The Panda and Penguin updates that Google introduced over the last year-and-a-half have shaken up the Web a bit. One way that really took a lot of webmasters by surprise is something called the thin content rule. If you have just a few words of content on a web page, then Google won’t necessarily index that web page – or they could bury it down in the search rankings somewhere.
In a recent interview, however, Matt Cutts says that websites won’t always be penalized for thin content and he tells you how you can get around the thin content rule easily if you are a chain store with locations in multiple cities.
Cutts suggests putting content that is common to all of your locations on your home page and putting content that is unique to each location on those site location pages, even if that unique content is “thin.” So what kind of information might we be talking about?
Let’s say you own a popular party store chain that has a location in 5 cities in your state. Each location has a party room for rent, but the amenities in each of those rooms are different to appeal to your local market. That would be good information to include on those site location pages.
Or, what if you own a chain of retail stores and you decide to offer coupons for your stores. Why not offer unique coupons for each location and you can put those coupons on each site location’s page giving each page its own unique content.
So small businesses or chain stores with multiple locations can get around the thin content rule with a little creativity. Just include unique information about each of your locations on those site-specific location pages.