Google: Thin Content Does Not Mean Less Words In Copy

There seems to be some confusion among search professions about the number of words used in copy. The best word count needed to succeed in Google Search is not a thing, tweeted Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan.

“It doesn't exist,” he wrote. “Write as long or short as needed for people who read your content.”

That statement, he wrote, aligns with what Google’s ranking systems aims to reward. Despite trying to bring clarity to the strategy, some search engine optimization (SEO) professionals fired back.

“If this is not a thing then why [do] your @AdSense friends reject sites saying ‘Thin Content’?” tweeted Raj, a tech enthusiast, SEO and blogger.

Sullivan explained that search is separate from AdSense, and that some people confuse the use of the word "thin" to mean "low word count." That's not how Google Search talks about “thin” content, which has little to no value, he wrote. Content with lots of words and little value can be thin.



Google states, for example, that affiliate pages can be considered thin if they are a part of a program that distributes its content across a network of affiliates without providing additional value and information.

Not every site participating in an affiliate program is a thin affiliate. Thin content is the same as thin affiliate, according to Google. Good affiliate sites add value by offering meaningful content or features.

Examples of good affiliate pages include offering additional information about price, original product reviews, rigorous testing and ratings, navigation of products or categories, and product comparisons.

Another SEO and affiliate marketers asked “why a direct correlation between word count and outranking competition?”

John Mueller, search advocate at Google, chimed in to say it’s "definitely not the case" if saying the top-ranking pages should have the most words.

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