Google: Don't just delete old web pagesBack
Google says that deleting old web pages just because the content is old, is not good for SEO. However, updating or updating the content can be helpful as long as it is done properly.
An American media website has removed, redirected or reused thousands of pages in recent weeks. It looked at statistics such as: number of page views, number of backlinks and the age of the website. By removing old pages, the site wanted to "send a signal to Google that our website is new, relevant, and worth ranking higher in search results than our competitors. Our site is primarily driven by SEO traffic and the the internet puts us at a disadvantage because we leave all previously published content on our site."
This is not correct. Google doesn't want to reward sites that are primarily driven by SEO traffic and removing pages with outdated content doesn't help at all. The only thing that helps to increase the search engine rankings is to publish relevant, reliable, helpful, high quality content for the visitors on a technically sound website. Google rewards websites that primarily create content for users, not sites that create content for search engines. The age of the website is not important here.
There is also no "penalty" or penalty for old content on a website. For Google, an article from 2007 or 2003 may still be useful. But if the page with the old content has broken links or is no longer relevant or useful, the page itself probably won't rank well. Removing this page may help Google better crawl other content on the site, but it doesn't make the whole site better just because an individual page was removed.
It is, of course, likely that what passed for “good” content or content 10 years or more ago no longer is today. It is then better to improve this content where possible instead of removing it.
Removing old content can be good for SEO performance. But deleting old content just because it's old probably won't help much. Removing, improving and consolidating content should be part of an overall SEO strategy.
There are several factors you can use to create a list of potentially "useless" pages (age of the page, number of visitors, bounce rate, time visitors spend on the page, etc.), but don't use this list alone, or as a decisive means. Few people read the "About Us" page and it probably hasn't changed in years, but it is not recommend to remove it as it is unique to your site and to the web.
On the other hand, there are many pages that no longer have a unique value and can certainly be refurbished. Important things to take into account are:
- Age of the page should not be the only deciding factor, nor should the page's traffic
- Original news content (even if old), which is different from random news sites, usually has value
- Blindly deleting old pages will not improve your SEO.
There is no SEO benefit to preserving old news, the number of users searching for it will be very low and it probably won't contribute much to conversions either. But it's historical news, and there's absolutely no SEO downside. And old news articles can still be relevant, and can therefore remain in place.