With Google Panda algorithm thoroughly searches the internet to find pages that don’t match to its quality standards and penalizes websites with substandard content. Because of this, many websites become the victim with their old contents that back then weren’t optimized with SEO. Panda algorithm is one of the main Google algorithms, and its updating quite regularly. There’s an opinion that said content that have been around quite long time doesn’t matter, with assumption that Google with its Panda algorithm knows that older content is usually ignored by readers and is may not still relevant.
But the assumption is not true, because old, low quality content can hurt website search ranking, as long as it still on the website and can be found with search engine. Around 6 years or more, it was acceptable to post short blog posts, with 500 words or less, using any keyword-focused topic that hopefully bought many visitor. Back then, those posts was valuable, but not today, because a 500-word post is not enough, and a 1.000-word post is barely made it. According to a research from Medium, said that a post that takes about 7 minutes to read is has 1.600-word long. Another study done by SerpIQ revealed that the content of the top 10 search results from many queries have total words in a post that close to 2.400-words.
When you found old content that doesn’t match with recent quality standards, there are few things that you can do about it.
- If the content talk about something important that can be valuable for a long time, you can choose to rewrite it and adding more information. Edit those 500-words or less posts by add new, more data, value and insight. Add about 2.000 words or more. To have better ranking, share the newly edited post to social media.
- If you find many short posts that talked about the same or similar subject to one and another, you can choose to merger them together to make a post that can be valuable. Old content that usually short is FAQ. If you have FAQ post that related or discuss similar topic, make them to become one post that can be valuable for website’s search ranking.
- If there is content with less word count and not as valuable as more recent post with the relevant topic, you can choose to remove it or redirect to the URL of recent post. A redirect can help to preserve any value of old incoming links.
- For content that certainly doesn’t have any value, and would consume a lot of work to rewrite and there is not enough new data or little to nothing of incoming traffic and link, then the best way for this kind of post is to delete it. Because this post can hurt your website, whilst there’s nothing to redirect it to, so in the end, deleting it is the best answer.
It’s acceptable to delete old content. Because this action could improve your website’s search ranking. For old content to get rid, to rewrite, redirect and merger similar posts can help to gain more traffic and more importantly Google will have a better impression to overall average quality of the site.