Outdated or low quality content can be. detrimental to positioning of a web page in search engines. However, removing this content can also result in a loss of rankings if the process is not carried out correctly.
Removing low-quality content can increase the SEO of an entire website.
Before we continue, it is important to note that old content, even if it is outdated does not necessarily have to be detrimental to SEO, as long as the quality of the content is high and provides value or information to the user.
In general, Google understands quality content to be that which. meets certain criteria such as being reliable. Also educational, entertaining, useful, original, easy to share or accurate, among others. It is not necessary to meet each and every factor, but good content should meet as many as possible.
What to do with outdated content to improve SEO.
Now, what do we do with content that doesn’t meet these criteria? We have several options:
Improve the content.
The first thing we have to keep in mind is that Google is not in favor of removing content. On several occasions it has explained that it is preferable to improve a content, rather than get rid of it.
When do we know that a piece of content needs improvement? It’s easy to see the signs: traffic decreasesyou get no links or mentions on social networks, no comments, conversions plummet or you lose rankings on the search results page.
Improving content requires a lot of work, because it is not enough to revise texts, expand a couple of paragraphs, add another couple, along with three or four links that seem useful. As a general rule, between 20 and 25% of the old content will need to be changed.
In order to optimize a piece of content, you must first compare it with the similar content that appear at the top of the search engine and make sure that they fit the target audience. These must be clear and easy to read, have all the necessary information, the text format can be scanned to facilitate reading… In addition, they must have internal and external links that provide greater depth, multimedia content, as well as a good structure, correctly using H1 and so on.
Since the release of the Panda update, remove low-quality content helps to improve the position of other better quality content on the same website.
Low quality content can weigh down the positioning of the entire website. If at any given time we notice a worse performance in traffic or positioning, we should analyze the content in search of any piece that may be considered detrimental by Google.
Also, since the launch of the algorithm update focused on the usefulness of content, if Google identifies a lot of low quality content on a website, created just to rankit is possible that it will receive a penalty and will not appear in the search engine.
Now, how to remove the content so as not to harm the SEO? There are two ways to do it, the first one is possibly the most advisable and it is to block the URL. To do this, it is necessary to mark it with the tag “noindex“or by hiding the content from search engines. For example, by making it private content or adding a password.
The second option is to remove the content completely. In this case, according to Google, it does not matter if a 404 error appears, since the robot understands that the content is no longer there and, therefore, the next time it will not search for it, since it will know that it does not exist.