Google Weighs In On Whether Splitting A Long Article Could Result In Thin Content

December 1, 2022

In a Google Search Office Hours video, Googler Lizzi Sassman clarified a common misperception about what thin content really is. The actual definition of thin content is more along the lines of content that lacks any added value, such as a cookie cutter page that barely differs from other pages, or even a webpage that is copied from a retailer or manufacturer with nothing additional added to it. Google’s Product Review Update weeds out, among other things, thin pages consisting of review pages that are only product summaries. Doorway pages are another form of thin content, which are webpages designed to rank for specific keywords. You can learn more about thin content and doorway pages in the links below.

Would it be considered thin content if an article covering a lengthy topic was broken down into smaller articles and interlinked? This was the question asked in a recent Quora thread.

Lizzi Sassman answered: “Well, it’s hard to know without looking at that content. But word count alone is not indicative of thin content. These are two perfectly legitimate approaches: it can be good to have a thorough article that deeply explores a topic, and it can be equally just as good to break it up into easier to understand topics. It really depends on the topic and the content on that page, and you know your audience best. So I would focus on what’s most helpful to your users and that you’re providing sufficient value on each page for whatever the topic might be.”

What the person asking the question may have been asking is if was okay to split one lengthy topic across multiple pages that are interlinked, which is called pagination.

In the Google SEO Office Hours video (12:05), a Googler addresses the use of pagination for long articles. The Googler explains that pagination is a fine way to break up a lengthy article, and provides a link to Google Search Central's page on pagination best practices.

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