Content Junk: Examples of Thin Content With Little or No Added Value

Value Stands Out From Junk

It’s easy to say “no” to pure spam – content that’s automatically generated, copied, spun, and even plagiarized. You and I both know pure spam is bad, but what about those gray areas? If you were offered a fast and easy way to build exposure, would you jump at the opportunity? Or would you ask: “What’s the catch?”

Many proponents of spam hope you’ll buy into their tactics rather than question their merit. This may include companies who promise effortless backlinks or affiliates who promote easy content creation strategies that involve no real expertise. The tactics behind these promises may not seem unethical and spammy as their pure spam counterparts, so what’s the problem?

Upon closer inspection, the tactics advocate or propel the usage of low-quality content with little or no added value: junk. The common cause of junk is often due to the writer’s lack of personal expertise or insight into a topic. How can you tell? Typically, these articles lack value because they fail to deliver informative benefits and the reader gains nothing from the article.

Still not sure what junk looks like? Let’s take a look at the thin-content gallery exhibits of junk.

Exhibit A: Thin Content

The article fails to deliver any informative content beyond generic information. Often, the article’s main take-away or informative tip is to direct the reader to perform an action they’re already performing: searching online.

Where to Find Cheap X

To find X, you should look for cheap X online. The competition is fierce between online businesses, which means the prices online are quite low. However, this does require a bit of research. You will have to look for online sellers and go through customer reviews before choosing a seller.

Exhibit B: Rehashed Content

The writer attempts to share identical or similar tips across multiple articles. Not only is this uninformative and derivative, it tells readers and publishers the writer isn’t a credible expert and is incapable of delivering more relevant information. Compare “Article Y” against “Article Z” in the following examples:

Article Y

Although, a platter full of green vegetables high on proteins and fiber along with regular exercise will always be the golden way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a fast-track supplement like X is highly recommended for faster results along with a well-planned diet.

Article Z

Although a routine exercise and well-balanced diet are the healthiest options, 1 supplement that does help to reduce weight with utmost ease is X.

Exhibit C: Improperly Geotargeting Content

The writer blatantly states a location or place within the content, but fails to provide geographic or cultural context and therefore the content could be applied to other locations.

In order to look clean, the window must be cleaned on the inside as well as on the outside. Companies in London use specialised equipment to clean both sides of your windows.

Exhibit D: Vague Subject or Product Content

The writer mentions a particular product or subject, but fails to deliver detailed information regarding that product or subject. In the following example, note how iPhone could easily be swapped out with Android.

Developing an iPhone app is not for everyone! Regardless of your experience level, all iPhone app developers face critical challenges while developing innovative apps for iPhone. They are:

  • Beginning with a clear goal of your iPhone app
  • Considering your end users
  • Providing multi-touch functionality and an easy-to-use interface

How Can You Ensure Your Content Isn’t Considered Uninformative Junk?

Before you jump into any “quick ‘n easy tactics” or writing articles for “content’s sake,” consider what value you will contribute to your niche and how it will benefit the reader. Write for a niche of which you have intimate or in-depth knowledge. Consider your knowledge bank and assets: Tips, strategies, techniques, case-studies, analysis, opinions, and commentary based on your own perspective. Integrate this wealth of knowledge into quality, original articles that deliver gains to readers in the form of informative content.

Do you have any questions or comments? Let us know in the comments section below – we’d love to hear from you!

Balance creativity and originality by tapping into your insights using the 52 interactive Article Templates on PDF. These dynamic templates will help you generate dozens of unique article ideas to help you build your article portfolio, credibility, and exposure!


jeff kane writes:

There has to be some knowledge and information in your writing to keep the readers coming back to your site.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 9:50 AM


Helen Hoefele writes:

You are so right. It is easy to explain the extremes, but nice to see some coverage of those gray areas, too. Great examples. Thanks!

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM


Patricia writes:

Thanks for sharing the examples of what not to do. The whole point of writing is to communicate something of value.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 10:34 AM


Jim writes:

I hate to be this cruel, but the folks at EzineArticles are the blind leading the blind here. What is “Good” content? They do not know or they would have brought this site out of panda, but they are still losing traffic. Don’t believe me, look at their alexa as it is still shows a steady decline since they took the big slap with Panda from Google.

They are doing everything wrong and have no clue as to how to fix it.

I could easily fix and have it out of panda in 30 to 60 days and these “experts” are still losing traffic 2 years into Panda. They can’t help anyone here because they obviously do not know how to fix it or they would have their traffic back.

The tips ezine puts out could help a little, but they have no clue overall about what their problem is or how to fix it. Hint: Quality content is in the eyes of the beholder and that can change from one keyword phrase to another based on demographics of the visitor. A medical paper may be an interesting read to others in the medical field, but a guy with a high school education has no interest, therefore it is poor content to the lesser educated and useless to them because of the gap in education levels. They simply can’t understand it.

Likewise the page written for the person by someone similar to them as far as social groups in the high school grad area is garbage to the highly educated and they will bounce fast when they hit this page, giving Google signals that the page is not satisfying the searchers.

Quality content is relative. These help tips in writing post are useless because they only give you a small portion of what they and the writer desires, and that is to have high ranking articles. Until staff wake up, the company and the writers that use the site will suffer.

3 easy fixes for ezine article to help get out of panda: Allow authors to link to other related articles within EzineArticles(reduces bounce and increases pageviews).

2, Navigation on article pages. Here is an example pulled randomly

No navigation or related articles until the reader is way past the content. Major mistake. There should be other related articles in the side where ezine is being greedy with adsense ads, so the only place to click on the page is ads. No a good user experience.

