Why it might be time to prune your content


Recently Google began implementing its Helpful Content Update as part of its efforts to improve the quality of its search results. This means that websites that have previously been written for SEO purposes with repetition of keywords and slabs of barely relevant content will now be penalised if their content is deemed to be of low quality. In order to avoid being penalised, website owners need to ensure that their content is high quality and relevant to their target audience. One way to do this is through content pruning.

In short, content pruning is the process of removing low-quality or outdated content from your website in order to improve your SEO. This is especially important now that Google is penalising websites with low-quality content. By pruning your content regularly, you can ensure that your website is always providing the best possible information to your readers.

This can be done for a number of reasons, including improving your site’s overall quality, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site, and improving user experience. Let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons in turn.

A good example of this may well be those painful recipe websites where you have to scroll through a life story before getting to the actual recipe. With Google’s Helpful Content Update, it might be harder to find some of your favourite recipes in the future, or hopefully, this results in more helpful content relevant to the recipe!

Improving your site’s overall quality

The main reason for pruning your content is to improve the overall quality of your site. This means getting rid of any old, outdated, or inaccurate information that may be on your site. By doing this, you ensure that your site always contains accurate and up-to-date information. Not only does this make for a better user experience, but it also improves your chances of ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site

Another reason to keep your content fresh is to make it easier for search engine crawlers and bots to index your site. Older content can often be difficult for these bots to parse and understand. As a result, they may not give your site the attention it deserves in terms of SERP rankings. By periodically pruning your content, you ensure that it is always easy for bots to find and index the most important information on your site.

Improving user experience

Finally, one of the most important reasons to keep your content up-to-date is to improve user experience. If a user comes across outdated or inaccurate information on your site, they are likely to click away in search of a more reliable source. This not only increases your bounce rate (i.e., the percentage of users who leave after viewing only one page), but it also reduces the chances of that user returning to your site in the future.

How to approach content pruning

There are a few different ways that you can go about pruning your content. One option is to simply delete any old or outdated articles that are no longer relevant. Another option is to update these articles with new information. Finally, you can also move these articles to a different location on your website where they will be less likely to be seen by search engines.

Delete any old or outdated articles

When it comes to deleting content you do need be strategic about what to remove or move. You don’t want to remove or move too much content, as this could have a negative impact on your SEO.

If you’re not sure where to start, try using Google Analytics to take a closer look at your website’s traffic. This will help you identify which pieces of content are being viewed the most (and least). The assumption here is in most cases the content most viewed is the most relevant for your audience who are the users you want to attract via SEO. From there, you can decide which pieces of content are most important to keep and which ones can be removed or updated.

Update articles

If you have articles on your website that are outdated, you can improve your site’s overall quality by updating them with new information. This not only helps to ensure that your readers always have access to accurate information, but it also shows search engines that your site is active and regularly updated. As a result, you’re more likely to earn a higher ranking in SERPs.

To update an article, simply add new information to the existing content. You can also rewrite sections of the article to better reflect the current state. If you’re not sure how to go about updating an article, consider hiring a professional content writer. They will be able to help you add new information while also making sure that your article maintains a consistent voice and style.

Move articles to a different location

In some cases, it may make more sense to move an article to a different location on your website rather than deleting or updating it. This is often the case with articles that are no longer relevant but still contain accurate information.

If you decide to move an article, make sure to update any links leading to the article’s old location. You should also add a redirect from the old URL to the new one. This will help ensure that users (and search engines) can still find the article even though it has been moved.

With Google’s Helpful Content Update, pruning your content on a regular basis is an important part of maintaining a healthy website. By deleting old articles, updating existing ones, and moving others to a different location, you can ensure that your site always contains the most relevant and accurate information possible. This not only helps to improve user experience but also boosts your chances of earning a higher ranking in search engine results pages and avoid being penalised by Google.

We hope that you, and Google, find this content useful 🙂

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