Why You Should Fix or Remove Low-Quality Web Pages


If you’ve carried out a content material audit for an internet site that’s older than a decade (or even 5 years), you’ll have unearthed the remnants of a really totally different preliminary content material advertising and marketing technique. Blog publish matters overlap, 200- and 300-word articles fill the useful resource part, the once-rushed touchdown web page now sits with its unique 100 phrases.

These skinny pages now sit forgotten, representing a bygone period in website positioning.

When you encounter low-performing content material like this, it’s tempting to undertake a no-harm, no-foul coverage and sweep it below the rug to concentrate on new content material. But I strongly discourage this strategy, and right here’s an instance that helps clarify why:

Don’t sweep low-performing #content material pages below the rug, says @JonasSickler. #website positioning Click To Tweet

You’re wanting on the variety of periods for a website after an eight-month spring cleansing. Organic periods elevated from eight,598 in June 2018 to 30,927 in February 2019 – a 360% improve in natural visitors. Not dangerous, however what’s actually staggering is that solely 5 new posts had been added to the positioning on this interval.

How is that this doable?

I’ll get there, however first let’s take a look at why the spring-cleaning technique is efficient.

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Thin content material and website positioning

“Thin content” is a catch-all time period that describes any ineffective content material – pages with a sparse phrase rely, duplicate content material, doorway pages, ad-riddled pages, and weblog posts or articles that lack readability and depth.

In the previous, churning out content material fell into the “can’t-hurt, might-help” class. Except it can harm. Every adopted web page in your website pulls crawl bandwidth and hyperlink fairness, each of that are finite sources. When these sources are diluted throughout ineffective pages as an alternative of given to content material that issues, website authority and natural rankings drop.

There’s additionally the website positioning affect of poor usability to think about. If customers repeatedly bounce after 5 seconds, Google decides the web page isn’t delivering the expertise the person desires or wants.

And when you have sufficient content material that performs poorly, it could possibly simply tip the scales and diminish Google’s belief within the website as an entire.

Bottom line, skinny content material is dangerous information to your website.

Thin content material pages are dangerous information to your website, says @JonasSickler. #website positioning Click To Tweet

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Evaluating website content material

To repair skinny content material points on the positioning, we first ran a website crawl and checked out Google Analytics and Search Console metrics. We pulled the information right into a spreadsheet to carry out a extra subjective evaluation.

Each URL is labeled “improve,” “consolidate,” “remove,” or “leave.”

Then, we appeared on the web page title, web page content material, and queries bringing individuals to the web page and recognized every web page’s goal key phrase(s). By figuring out this, we might measure the web page content material towards the content material at the moment rating effectively for the key phrases to see if it passes muster.

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To take away or to not take away?

Thin content material is commonly repetitive. That could make your spring cleansing simpler as a result of these cases of removing shall be apparent.

When we determine to take away content material, it most probably:

  • Targets irrelevant matters or key phrases
  • Didn’t goal a key phrase and gives little worth
  • Is outdated, like pattern tales and outdated firm information
  • Incorporates little-used or off-topic tags, classes, or writer pages
  • Is extraordinarily quick or redundant content material that doesn’t present significant info
  • Consists of class pages with little to no content material

Group pages by key phrases (or matter) to get a really feel for when the content material repeats itself. Then consolidate the data on a single high-authority web page or the highest-authority web page in your bundle for that matter.

Consolidate repetitive however same-topic pages right into a single high-authority web page, says @JonasSickler. #website positioning Click To Tweet

If a web page’s content material doesn’t cross muster, however it receives vital backlinks and/or visitors, maintain the web page and enhance its content material.

When you take away a web page that has some website positioning worth however isn’t price protecting, use a 301 redirect to its closest topical neighbor so guests don’t dead-end at a 404 error web page.

When you take away pages with no visitors or backlinks, you don’t want a redirect. Given that they don’t have any authority to cross on, there’s virtually no likelihood of a person ever ending up on these pages once more.

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Improve remaining outdated pages

With the low-value content material eliminated, concentrate on the saved matters. Make positive every web page targets a novel key phrase, then optimize the on-page parts. To accomplish this, set a schedule for the time-intensive process of enchancment.

Some actionable methods to enhance web page content material embody:

  • Revise content material to fulfill the search intent to your key phrase. Always reply the implicit query.
  • Add attention-grabbing stats or hyperlink to supporting content material.
  • Remove pointless adverts and CTAs.
  • Add useful visuals however steer clear of visible muddle.
  • Add movies, pictures and interactive content material.
  • Fix damaged hyperlinks.

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Don’t cease now

Any time you make a sweeping change like, say, eradicating 85% of your website’s content material, frequently monitor website exercise to verify there’s no sudden harm.

In our instance, the positioning’s new and improved content material proved efficient instantly, rating within the high two for the pinnacle phrases inside days. Other pages moved up the rankings extra slowly as Google took time to digest the modifications relying on the kind of content material, the search intent and the earlier web page’s authority. But a technique or one other, the affect of your enhancements ought to begin to turn out to be evident.

TIP: Your spring cleanup is a perfect time to judge your website positioning technique. Investigate, for instance, if search intent for high-value key phrases has shifted. If so, publish content material that displays these modifications.

Think of the spring cleanup advantages this manner: When you drastically enhance your content material, Google begins to reward you with higher rankings for long-tail key phrases. As searchers uncover and respect your content material, your rankings will enhance for broader, higher-volume key phrases. In flip, much more individuals will see or hyperlink to your content material, which ought to improve your rankings. We consult with this because the “SEO flywheel effect.”

The subsequent time you’re confronted with an onslaught of low-quality pages, work some spring cleansing into your technique. Thin content material hurts your website positioning efficiency, however clever streamlining can assist you rework your content material into an enormous improve in natural visitors.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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