Experiences with Manual Penalties for "Thin content"

schnucki

Newbie
Dec 1, 2010
46
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A german site of mine got hit with a manual penalty for "thin content" (according to GWT). The penalty effected the whole site.

Some more details:
- All sites are still indexed and bouncing around in the SERPS between positions 40-60.
- Most of my content is LSI optimized and gives the visitor exactly what he is looking for. (Physical product review-type keywords).
- The content consists of a Top 5 list of the best products. I have 2 Affiliate Links per product (image + CTA as text link)
- The content ranked in Top 10-20 positions for medium competition kw's with no backlinks at all
- My bounce rate (according to Yandex) is 12,6% ---> Blows my mind that I got "thin content" when 88% of my visitors don't bounce back to the SERP's.
- Never installed Google Analytics or GWT before the penalty.

Any advice on how to recover from a "thin content" penalty? Please share your experiences.
Thanks in advance.
 
If you got a thin content penalty, then you need to expand on that. Add more content and make the site significantly different from the sites that you link out to for commissions.
 
A german site of mine got hit with a manual penalty for "thin content" (according to GWT). The penalty effected the whole site.

Some more details:
- All sites are still indexed and bouncing around in the SERPS between positions 40-60.
- Most of my content is LSI optimized and gives the visitor exactly what he is looking for. (Physical product review-type keywords).
- The content consists of a Top 5 list of the best products. I have 2 Affiliate Links per product (image + CTA as text link)
- The content ranked in Top 10-20 positions for medium competition kw's with no backlinks at all
- My bounce rate (according to Yandex) is 12,6% ---> Blows my mind that I got "thin content" when 88% of my visitors don't bounce back to the SERP's.
- Never installed Google Analytics or GWT before the penalty.

Any advice on how to recover from a "thin content" penalty? Please share your experiences.
Thanks in advance.

This worries me too, was the rest of your comp "thin" or was it all meaty. Im inclined to think G would not penalize you if everything else was also thin.
 
A german site of mine got hit with a manual penalty for "thin content" (according to GWT). The penalty effected the whole site.

Some more details:
- All sites are still indexed and bouncing around in the SERPS between positions 40-60.
- Most of my content is LSI optimized and gives the visitor exactly what he is looking for. (Physical product review-type keywords).
- The content consists of a Top 5 list of the best products. I have 2 Affiliate Links per product (image + CTA as text link)
- The content ranked in Top 10-20 positions for medium competition kw's with no backlinks at all
- My bounce rate (according to Yandex) is 12,6% ---> Blows my mind that I got "thin content" when 88% of my visitors don't bounce back to the SERP's.
- Never installed Google Analytics or GWT before the penalty.

Any advice on how to recover from a "thin content" penalty? Please share your experiences.
Thanks in advance.

Glad I found this post, what you describe is more or less exactly the same what happened to us last Friday.

Let's see if we can figure out how to solve this problem.

Our site is a finance site which is built upon reviews with a couple of affiliate links, and then inner pages that
were created to hit long tail combinations and then convert thanks to tables that were similar on all inner pages.

We have both GWT and GA installed and unlike you our bounce rate was pretty high, around 75%.

The first thing I did was to remove all inner pages that were created with the sole reason to hit long tails and
then convert. Then I sent a reconsideration request to Google.

I got a reply much quicker than expected, within two-three days in fact. The opinion was that we were still
breaching Google's guidelines with regards to 'thin content' and that the penalty should remain.

As two other pages on the same GWT account also got the thin content manual penalty, I tried to figure out
what was similar with the pages and it hit me that the review pages could be the problem, which seems to
might have been the case even for you.

I therefore decided to remove all review pages except one, put back the long tail pages, without the tables,
so that they only provide useful information. Then I filed a new reconsideration request that I still haven't
received a reply to.

Let's try to solve this problem together, maybe we can even split test and try different things. Feel free to
send Skype details in a PM if you want to discuss more thoroughly.
 
Thanks for the reply Knasper. I just sent the reconsideration request 10 minutes ago. It would be a waste of time to list all the things I changed on the site right now, because I don't know if the penalty gets removed.

I'll definitely update this thread once I get an answer.

Any updates on your site yet?
 
