Google Responses If Dividing A Long Article Might Lead To Thin Material

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In a Google Search Office Hours video, Googler Lizzi Sassman responded to a question about thin material, clarifying a common misperception about what thin material really is.

Thin Content

The word thin means doing not have density or width.

So when we hear the term “thin material” it’s not unusual to consider thin material as a webpage with very little content on it.

The real definition of thin content is more along the lines of content that lacks any added value.

Examples are a cookie cutter page that barely varies from other pages, and even a webpage that is copied from a seller or maker with nothing additional contributed to it.

Google’s Item Review Update extracts, to name a few things, thin pages including evaluation pages that are just product summaries.

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

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

Are Brief Articles Thin Material?

The individual asking the concern needed to know if splitting up a long post into much shorter articles would result in thin material.

This is the question asked:

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

Lizzi Sassman responded to:

“Well, it’s tough to understand without taking a look at that material.

But word count alone is not indicative of thin content.

These are two completely legitimate approaches: it can be excellent to have a thorough post that deeply explores a subject, and it can be similarly just as great to break it up into much easier to understand topics.

It actually depends on the topic and the material on that page, and you know your audience best.

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

Splitting a Long Article Into Multiple Pages

What the person asking the question might have been asking is if was okay to split one lengthy subject throughout multiple 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 individual asking the question was splitting a long post into much shorter posts devoted to the multiple topics that the lengthy post covered.

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

In any case, pagination is a fine way to break up a lengthy post.

Google Search Central has a page about pagination best practices.


Featured image by Best SMM Panel/Asier Romero

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