SEO basics: What is thin content?

At Yoast, we like to say ‘Content is king.’ By this, we mean that you cannot rank for any keyword if you don’t write meaningful and original content about it. In this SEO basics post, I’ll explain why you absolutely need content to make your site attractive for your visitors. Also, I’ll clarify why Google dislikes low quality or thin content and what you can do about it.

Thin content

So what is thin content? Thin content is content that has little or no value to the user. Google considers doorway pages, low-quality affiliate pages, or simply pages with very little or no content as thin content pages. But don’t fall into the trap of just producing loads of very similar content: non-original pages, pages with scraped and duplicate content, are considered thin content pages too. On top of that, Google doesn’t like pages that are stuffed with keywords either. Google has gotten smarter and has learned to distinguish between valuable and low-quality content, especially since Google Panda.

What does Google want?

Google tries to provide the best results that match the search intent of the user. If you want to rank high, you have to convince Google that you’re answering the question of the user. This isn’t possible if you’re not willing to write extensively on the topic you like to rank for. Thin content rarely qualifies for Google as the best result. As a minimum, Google has to know what your page is about to know if it should display your result to the user. So try to write enjoyable, informative copy, to make Google, but first an foremost, your users happy.

Read more: SEO basics: What does Google do? »

Be the best result

We recommend writing meaningful copy about the keywords you’d like to rank for. If you keep a blog about your favorite hobby, this shouldn’t be much of a problem, right? If you write about something you love and know everything about, then it’s easy to show Google that your pages contain the expert answer they are looking for!

We do understand that every situation is different and that it’s not always possible to write an elaborate text about everything. For instance, if you own an online shop that sells hundreds of different computer parts, it can be a challenge to write an extensive text about everything. But at least make sure that every page has some original introductory content, instead of just an image and a buy button next to the price. If you sell lots of products that are very alike, you could also choose to optimize the category page instead of the product page or to use canonicals to prevent duplicate content issues.

How do we help you?

The Yoast SEO plugin helps you write awesome copy. It does that by providing content analysis checks. One of these checks is to write at least 300 words per page or posts. We also check if you haven’t used the same keyword before, which helps prevent you from creating similar content over and over. Another check that’s useful for this is our keyword density check. If your score is too high, you’re probably stuffing your keyword into your copy, giving it an unnatural feel. So make sure at least these bullets are green.

content checks thin content

On top of that, you can use our readability check to make sure the quality of your text is good, and readers can easily understand the text you’ve written.

Really want to learn how to create content that ranks? Then our SEO copywriting training probably is what you need. It guides you through the entire process of keyword research and content creation, helping you to develop the skills to write awesome content for your website!

Keep reading: Content SEO: the ultimate guide »

Coming up next!

31 Responses to What is thin content?

  1. Anil Agarwal
    Anil Agarwal  • 6 years ago

    Great tip and I’ve using Yoast for a long time I like this plugin so much so that I even bought the premium version of it by paying $67. The premium version is much much better than the free version of this plugin and also offers you exceptional features like focusing multiple keywords within a post, getting smart interlinking suggestions and social media related stuff etc.

    When it comes to creating content I strongly believe that creating in depth 2000 word count articles will perform way better than 500 or 600 word normal content. So if you want to get better rankings use plugins like yoast SEO and also make sure to create highly long form content by also focusing on LSI keywords all over your content.

    Thanks for the great share, keep rocking!

    • Michelle Foolen
      Michelle Foolen  • 6 years ago

      Good to hear you really like our products! We will keep improving them, in order to rock on! ;)

  2. Lucas Lopes
    Lucas Lopes  • 6 years ago

    I installed the plugin, it is in the test phase but I have already seen that it is fantastic. I will soon upgrade to the pro version

  3. dbj
    dbj  • 6 years ago

    www is not just about english speaking, online shops or company blogs about products or services.

    How do we plan and execute the SEO for non English speaking writers of blogs with long high quality texts of literally fiction? How do we use Yoast for that?

    Please advise …

    • Michelle Foolen
      Michelle Foolen  • 6 years ago

      Don’t worry, Yoast SEO is also available for other languages. Currently, we support English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish and Italian (read more about it in on this page: We’re also working on Portuguese.

  4. S Saini
    S Saini  • 6 years ago

    I think when optimizing the content on a website then Yoast is all in all full package in itself even a newbie can work on optimizing a website with bonus tips.
    I used it thoroughly for my client’s projects and the results are awesome as always.

  5. danny
    danny  • 6 years ago

    Thank you for the great imformation.
    You recommended 300 words for a page.
    Does it include front page?

