Google’s Panda update has made businesses pretty worried about the content penalty. While it is possible to recover from such penalties with some ethical practices, the task becomes quite tough at the very first place as webmasters often struggle with diagnosing the reasons for ranking drops.
A comprehensive content audit can help businesses point out all the gaps present in their content strategy and today’s post is all about those content gaps that businesses must stay away from. Let’s start:
- Internal Content Duplication
If you are duplicating your own optimized content across multiple pages of your website, you are actually creating the biggest content gap ever. Internally duplicated content acts like a boomerang, thereby causing the ‘cannibalization effect’ on your website ranking.
Let us make it a bit clearer. When you have same content on different internal pages, all of those compete with each other for ranking, which eventually reduces the overall ranking of your website.
In addition, having many duplicate content in a single directory on the website will make Google consider the whole directory to be of low quality. This will penalize your website and your rankings will be under threat.
Hence, it is a good practice to keep an eye on the internal pages of your website and get rid of duplicate content effectively.
- External Content Duplication
Not only internally duplicated pages, but content that are syndicated on different websites can also affect the rankings of your website by creating a content gap. External content can either be duplicated purposefully or scraped by malicious ‘bots’.
In this case, whatever the reason behind the duplication is, Google simply finds out the original source of the content and removes all duplicates from the index straight away. It not only hurts the position of your website in SERPs but also throws you out of the competition completely.
However, if the externally duplicated content is syndicated by a website that holds greater credibility, the chance is high that the search engine giant will consider your situation and show your website in search results.
- Diversity Across Devices
Google’s ‘mobile-first algorithm’ has made it clear that any desktop website will be judged on the basis of the content displayed on its mobile version. Hence, if the content on both your desktop site and mobile site are not in sync, you are making yourself a victim of content gap.
In order to get rid of content gap across devices, businesses must crawl all of their web pages from both the desktop view and the mobile view. It will help them find out the pages with mismatch and help them take steps accordingly.
It has also been revealed that getting all the content in mobile is the biggest point rather than focusing on the template or design. So, even if you need to compromise with the design of your mobile site for this purpose, just go ahead.
- ‘Thin’ Useless Content
Just like duplicate content, ‘thin’ content is another major issue that businesses need to stay away from.
Make sure that your website is not only loaded with visually appealing graphics, but also has meaningful content in significant amount. Otherwise, you will not be able to escape the consequences of this content gap.
If a webpage lacks valuable content, it becomes impossible for Google to understand its objective. Being too low in information, that webpage can also not be considered as an authority in the field. Therefore, it needs to struggle to rank, which often becomes futile.
- Visibility On Page Load
It is highly important for businesses to make sure that the content is displayed right above the fold on page load as that is the content which attracts almost 80% of readers. If you are pushing your content to the bottom of the page, you are actually falling prey to the content gap.
According to Google, content that lies at the bottom of a webpage is often ignored by readers irrespective of how valuable it is. The search engine giant simply does not take such content into consideration, which results into a wasted effort.
Hence, try to keep most of the content of an indexable webpage above the fold so that it is visible on page load.
Combating content gaps can certainly give you considerable ranking advantage. If you have also been following these five practices, stop right now and your website will definitely thank you!