What Is a Google Thin Content Penalty and How to Get It Revoked

As a website and business owner your goals are to increase your website traffic, and to rank as high as possible on Google.

There are many ways to do this organically and legitimately, but there are also a few methods that Google considers questionable – which is why in 2013 the search engine created the Google Thin Content Penalty.

What Is Considered Thin Content?

At first glance, it may sound as though “thin content” refers to the length of the content, but it actually refers to the quality of the content. Not only does Google essentially reward websites with high quality content, but also penalizes those with poor quality content. If your website is found to have thin content, you will not only be penalized – but removed from search results altogether. A few examples of thin content include:

  • Illogical content stuffed with keywords, oppose to text that flows and makes sense.
  • Duplicate content, often plagiarized from other websites in the same niche.
  • Websites whose content adds no value. For example, a website with multiple pages, that really have no relevance to website visitors – but are created solely to load with keywords. These are often pages or posts with minimal text.

The Accidental Thin Content Penalty

Most who are found guilty of thin content, are webmasters who are trying to generate maximum traffic – with minimal effort. In other words, they are well aware that their methods are questionable. That being said, with the number of e-commerce websites out there, accidental thin content can occur. For example, if you own a website that is loaded with products, you may not have considered that your product descriptions will register as duplicate content. Although the product descriptions are provided by your wholesaler, and are free for you to use, if they are not rewritten when placed online – you could be found guilty of thin content.

How To Get Your Google Thin Content Penalty Revoked?

Whether you accidentally or intentionally posted thin content on your website, you may be wondering what you can do to have your Google Think Content Penalty revoked. To get your website showing again in Google search results, you have to submit an official reconsideration request through Google’s Webmaster Tools dashboard. But before you do so, you must complete a few things.

Remove Duplicate Content: First and foremost, you must remove any duplicate content on your website. If you are not sure if your content is duplicate, you can always double check on Copyscape.

Rewrite Duplicate Content: If duplicate content is the cause of your penalty, you may still require similar content for your pages and posts. The good news is, all you have to do is rewrite the content, and personalize it for your brand or business. For example, rewrite a product description in your own words. In most cases, you can even use the same keywords. If writing is not in your wheelhouse, find a freelance copywriter.

Improving The Quality Of Your Content: Next up on the list, you need to improve the quality of the content on your website. Yes, you can still write about trending topics and keywords, but you must make reader value of greater importance. This will not only help to get back in Google’s good graces, but will encourage your website visitors to return.

Once you have made the changes above, go ahead and submit your reconsideration request. Explain the changes that you made, and that you now understand how to properly curate content for your website. If all has been resolved, it is likely that Google will add you back in the search results.

Question: Have you ever experienced this problem? How did you fix it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Until next time……


Selma is a passionate creator who continues to branch out and explore new artistic endeavors. She is a Web Developer and Internet Marketer. She was an early online entrepreneur, who launched her web design company in 1996, and she has been working solely online since 2004. She is a proud mom of 5, who calls the picturesque Iceland home. Her versatile interests also include Songwriting, Electronics Technician, and she is a published Children’s Book Author.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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6 thoughts on “What Is a Google Thin Content Penalty and How to Get It Revoked

  1. I think Google is doing the right thing by “taking down” sites with thin content. I remember seeing a lot of such sites a few years back and it looked very weird to see such sites atop of the search rankings in all major search engines. Things are looking better right now with a lot less of them still around.

  2. I don’t know whether or not we can consider ecommerce sites as filled with thin content. I mean it would be much better if they would create new product descriptions for each product but this would sometimes mean a titanic level of effort. I think these types of sites are a bit different and shouldn’t be in the same category with others.

  3. Back in 2011 and 2012 I was also guilty of creating sites with thin content. I knew they could rank easily on some keywords and it was “easy money” so I did it for a few years. Then, one day, my sites weren’t ranking anymore and I saw the errors of my ways and never looked back ever since.