There is more adsense space than article content on the page. This is an automatic penalty because of the sheer amount of pixel space of the ads in relation to content.

Ezine, you need more pageviews per visit. When someone gets to an article in the serps, they bounce because they have nowhere else to go other than an ad. Pathetic and you will NEVER get out of panda until you learn to manage user interactions.

I have brought many sites into and out of panda on purpose, so I know what I am talking about.

You people have no clue about “quality content” so stop misleading your current writers or you will continue to lose more. No writer wants to write a great article so that it will never be seen in Google.

Just the facts and reality!

Jim Corkern

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 11:16 AM


Lance Winslow writes:

Jim, why did you choose to trash EzineArticles like this? You could have simply sent them an email and offered your advice and help, for a fee even. Further, if you’d like to email me personally, there is much more to the whole thing that you see here, it’s much deeper, the challenges are much more complex.


Parmveer Singh writes:

Nice Article.

:) good hidden points explored. You really spotted closely on content quality.

Points C and D are need more closer look while examining or writing a post for SEO purpose.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 11:22 AM


Kieran Gracie writes:

I think that most junk stems from newbies being told to get as many backlinks as possible, as soon as possible, anyhow, anywhere. This is supposed to attract those clever Google robots and, unfortunately, it often DOES get Google’s attention and is given precedence over well-written articles for those of us searching for real help or information. Well done, Ezine, for your constant efforts to improve writing standards on the internet.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM


Randall Magwood writes:

I get alot of junk comments on my wordpress blog. I hate it cause i want to keep comments open for legitimate posters, but the number of blog comments that i have to moderate daily makes me want to disable comments altogether.

People who put up junk content with their articles won’t get anywhere when it comes to getting sales.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 1:33 PM



I agree with all the above including the article itself. As Randall says it makes a hard job of sorting the chaff from the wheat. Loads of comments on my website are just after backlinks. I’ve have had handbag merchants from Ukraine and headphone merchants from the USA leaving comments on my site about curing panics attacks-just to get them good ol’ backlinks. Its a pain.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM


Lance Winslow writes:

As a reader I often look to read articles on this website where the people are not trying to merely sell something. It seems that most of the “junk” that inadvertantly gets through comes from “pure article marketers” or those who think they are, and someone told them to “write lots of articles” so they do, but since they don’t know much about whatever it is they are selling or writing about (remember this isn’t everyone, I am just talking about the junk producers) so they go to WikiPedia and read for 20 minutes and then go online to see what everyone else is doing, then they start writing. Since they don’t know much all of their information and articles are unfortunately similar, and similar to all the other information out there. In the end there is no value in that, and no honor in that either.

I guess what upsets me as a reader, looking for nuance, information, something I don’t know, is that I feel like I’ve wasted my time. Worse, sometimes I see many of these “spammy articles” in the search engines too, usually from other websites. I see EzineArticles is able to keep the vast majority out on this website, I applaud that, it must take a lot of work, effort and time.

In the olden days, and trying not to give away my age, there were trade journals with informational articles, if you didn’t know much about that sector, you’d never get your article in, and if by chance you did fool an editor, there would be hell to pay in the letters to the editor trashing whatever you wrote the next month, and that kept people honest.

In today’s world, everyone is a writer and producer of content, but there is little if any control or supervision and very little self-policing, as people throw crap up as if throwing spaghetti at the fridge, and they are happy with pure volume, whatever sticks is enough to keep them happy and unfortunately they keep producing crap.

What has happened now is so many of these junk articles, not so much here, as the Ezine folks filter it well, we see it is ruining the Internet, now nothing worthy is easy to find, and all the debris left by get-rich-quick online marketers is left – on blogs, directory sites, social networks, secondary source media, and yes, in comment sections too. It’s enough to drive someone nuts. Today people are getting better at filtering what they read just as the have stopped looking at the ads on sidebars, blogs, or YouTube for instance – but it is still too bad the problem permeates these online venues. I am glad to see EzineArticles filtering this out. We don’t need anymore spammy articles – the world already has that information available, it’s already everywhere and thus, it’s not needed by readers, surfers, or the public and might I say; it certainly doesn’t belong here.

Comment provided March 21, 2013 at 7:43 PM



It is the value that is going to rule the world of Internet. In coming days junk content is going to buried or at least ‘ignored’ by google or other search engines. What matters the most is understanding the Huge Wall standing tall between high quality good content and cheap poor quality content. The wall which is getting thicker for some and thinner for some.

Comment provided March 22, 2013 at 1:01 AM


Gracious Store writes:

Gray area being what it is, it is sometimes difficult to see it for what it is- GRAY AREA. I am not sure any author that publishes “so called junk content” has intention to publish a non-valuable content. It may just be that author’s level of understanding of the content he/she has to write.

Let’s face it many marketers are not writers (the cost of hiring someone to write every content for you is exorbitant ) and because Google require content as the essential component for websites to gain exposure, people are compelled to write whatever they think is a good content. After all who is the genius or the professor to determine what is valuable and what is not.

What you may consider a junk may not be a junk for the author or even another reader, after all, how may contents on the web are peered reviewed and so how do you trust or evaluate the genuineness of all the information on the web

Comment provided March 22, 2013 at 11:09 PM


Vladimir Mesic writes:

Yes some good examples of rehashed junk that seems to be everywhere. Yes, Google’s algorithms and data banks are getting so powerful and sophisticated that we can expect that less ‘junk’ gets through in the future, but still, without a human reading an article it will not be possible to be certain that an article is indeed a great informative article worth putting in front of readers.

Comment provided March 23, 2013 at 11:11 PM


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