How to Remove Pages for SEO
Reading Time ~ 6 minutes
The main question asked in an online video chat with Google’s Webmaster Analyst John Müller was whether removing pages that haven’t got good traffic and importance to our site would improve SEO work.
If we eliminate „dead weight“ pages will help Google to focus on important pages and save a crawling budget?
Should We Use No-index Technic For Pages With Low Importance?
If we use the No-index technique for pages that have almost zero impressions in the last 12 months and reduce our pages, will it have a good effect on website optimization?
Currently, 10 to 15% of our pages have similar “dead” content.
I was wondering that after indexing such pages, we would send fewer Google pages to the Sitemap and Google would be able to focus on the rest of our site better.
Better SEO By Removing Pages. True Or False?
John Mueller’s answer is that we cannot answer yes or no. Removing pages does not improve the performance and rank of the other pages.
Don’t go blind in eliminating this content because it is sometimes useful and there are niche searches that would be covered by that content.
Another Reason A Page Doesn’t Rank Organically Well!
John Mueller explains that one reason may be that not many people are searching for this keyword phrase.
So the impression metric may not be the best approach to use when deciding to use no-index technic for a page.
On the other hand, looking at the number of impressions and page types that are indexed to your website can give you a little better understanding of which page types are more important to users.
This will help you analyze which content and page types are more useful and plan the right future strategy.
Could A Low-Ranked Page Be Improved?
When it comes to an informative content type, you can check for updates on terms, new techniques and useful introductions in your industry. Not every content is evergreen, so it needs improvements. Before you check out just the impressions and blindly decide to use no-index, check out this possibility.
Another example of product pages. When updating one product page, the same page may give us useful information. For example, if a product is replaced by a newer and better one. This is an opportunity to declare, by updating the information, that the product is no longer available and a redirect user to a better product available.
If the new product costs roughly the same, pay attention to this fact to encourage the consumer to consider the newer product.
Reducing Indexed Pages Does Not Automatically Mean Higher Rankings.
There are practices that removing low-ranking content will result in a better ranking of some of the other web pages.
John Mueller confirms that this is not a mandatory result. It may be useful for some sites and not so useful for others.
According to him, he does not often see fewer pages linking, better ranking. However, it can be useful for large websites from a technical point of view and faster indexing. In this way, it can help Google understand which are the most important pages of the website.
Conclusion: The Right SEO Way To Remove Content.
- Removing pages does not automatically help the website rank better.
- Consider whether a page needs improvement before deciding to eliminate.
- Removing content is an old solution to traffic problems. In the past, there was an SEO content removal solution called Content Cannibalization. 10 years later, the technique was rediscovered and renamed Keyword Cannibalization. One hypothesis that was shared. Similar page content will eat up page rankings. The solution was to remove the pages.
- The point is that whether a person is considering removing such content or low-ranked outdated content, he or she may first consider updating the pages to make them unique or to cover broader user search.
- Removing content does not solve all the problems.
- Spend some time and analyze the content. If a page is not performing well, consider whether the page can be improved. You can use it as an upgrade path with information about new product features.
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