Google Answers If Splitting A Long Article Might Lead To Thin Content

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In a Google Browse Office Hours video, Googler Lizzi Sassman answered a concern about thin content, clarifying a common misperception about what thin material actually is.

Thin Content

The word thin ways lacking density or width.

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

The real meaning of thin material is more along the lines of material that lacks any added worth.

Examples are a cookie cutter page that hardly differs from other pages, and even a website that is copied from a retailer or maker with nothing extra added to it.

Google’s Product Review Update extracts, to name a few things, thin pages consisting of review pages that are only product summaries.

The hallmark qualities of thin pages is that they lack originality, are hardly various from other pages and/or do not offer any specific added value.

Entrance pages are a form of thin material. These are web pages developed to rank for specific keywords. An example can be pages developed to rank for a keyword phrase and various city names, where all the pages are essentially the very same other than for the names of the cities.

Are Short Articles Thin Content?

The person asking the question wanted to know if dividing a long article into shorter short articles would lead to thin content.

This is the concern asked:

“Would it be thought about thin content if a short article covering a lengthy topic was broken down into smaller short articles and interlinked?”

Lizzi Sassman addressed:

“Well, it’s hard to understand without taking a look at that content.

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

These are 2 perfectly legitimate methods: it can be good to have a thorough article that deeply explores a subject, and it can be similarly simply as good to break it up into simpler to understand topics.

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

So I would focus on what’s most valuable to your users which you’re supplying sufficient worth on each page for whatever the topic may be.”

Dividing a Long Article Into Numerous Pages

What the person asking the concern may have been asking is if was alright 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 reading the content.

The Googler presumed that the person asking the question was splitting a long article into much shorter articles dedicated to the several subjects that the prolonged article covered.

The non-live nature of Google’s new variation of SEO office-hours didn’t permit the Googler to ask a follow-up question to verify if she was understanding the concern properly.

In any case, pagination is a fine way to separate a lengthy article.

Google Search Central has a page about pagination best practices.


Included image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero

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