|Noindex and Thin Content fixes for Panda|
In my process for evaluating and redoing sites hit by panda, I was wondering what everyone has been doing with parts of their sites that are thin content and if anyone has seen any success?
The options I'm looking at:
1. Noindex/nofollow thin content (just for googlebot)
2. Combine thin content pages into 1 page and 301 the pages to that page
3. Delete thin content and 404 it
4. Add a lot of content to any thin pages
Has anyone had any success doing any of these things or something similar?
Those are all feasible options with pros & cons. For example if you noindex and/or delete a large amount of pages it may leave your site with too few pages.
From my POV many webmasters inflicted by Panda simply do not know what is quality content or how to produce it in large volumes.
My idea of quality content:
-600 word bare minimum
-Contains synonyms & semantically related word
-Good readability score (not too high or low)
-Often contains images (humans like pictures)
-Uses bold/heading/italics for usability & not SEO
-Contains a clear idea in each paragraph
-When in doubt I think what my high school English teacher would say
From what I've read, Panda was mainly designed to target so-called content farms. So if your site has similarities to these content farms, such as in size, structure, and strategy, then you might try to move away from that model.
|Noindex/nofollow thin content (just for googlebot) |
Several comments on this point. Google's intent with Panda is to improve the satisfaction of Google users with results delivered by Google search. That involves, among other things, returning not only relevant pages, but also sites that engage, inform, sell, entertain... whatever. The site needs to hold the visitor's attention.
I see noindexing as a short term band-aid for a site, to be used only on a limited number of pages. It's a good way, eg, to keep a page not intended for general users from showing up inappropriately in the serps. You definitely don't want to have very many searchers landing on a page and then backing out of it and returning to Google.
But Google is looking at user engagement sitewide, not just for pages that show up in the serps... and if you have a lot of thin content, the site overall is ultimately not going to satisfy your visitors until you fix that content. I'd be very wary about noindexing a lot of pages as an approach to site improvement.
Regarding nofollow, I wouldn't use that at all. In the robots metatag, the nofollow attribute stops the circulation of PageRank through the page it's applied to. It effectively creates a PageRank black hole, much as nofollowed links do. In a Panda triage situation, such as you're describing, I see nothing to be gained, and lots to be lost, from using the nofollow attribute together with noindex.
|I'd be very wary about noindexing a lot of pages as an approach to site improvement. |
It's a hard one turning around an existing site, especially if it's a large site. And noindexing alone hasn't worked in isolation from what I've seen.
Also the quantity of content, seems to be all over the place - so size is not always that important.
What about adding dynamic features to the content so that it doesn't get stale?