    • Michelle Foolen
      Michelle Foolen  • 6 years ago

      The front page can be less than 300 words, but make sure to always write some introductory content. SEO-wise, you don’t want your homepage to rank for something because it is the portal to all of your articles, and you can use the specific pages for the keywords you want to rank for. Therefore, it’s not absolutely necessary to write at least 300 words on your homepage.

  6. Tech Blog
    Tech Blog  • 6 years ago

    User intent is the Google’s priority while showing the search results.
    And an article written with all essential things that help to appear at the top can perform very well. For instance, handy graphics, infographics, video clips and charts (if necessary) can give your content an amazing appearance and higher chances to be there in top SERPs.

  7. نقاشی ساختمان
    نقاشی ساختمان  • 6 years ago

    Good article.
    thanks for support.

  8. Deepak karki
    Deepak karki  • 6 years ago

    NICE yoast is best seo plugin for WordPress, its available for magneto

  9. John Chartrand
    John Chartrand  • 6 years ago

    Google may want tons of textual content, but people don’t want or have the time to sift through long and drawn out text.
    I’m keeping mine short so that I can please my visitors, not Google or any one else.

  10. Mrigendra Patel
    Mrigendra Patel  • 6 years ago

    If the post is unique we can get the good result even for less content. But we should always write more content to follow the Google policy.

  11. Freddy G. Cabrera
    Freddy G. Cabrera  • 6 years ago

    Hey Michelle!
    My biggest takeaway from your tips here is the fact that you have to do your best to create the best result for a specific keyword. This is a simple tip yet so powerful if taken seriously.

    Especially, now with Google RankBrain, I think very high-quality content that answers a very specific question is more important than ever before!

    Thank you for sharing these valuable tips!

    Best regards! :D

    • Michelle Foolen
      Michelle Foolen  • 6 years ago

      You’re welcome! Good to hear that you found my post useful. And you’re absolutely right about writing very high-quality content to become even more important!

  12. Laudine
    Laudine  • 6 years ago

    Nice, did not know that Google was so mart! ;)

  13. Aayush Bhaskar Verma
    Aayush Bhaskar Verma  • 6 years ago

    I have an affiliate page consisting of coupons. I think i should add more value to it, at least a 400 words to sum up.

    Thanks yoast!

  14. Laurra
    Laurra  • 6 years ago

    Very nice article, thanks :)

  15. Sunil Tiwary
    Sunil Tiwary  • 6 years ago

    My 1500+ word article is outranked by 200 words article. Sometime I am frustrated with these but I still believe writing content is good for website.

  16. Joomla weblap készítés
    Joomla weblap készítés  • 6 years ago

    Fantastic tool! Is is available for other CMSs? Like Joomla? it would be sooo useful! (I know that this is quite another structure..)
    Great job, anyway!

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi! It is available for TYPO3 and Magento already, as you can read here: There are no specific plans for Joomla yet, but we might in the future!

  17. Peter
    Peter  • 6 years ago

    Of course it depends but in-depth is always better then the thin information copy imo. About the meta test from your blog on 20th dec: are there any testresults ready? Thanks!

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi Peter, Agreed! We’re analyzing the results, we’ll write a post on that soon.

  18. Karl
    Karl  • 6 years ago

    exakt ! I Have place One in Google in West Germany ! This helping Page here make it ! Thank you for this text and thanks for YOSTSEO !

  19. Mukesh
    Mukesh  • 6 years ago

    Yoast has to work on different aspect like when i put long tail keyword that contains stop word yoast gives warning for stop word and long tail keyword is efficient for conversion.
    That moment of time i get confuse…..
    and second,
    i find readability of my blog is good and then the moment is put picture..readability becomes needs improvement that time also confuse what to do…
    Thos who are old in blogging they manage..but we people get lot many confusion

    • Willemien Hallebeek
      Willemien Hallebeek  • 6 years ago

      Hi Mukesh, thanks for your feedback! At the moment we’re working on big improvements of our content analysis, the stop words check is something that will be changed somewhere in the near future. The picture and readability case you describe seems like a bug. It’s best to report it here:

  20. Gerva sharma
    Gerva sharma  • 6 years ago

    I think it depends, sometimes just 200 words are enough and sometimes even 2000 are not.

    • Nidheesh
      Nidheesh  • 6 years ago

      But lengthy pages with lengthy content always stayed evergreen in google eyes, there was an article about this by neil.

    • Cerrajero
      Cerrajero  • 6 years ago

      I think it depends on the niche you’re trying to rank for :)

  21. Trinidad Tyson
    Trinidad Tyson  • 6 years ago

    Right, give visitors the information they’re looking for, Google will gives you visitors ! I’m using Yoast to make good things for my visitors !

  22. Soderman
    Soderman  • 6 years ago

    Good article. Thin content still does rank, however, Google is getting better at detecting it.