Dealing with Thin Content

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(Sarah Hawk) #21

I really like that idea.

Does anyone else have examples of something similar?


(Joe Velez) #22

appreciate the update Patrick … it’s good to see the progress :slight_smile:


(Dominic Woodman) #23

Thanks for the update Patrick, good to hear how it’s going!


(Patrick Curtis) #24

Dominic and @Joe_Velez, just thought I’d throw another update here…we’ve sped up the pace of our merging…we’re now touching about ~1,500 threads per week so we’re starting to get into the “weaker” masters.

Some tentatively good news…our organic traffic finally is starting to climb again (up between ~10-16% YOY in last few weeks). No clue if that is because of:

  1. the merging we are doing to help reduce thin content / thicken up strong threads
  2. the speed improvement from moving to PHP 7 and a stronger server is working
  3. removing non-indexed urls from our sitemap (maybe improves crawl budget?!)

…or some other random change we made. I’m not too excited because we’ve had periods like this before, but we’re going to keep plugging away at #1 because we see it as a better user experience anyways.

Just wanted to say thank you again for all your advice and I’ll keep posting here every few months to update you guys on how we’re doing.

If I can help you guys out in any way, please let me know.

Talk soon!
Patrick


(Gear Buzz) #25

Great thread

We no index a few areas like our classifieds


(Dominic Woodman) #26

Cheers for the update Patrick, it’s great to hear you’re beginning to see some progress.

Removing non-indexed URLs from the sitemap is good practice because at a certain percentage of errors (e.g. 404’s non-canonical URLs etc.) Google doesn’t respect a sitemap (no clear numbers on what %, although I’ve seen internal goals in companies from 2% up to 5%).

It’s unlikely to affect your crawl budget. Google put out a really nice post which summarises that here:

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/01/what-crawl-budget-means-for-googlebot.html

I suspect the speed and thin content removal are far more important than the sitemap for increasing the budget. What the sitemap will help you do though is make sure it’s allocated correctly and that Google understands where it’s worth spending its time.


(Patrick Curtis) #27

Thanks Dominic - is there an email I can reach you at? Wanted to see if we could bring you on for a few hours to help as a 2nd set of eyes on how we have everything structured / set up SEO wise. Thanks!


(Sarah Hawk) #28

If Dominic doesn’t have capacity, I know of another really great SEO contractor.


(Patrick Curtis) #29

Thanks Hawk - do they specialize in forum/community SEO - and specifically the technical aspects of SEO?

Thanks!


(Sarah Hawk) #30

Not specifically, no (as far as I’m aware).
It’s Jess Spate. I was put onto her by @Gear_Buzz and she was really great (and cost effective) for us.
Not sure if she did community specific stuff for Jules or not.


(Gear Buzz) #31

Jess has an interest in community specific stuff

I think she is on Maternity leave for a bit but please do try her…


(Joe Velez) #32

Patrick,

(Sorry for the delay in responding … I do appreciate the update.)

I just visited your site and it’s blazing fast. Great work!

[quote=“Patrick_Curtis, post:24, topic:2425”]Some tentatively good news…our organic traffic finally is starting to climb again (up between ~10-16% YOY in last few weeks). No clue if that is because of:

  1. the merging we are doing to help reduce thin content / thicken up strong threads
  2. the speed improvement from moving to PHP 7 and a stronger server is working
  3. removing non-indexed urls from our sitemap (maybe improves crawl budget?!)
    [/quote]I think it’s a little of everything. Plus, perfect timing. Google is focusing on quality, mobile, and speed more than ever. Mobile-First!

(Gear Buzz) #33

We have received conflicting advice about one of our thin content concearns

Our “product pages” aggregate content from the forum and while they have NO origional content they act as useful hubs / starting points for people interested in products to find out more. (and have a commercial aspect to benefit the forum)

Here is an example

So we have been advised as it have no origional content - to keep it no index
But have also been advised that we might as well try it as Google’s SEO penalties are more ‘fluid’ and no longer last for 3 months or 6 months and that we could “give it a try” (switching off the no index)

So I am tempted to just give it a go and just revert to no follow if traffic drops…

Our SEO juice in this space is very strong - if these pages become high in search results it would serve visitors and us well.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,


(Piper_Wilson) #34

@Gear_Buzz - I’m coming back after a bit. I have no thoughts but I am curious about what you’ve done since your last post.

Cheers!


(Gear Buzz) #35

Still haven’t tried it yet. I am tempted. And your post reminds me.