Google Answers If Dividing A Long Short Article Could Result In Thin Content

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In a Google Search Workplace Hours video, Googler Lizzi Sassman responded to a concern about thin material, clarifying a common misperception about what thin material actually is.

Thin Material

The word thin means lacking thickness or width.

So when we hear the term “thin material” it’s not uncommon to think of thin material as a web page with not much material on it.

The actual definition of thin material is more along the lines of content that lacks any included value.

Examples are a cookie cutter page that barely differs from other pages, and even a website that is copied from a seller or manufacturer with absolutely nothing extra added to it.

Google’s Item Evaluation Update removes, to name a few things, thin pages including evaluation pages that are just item summaries.

The trademark qualities of thin pages is that they do not have creativity, are hardly different from other pages and/or do not offer any specific added worth.

Entrance pages are a kind of thin content. These are websites developed to rank for particular keywords. An example can be pages created to rank for a keyword expression and various city names, where all the pages are virtually the exact same other than for the names of the cities.

Are Short Articles Thin Material?

The person asking the concern needed to know if splitting up a long short article into shorter posts would result in thin material.

This is the concern asked:

“Would it be considered thin material if an article covering a prolonged topic was broken down into smaller articles and interlinked?”

Lizzi Sassman responded to:

“Well, it’s difficult to understand without looking at that content.

But word count alone is not a sign of thin content.

These are 2 perfectly legitimate techniques: it can be good to have a comprehensive article that deeply explores a topic, and it can be equally simply as great to break it up into much easier to understand topics.

It truly depends upon the topic and the content on that page, and you understand your audience best.

So I would concentrate on what’s most valuable to your users which you’re providing sufficient value on each page for whatever the subject might be.”

Dividing a Long Article Into Numerous Pages

What the person asking the concern might have been asking is if was fine to split one prolonged subject across several pages that are interlinked, which is called pagination.

With pagination, a site visitor clicks to the next page to keep checking out the content.

The Googler assumed that the individual asking the question was splitting a long article into much shorter posts devoted to the multiple subjects that the prolonged article covered.

The non-live nature of Google’s new version of SEO office-hours didn’t allow the Googler to ask a follow-up question to confirm if she was understanding the concern correctly.

In any case, pagination is a great way to separate a prolonged short article.

Google Search Central has a page about pagination best practices.


Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero

Listen to the Google SEO Workplace Hours video at the 12:05 minute mark