“It’s the girth that matters.” — GoogleBot
Problem: You have an affiliate site in the tried-and-true “ads as content” (product comparison directory) format, but it’s either not indexed, or not ranking.
Solution: Make your thin site thicker. Google respects thickness.
Ways to make a thin site appear thicker:
- Remix content. The beautiful thing about datafeeds is you can take free content from the merchant (that other affiliates, unfortunately, also have access to) but rearrange it in a unique way so that the page “as a whole” is unique.
- Find and replace. Go through the datafeed. Take some common words or acronyms and replace them with words that have the same meaning to a reader but look different to a bot. Find and replace PMI with ‘private mortgage insurance’. Find and replace the word ‘mortgage’ with ‘home loan’.
OK those things are just tiny bits and pieces and obviously Google is 10 steps ahead of me in large scale textual analysis, but I believe every little bit helps. In a “signal of quality” era, slight tweaks could mean the difference between being on the right edge of Supplemental, and being on the wrong edge. Of course, appearing thicker only gets a site so far.
Ways to make a thin site actually thicker:
- Combine unique content with the dupe content. A page will still appear unique “as a whole” if you have, say, 200 words of unique introductory text above 800 words of dupe (or nearly-dupe) content.
- Tack some original, remarkable content onto the site and get it well-linked. If your site has 100 pages which are “somewhat thin” and another 20 pages which are “very thick”, the site as a whole is thicker than if you just had 100 “somewhat thin” pages. If you can get these thicker pages links and traffic from social media, the site is also going to be more defensible, period. Even if you only have one page that’s best-of-breed (a true authority/resource), Google’s results are going to be less relevant if they disinclude your domain. That’s the position you want to be in.
So, in summation, here’s my recipe to make a thin site thick: Take all those thin/dupe pages. Remix/rearrange the content a bit. Find/replace some common words. Take some new unique content and sprinkle it throughout. Finally, add a few 100% unique and remarkable pages and get them some quality links. Bam!
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