How to Search for and Fix Low Quality Content on Your Website

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When Google rolled out the Panda update in 2011 it was aimed at websites with low quality content and designed to prevent thin websites from ranking high in the SERPs. The Google Panda update was meant to be a huge wake up call; a glaring reminder that content should be written for the users and not for the search engines.


Since then, Google has been increasing clear about the fact that if you want to improve your site’s ranking in the Google search results, one of the most important steps is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information. But still some webmasters attempt to improve their rankings in the SERPs and ergo attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little substantial value.

Thin content and shallow pages with little value will kill your website rankings. Maybe you’ve been lucky so far in escaping penalizations but each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times.

Examples of content with little value include:

  • Auto-generated content
  • Doorway pages
  • Scraped content (and low-quality guest posts)
  • Thin affiliate sites

Automatically Generated Content

“Auto-generated” content is by definition content that’s been generated programmatically. It will most often consist of paragraphs of random text that contain the right keywords sprinkled at the right intervals but overall, the content will make little or no sense whatsoever to a human reader. Examples of auto-generated content include:

  • Text translated by an automated tool
  • Text generated through Markov chains and other automated processes
  • Text generated using automated synonymizing
  • Text generated from scraping RSS feeds
  • Content from different web pages combined without human review

Thin Affiliate Sites

Often times, affiliate websites feature content such as product reviews that appear, verbatim, on sites across that affiliate network and do not have enough unique content to differentiate them from other sites on the web. Such “thin” affiliate websites do not provide value for web users and create a frustrating user experience. It therefore makes sense that pages with product descriptions and reviews copied directly from the original merchant can suffer in Google’s search rankings.

Scraped Content

Content taken or scraped from other sites on the assumption that a large volume of content on a website is a good long-term strategy regardless of factors such as relevance and uniqueness provide no real value to users. Additionally, this practice also constitutes copyright infringement.

Sites that republish content from other sources or modify it slightly, for example, by substituting synonyms, are obviously shallow.

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4 Creative Link Building Ideas for Ecommerce Websites in Boring Niches

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Since the late 1990’s search engines have used link data in complex algorithms to evaluate sites and pages and their relative popularity and importance. Obviously links are not everything in SEO but many search professionals estimate that link-based factors constitute a large portion of the search algorithms used by popular engines such as Google. Through links, Google can not only measure the popularity of websites but also other metrics such as trust, spam and authority. After all, trustworthy sites tend to receive links from other trusted sources while spammy sites receive very few of those.


Some of the popular link building strategies for ecommerce websites include:

1. Getting your loyal customers to link to you by sending out graphic icons that link back to your site

2. Maintaining a business blog; making it a fresh and entertaining source of industry news and information.

3. Creating content to serve as “linkbait”. In the SEO world, “linkbait” refers to content that inspires viral sharing such as humor.

4. Be newsworthy. Staying in the news by periodically releasing a great product or giving away something for free is a very effective way to earn links.

But what happens if the industry you’re in is very boring? Are some industries too boring to develop a cohesive and long-term link building strategy?

Link Building Opportunities for Websites in Boring Industries

Amid terrific stories being shared and linked to every minute in dynamic industries such as home improvement, footwear and fitness, link builders in the more challenging niches sometimes get stuck on how to even come close to competing.

But boring is a very subjective tern. If you really think about it, you’ll realize that any business, no matter how boring it may come off as on the surface, has interesting stories.

  • Every business has customers with problems they need to solve
  • Every business owner has a story to tell
  • Every employee face challenges at work everyday

All these make interesting human stories. The challenge is for a link builder to be creative enough to leverage and exploit these stories.

1. Do a Google Search and Sift Through What Comes Up for Inspiration

Building and maintaining a business blog is one of the few link-building strategies personally recommended by the engineers at Google. Blogs are unique in their ability to contribute fresh content on a consistent basis. These then go on to participate in conversations across the web and earn links from other blogs.

But if you’re in an industry like, say air filters, chances are, you don’t have much to say let alone something to say everyday or periodically. So it helps to do a Google search and read through the stories that come up. Occasionally you are bound to come across a piece of information or a statistic that would make a link-worthy piece of content.

For example, did you know that according to the EPA, indoor air contains 2-5 times more contaminants than outdoor air? Don’t you think this piece of data has the potential to interest a lot of people and inspire a really nice blog post?

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