Google’s search algorithms continuously crawl the internet. Consequently, websites that host low-quality content have much to lose.
If you’re like many marketers and business owners, you might think that your emphasis on the quality of your new content is paying off. However, your old content could be silently working against you.
Your old content was created to meet yesteryear’s quality standards. For instance, a time existed when 500-word articles were regarded as “high quality.” Now, algorithms consider such content as “thin.”
In other words, old content can hurt you, even when your new content conforms to today’s SEO standards. Use the following tips to clean up your old website content so you fully benefit from your new material.
Create a schedule for reviewing your old website content. By continuously revisiting old content, you and your team can improve its quality and the overall performance of your site.
A manual approach to “fixing” old content could require a lot of time and labor. After all, your site may now host thousands of articles. So, try using a third-party tool such as Barracuda’s free Panguin tool to quickly identify problems on your site.
With that tool, you can visually identify which changes have adversely affected your SEO performance. Furthermore, you can prioritize your work, starting with the pages that are causing the greatest negative SEO impact.
Delete worthless content
Spend time assessing your old content. Does it still matter? If not, delete it. You don’t need worthless content detracting from your current work. However, you can salvage material that still has potential.
If you find a 500-word article that can supply value to your audience, consider adding fresh, relevant information to it. When it has between 1,500 and 2,000 or more words, promote it again using social media and PPC.
Similarly, if you discover multiple short articles on similar subjects, consolidate them all into a single piece. That way, your visitors can access all the information with one click. Also, Google will recognize the length of your post as a positive indication of its quality.
For instance, you can consolidate posts that answer questions about a particular product or service into a single FAQ. That way, you will have a single page containing lots of valuable information that meets modern requirements for content length.
In some cases, you might discover that you have a short, old post that deals with the same information as a recent, in-depth post. When this happens, delete your old post and redirect its URL to the newer post.
Fix broken links
As you clean up your website content, remember to check for and resolve broken links and missing images. If you don’t, Google may continue to penalize your pages for providing a poor user experience.
Finally, use Google’s URL removal tool to remove outdated content from the search engine’s index. Do this only after you’ve deleted offending content from your website. If you want to keep your low-quality content, consider blocking it from Google’s view by adding “noindex” directives to your pages’ metadata.
Monitor your results
After updating content, deleting pages, and removing URLs, check your results. Use Google Search Console to check for “Page Not Found” and other errors that can result from your cleanup campaign.
In conclusion, you must realize that SEO involves more than adding high-quality content to your website. By simultaneously cleaning up your old website content, you can help eliminate SEO penalties that are preventing your pages from reaching the top of search engine results.