Pages should contain substantial, unique and high-quality content that works well on mobile devices and has accessibility in mind.
Thin content with little or no added value - If you see this message … it means that Google has detected low-quality pages or shallow pages on your site.
Avoid thin content pages
Prefer information-rich pages over pages that lack content. Search engines will penalise pages it thinks don’t provide enough value as visitors prefer informative and high quality results. Good content will also naturally improve search rankings by attracting more backlinks and social shares. We recommend a minimum of 300 words per page as a rough guideline for identifying pages that are lacking in content.
Set image ALT text
Every image included on a page using
<img> tags should be given an accurate description using
alt attributes. Well-written
alt text can improve search rankings because search engines will check these for relevant keywords. Providing
alt text is also important for accessibility because assistive technologies like screen readers rely on this text as an alternative to displaying images. It’s particularly important for links that only contain an image to have descriptive
alt text so screen readers and search engines are able to understand what is being linked to. You can set
alt text by adding an
alt attribute to each image tag. For example
<img src="example.png" alt="Description">. When an image is purely decorative, you should set the
alt attribute to empty (
alt="") so assistive technologies know to ignore that image.
Set mobile scaling
Set mobile page scaling properties on each page so your pages are mobile-friendly. Mobile browsers will by default try to show pages at desktop screen widths which will be hard to read and require manual zooming by the viewer. You should instead indicate to mobile browsers using the
viewport meta tag that a page should adjust its content to match the width of the device. This also signals to search engines that your page is mobile friendly which will boost search rankings on mobiles. A reasonable default tag to use is
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1"> which sets the page width to the device screen width with the current zoom level set to 100%.
Avoid the use of browser plugins to display content and prefer cross-browser solutions instead. Browser plugins such as Java, Flash, ActiveX and Silverlight can be used to add dynamic content to pages using the
<applet> tags. However, plugin usage should be avoided because users who don’t have the required plugins installed won’t be able to view all of your content and some plugins aren’t even available on all platforms. Similarly, search engines may not be equipped to index content that requires plugins. Try to replace plugin usage with solutions that work on most browsers by default and are well supported on mobiles. For example, using Flash (which isn’t available on mobiles) for playing videos should be avoided in favour of the HTML
<video> tag as this tag is widely supported on all platforms and can be understood by search engines.
More articles in this series
➜ This article is from our comprehensive SEO Best Practices guide.
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