Short vs Thin Content

There’s a lot of discrepancy when it comes to how long content should be. Some people claim your content should be as long as it can, with word counts in the upwards 2,000+.

Yikes.

Have you tried writing 2,000+ words for a blog post? It’s hard. Your mind wanders, your points stray from your original thesis and sometimes you end up just babbling. Don’t get me wrong, depending on the topic, writing a lengthy content page or blog can be easy; the words just flow naturally and you 1500 words later, you’re still writing.

But we’re not here to talk about long content. We’re talking about those times when you can’t (or shouldn’t) reach those lofty word count goals.

Short Content has a time and a place.

Just like longer content, short content has a time and place. Sometimes it’s okay for you to have short content, but it’s never okay for your content to be thin.

What is Short and Thin content?

Short Content

Short content is just that: short. Usually around 600 words or less, this content may be lacking an impressive word count, but it’s not missing quality. Short content has should still the same qualities that make content worth reading. These are some of the qualities that help make content valuable to your consumers:

  • Well-written (Varied sentence structure, correct grammar, everything your English teachers demanded)
  • Support with evidence (links to sources)
  • Serves a purpose
  • Original

Want to know more about how to write great content? Check out our post about to write quality content for both humans and search engine robots.

That last point is the biggest different between short and thin content. But more on that later.

Short content has its place, just like long content does. Sometimes your message is better expressed with 500 words than 2500.

What is Thin Content

Thin Content is content that’s short and lacks original thought. Often it’s a piece that’s repeating content that someone has already produced.

Google produced a helpful video all about thin content and what you can do to fix it.

Problems With Thin Content

Thin content isn’t valuable; It lacks information to back up claims and references to sources. It’s content for the sake of content without bringing any new information to the table. Someone who visits your website and reads a piece that’s short and lacks any real depth isn’t going to stay on the site for long. They’re going to move on to the next search result. Internet users are looking for answers; they’re expecting your content (blogs and webpages both) to be helpful to them and their needs.

Just like consumers, search engines don’t like content that isn’t helpful. They’ve been programmed to detect duplicate content and rank it lower in search engine results. If a website has too much thin content, search engines may mark the page as spam, resulting to an even lower search ranking.

Here’s another resource for more information on thin content and how to fix it.

The goal of content marketing is to say something worthwhile that engages the consumer. Throwing content together and repurposes other people’s original content

This blog post came to a total of 576 words, so it can be considered short content. But it’s not thin content. Don’t produce thin content just for the sake of having content on your site; you’ll only end up annoying your consumers and getting penalized by search engines. Your best bet is produce quality content that is worth reading.