I have some sites where the contact page is no-indexed and some where it's indexed; my criterion is whether or not there's any real reason for it to be indexed, not whether or not it's too thin. Usually there isn't.
oh boy. Are we really starting to believe that contact pages are what is causing sites to lose rankings?
First of all, a contact page will not effect your rankings. Contact pages have existed since websites have and google knows by now how to treat a contact page. Contact pages are thin content pages because they are not content pages! A contact page if anything should earn you points as it shows google that your site allows visitors to reach out to you for support or feedback which is a good indication of a legit business.
Leave your contact page alone, be proud of it, let google know its there and move on to real problems.
This is why one should not evaluate there own site. A lot of people do not want to believe that there is anything wrong with there content so they start focusing on areas which they want to be the problem.
about us, contact us, privacy, terms etc, these are all pages that are staples with most websites and should not really be factored in to your rankings as google knows well enough how to handle them. Dont even bother nofollowing them or disallowing them in robots.txt.
Panda seems to be driving a lot of people there. I realize that 100% certain knowledge about this new algorithm does not yet exist. But in my opinion, "thin contact pages" cannot be in the mix, not even accidentally.
No matter how far off the deep end anyone may think Google has gone, it's still a very smart bunch of people.
...every time Google makes an update it drives webmasters further away from their own mantra "do not make website for the search engines but for users".
It is now 2o11 and it is all about search engines thanks to Google, my visitors dont give a hoot about noindexing anything, about duplicate pages, or about canonical tags, only the search engine does...
Many people that start a web business today are riddled with fear, fear from a bully, a monopoly that makes the web a snapshot of what Google thinks is worthy to be seen...
to go back to the original poster, if it bothers you than make it a big page, make "contacting you a celebration", rather than telling the search engine that one of your pages are not worthy show your visitors you have the coolest contact page there is....
This is the problem with the advice G has doled out. There is no universal definition of thin. I have pages with one sentence of content. But that one sentence helps someone looking for a particular phone number. Am I going to noindex this page or move it to another domains? Am I going to merge it and bury it among other short pages?
One sentence can be far more helpful and useful than 10 pages of content.
Don't noindex your contact page. It is a useful page! Examples of not useful pages are those that no one cares to read or would ever want to read.
e) link to it from the footer of your index page only. It does serve a purpose but doesn't need to receive sitewide link status. Don't worry about nofollow or robots.txt, it will never rank in search anyway and blocking it cuts of rank flow, not something you want.
As for Google, they simply CANNOT and WILL NOT EVER tell webmasters exactly what to do because their concern is to differentiate between quality of pages. If every webmaster was to receive too much information from Google the task of ranking would become that much harder.
Note: I recently pulled up a list of top 50 sites for specific keywords that is 4 years old and was astonished to see that 49 of the sites are still there and almost all of them are in or very near to their original rankings still. Google serps do not change very much despite a feeling they do. Don't expect ANYTHING you do to your site today to result in a spike in traffic, nothing short of mention on a bigger site will give you that.
All sites should include trust elements. This is likely one of the important ones - albeit it won't cause your site to rank on it's own - from what i hear. Consider how you can turn the thin page content to something trustworthy as a better alternative.
First of all, just because something is no-indexed doesn't mean Google doesn't know it's there. That would be robots.txt.
Second of all, I routinely no-index things like contact pages, privacy policies, PPC landing pages, etc., not because they're thin, but because they don't *need* to be in Google's index. And I don't give Google anything I don't need to.
Absolutely ... and it likely needs to correlate to the WHOIS and company registration numbers etc. It's just one of the standard trust elements Google would be routinely checking. You won't find too many spammers putting out real contact details.
This is a problem for business with multi national virtual regional presence to overcome, where it makes no business sense.