content on that single post would be more than 500 words (i.e., 250 words of content + 250 words of comments). This way, you can make sure that your article is fulfilling the needs of the search engine as well as the user. See it like this – Google robots will be able to find the 500 words they want and the user will be able to get for what he landed on our site with the content as well as the interactions done in your comments section.
That way, you’ll be satisfying both Google pets and your readers.
P.S: Gettings comments doesn’t mean that you should post or approve spammy comments with large texts. Try to interact with your readers as much as possible and give answers to their queries in the comments itself (and not by replying to their emails). So, if you’ve missed adding any particular information in your article body, you can then add it in your comments.
Here is what Matt cutts has to say about the thin content on blogs.
2] Outdated Articles
People who’re blogging in the tech niche should continually update their blogs with the latest information (news) or else they’ll end up with pretty low traffic. As the news articles tend to expire sooner or later, those articles will be of no use to both the user as well as the search engines. So, you should always check those outdated posts and make the necessary changes.
- If there is any chance of adding value to the article, then its better keep it and update the content. This is mostly apt for articles related to tricks because the old trick might not work now and so you can update such articles with the new trick. It’s just an example, you should decide what type of article it is.
- In case if the news is expired and is no longer necessary, it’s better to remove those from your blog and do a proper 301 redirect to either the category page or the index page or the similar news article. I’d prefer to redirect such articles to related category pages.
P.S: You may be interested in checking out these timeless Blogging niches.
3] Articles with little or no traffic at all
Not all the articles on your blog will get the same or similar traffic. Some posts may rank higher and bring in more traffic while some may not be seen anywhere in the top 100 results. In such cases, try to find those and optimize them with proper keywords so that they can get ranked well.
‘Click it to enlarge’
- Go to Content > Site Content > Landing Pages. You’ll get the visitor information of all your posts from all sources.
- Now, select the option ‘Secondary dimension’ and choose ‘Traffic sources’ > Medium.
- Next, click on the ‘advanced’ link beside the search box and input the word ‘organic’ in the text box while including the option ‘medium’ intact.
- Next, click on the ‘Visits’ tab to segregate the data in the ascending order (from low to high).
Thus, you can find all your posts with less or ‘0’ visits. Now, try to optimize them.
4] Say no to Duplicate Content within your blog
Normally, WordPress creates duplicate copies of your content across different locations under your own domain. For example, all your category, tag and archive pages will also be indexed by the search engines by default (if not controlled via robots.txt file). As your content also appears on these archive pages along with your main index page, it creates the duplicate copies. So, better use a proper WordPress SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All-in-One SEO plugin and control their indexing.
P.S: I’ve already written an article about setting up the WordPress SEO plugin. Go ahead and read it.
Not only WordPress CMS but Blogger also creates some content issues like duplicate description tags and indexing of ‘labels’. Read the tutorial about the Blogger SEO settings and make your blogspot blog SEO friendly.
To get more information about the duplicate content issues on your blog, go to the Google Webmaster Tools > Optimization > HTML Improvements wherein you’ll see the suggestions from Google about the presence of duplicate title and meta descriptions.
5] Most Common Mistake
Apart from the above, try to avoid spelling and grammatical mistakes as much as possible. If you find any such mistakes in my blog, please let me know and help me fix it. It’s because Nopody is berfect 😉
That’s it folks! Do follow the above steps to identify and delete duplicate or low quality content on your blog. If you’ve any suggestions or doubts about the process, please feel free to comment below. I’ll try my best to address your queries.
Happy Blogging 🙂