Some of my pages got hit too. All pages that were in that GWT Account and running the same Theme got hit, no matter of content quality I guess, because there were some pages with a lot reasonably good content. All of the pages were affiliatepages, so I guess they just penalized all pages because of the pattern. There are some tests that I am going to conduct:

1. Remove all products from one of the pages.
2. Change the Theme of another page.
3. Add Content to a third one.
4. Just file a reconsideration request for a "quality" page.

That way I can figure out how they look at the pages and see which penalties will be lifted. I will keep you guys updated.
 
Glad I found this post, what you describe is more or less exactly the same what happened to us last Friday.

Let's see if we can figure out how to solve this problem.

Our site is a finance site which is built upon reviews with a couple of affiliate links, and then inner pages that
were created to hit long tail combinations and then convert thanks to tables that were similar on all inner pages.

We have both GWT and GA installed and unlike you our bounce rate was pretty high, around 75%.

The first thing I did was to remove all inner pages that were created with the sole reason to hit long tails and
then convert. Then I sent a reconsideration request to Google.

I got a reply much quicker than expected, within two-three days in fact. The opinion was that we were still
breaching Google's guidelines with regards to 'thin content' and that the penalty should remain.

As two other pages on the same GWT account also got the thin content manual penalty, I tried to figure out
what was similar with the pages and it hit me that the review pages could be the problem, which seems to
might have been the case even for you.

I therefore decided to remove all review pages except one, put back the long tail pages, without the tables,
so that they only provide useful information. Then I filed a new reconsideration request that I still haven't
received a reply to.

Let's try to solve this problem together, maybe we can even split test and try different things. Feel free to
send Skype details in a PM if you want to discuss more thoroughly.

I have got a response fast for my one of the small sites, negative. I did add more content and posts but didn't work.
Now I 'll file another request for the bigger site with replacing almost all pages with well writtten content and removing the poor ones. I hope they response that fast again with positive result. will let you know guys.
 
Starting with the easiest step, I have removed all products from a page. To do that, I just had to alter the template a little, so it took me about 5 minutes to do so. Filed a reconsideration request and yesterday the penalty was lifted. I guess that I could just display the products again and would do just fine, but I am going to wait a little longer and maybe just add two products again, no spammy stuff. What do you think, do they monitor pages which were just depenalized?
 
I think "thin content" targeting and slightly better duplicate filters are Google's next push.
As recently as 2011 the front page of the SE's for many product names (and sometimes brands) was full of 1 page Wordpress.com wondersites - EMD microsites.

They've pretty much been wiped, but there are still a lot of duplicate content and other thin sites ranking.

I'm not saying Google will get it right (it rarely does) but that's what it seems to be attempting right now.

Scritty
 
I think "thin content" targeting and slightly better duplicate filters are Google's next push.
As recently as 2011 the front page of the SE's for many product names (and sometimes brands) was full of 1 page Wordpress.com wondersites - EMD microsites.

They've pretty much been wiped, but there are still a lot of duplicate content and other thin sites ranking.

I'm not saying Google will get it right (it rarely does) but that's what it seems to be attempting right now.

Scritty

[h=1]What could the webspam team have done better?[/h]

http://searchengineland.com/googles-matt-cutts-regrets-acting-faster-paid-links-content-farms-191146
http://www.seroundtable.com/google-cutts-spam-regrets-18541.html
 
Last edited by a moderator:
What could the webspam team have done better?
.....

Great post.

They could have not pretended they knew the providence of most links - when clearly they are a country mile from knowing that.
Inventing "Spam For Cash" in the form of negative SEO is about the asinine thing any search engine has ever done.

Scritty
 
I have had a decent amount of experience with all sorts of g00gle's manual penalties , and the most consistent factor with all of my sites have been the following --

--I managed to rank the sites fast
--Does not matter if i use blackhat or whitehat
--Never used adwords
--All the sites were scrapers (from multiple sources), but they all present the data in a manner that is useful to visitors (even after my sites are de-indexed from g00gle , i get a lot -- 100k+ uniques everyday from bookmarks and direct hits)
--All the sites are in different niches and serve a different set of audience

Right now i am testing with adwords + same strategy as above
 
Yep I tried to recover from penalty with best I can with ALL content replaced with quality articles, spent hundreds but does not work. Better to start fresh.
 
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