If you’ve been hit by Google’s Panda algorithm; is removing thin content the best answer for your site? As reported by Barry Schwartz over at the Search Engine Roundtable yesterday, Googles Gary Illyes and John Mueller have both stated that simply removing the copy may not be in your best interest. Gary stated multiple times in response to questions via Twitter that building better content is the ideal solution.
While that’s any easy statement to make, most businesses balk at the task of updating thin pages, outdated, or irrelevant content as it’s a time consuming and costly undertaking. While it may not be the solution you’d like, it is the best one. Google wants to reward original content that satisfies a user’s intent when visitors land on a page. So while it may be costly, taking a good hard look at your site structure, page content, and user metrics is a good place to start.
When Rewriting isn’t an option
If the page(s) in question are proffering content that is no longer relevant, or was time sensitive you may want to consider applying the ”noindex” tag in the header. For pages that have duplicate or near duplicate content, using the canonical tag to point one central page is a great option. Last but not least, you can use a 301 redirect to send all topically duplicate pages to resolve to one location. Whatever your preferred solution, it’s always recommended that you update and resubmit your sitemap through Google’s search console after modifying pages on your site, or use the fetch as Google option.