When Removing Content From Your Website Makes Sense

Most online blogs, brands and businesses understand the inherent value of content creation. Generally speaking, the more content that exists on your website, the greater the opportunity for pitching products, services and entertainment to a larger number of people. Whether targeting people through search engine optimization or through email marketing and PPC campaigns, more content makes it easier.

It can then be surprising to some that there are times where trimming or outright removing old content actually makes sense. What situations dictate removing content from your website?

Let’s talk about a few examples where trimming the proverbial fat from your website is a sensible solution.

When It Becomes Irrelevant

Over time and as sites age, the focus of content can shift as well. In these situations, it’s not surprising to see the evolution of websites result in content that no longer focuses on their prime topics or niches. When this happens, pinging search engines with irrelevant content provides questionable benefits.

If your site has become cluttered or you want to be sure that search engines aren’t confused about the niches you’re targeting, then removing this irrelevant content is absolutely acceptable. While not always necessary, it can help keep your site maps organized and improve your page loading speeds if there are many irrelevant pages cluttering your domain.

When It’s a Question of Quality

Mastering the art of writing takes time. If you’ve been blogging or creating content for several years, then reading your older posts may make you cringe a bit. As we improve with age, the quality of content from years past may not be as great as we once thought. Low-quality content – both in terms of substance and style – can actually harm your search engine rankings. Because of this, consider re-evaluating all of your content on a periodic basis and remove anything that is of questionable quality.

When Performance Becomes an Issue

Website performance absolutely must be considered on a continuous basis. There are two types of performance issues to consider when deciding whether to remove content: performance of individual pages and performance of the website overall.

Pages and posts that have never performed well often should be removed. There are numerous tools that can assess overall quality in conjunction with the amount of traffic it is driving to your site.

Likewise, cluttered websites with thousands of pages may be impacting overall site performance (as alluded to earlier). Pruning poor-performance pages en masse can actually improve the performance of the website when paired with other website optimization strategies focusing on speed and index-friendliness.

When Glitches Are the Culprit

There are situations where existing software can cause conflicts or glitches with page creation, leading to a need for purging. One great example is e-commerce software that automatically creates product pages based on additions submitted to its database. This could result in an excessive number of pages being created rather than the enabling of multiple configuration options on a single page.

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on how many pages exist on your domain. Sudden and dramatic increases in the number of pages indicate a likely glitch that needs to be rectified.

Generally speaking, pinging search engines with as many pages of content as possible is a good idea. However, there are limits – and there are certainly situations in which content should be removed rather than kept. These four examples highlight the most common situations in which is it acceptable to remove content from your website: if any of these apply to your website, then don’t feel bad removing the culprits!

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