What is "Body Text Too Short"?

This issue refers to pages with very little text on the page that is readable by search engines. Remember that crawlers like search engines cannot read content found in images, video, flash, Java, and JavaScript, so this content will be virtually ignored by search engines in most cases. Generally speaking, crawlers only read plain text, so you'll want all of the most important content on your site in this format.

While not a standard by any means, we flag URLs with less than 100 machine-readable words as having body text that is too short.

Why It's Important

Search engines want to provide users with a URL that answers their question or provides the information they're looking for. Often times, it is difficult to provide this information if there is very little content on the page. Therefore, search engines are biased against pages that do not have a minimum amount of content, and it will be much more difficult to get these pages to rank higher on SERPs.

Pages with very little text on the page can sometimes be viewed by search engines as "thin content" if they suspect they are a doorway page, an affiliate site with no added value, are automatically generated, or contain scraped content. These pages could be regarded as webspam by search engines, and could have a definite negative impact on your site's rankings.

How To Fix

Visit each URL are check the on-page content. Check to see if there is enough meaningful content on the page. Is the content on the page useful? Is there enough content to adequately answer a user's question or provide them enough information to be helpful? If the answer is "no" to either of these questions, consider rewriting the content on the page to make it useful, or removing the page altogether.

You'll also want to check to ensure that the text is not trapped inside an element that is not readable by machines such as images, video, flash, Java, or JavaScript. If it is, consider moving the content into plain text, or adding captions and alt tags to images or videos.

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