An SEO professional was concerned about outdated blogs on their site. They have approximately 450 blog posts, some that are likely four – five years old, and out of date without any traffic on them.
They are wondering if John recommends deleting them, because they are hurting their search rankings?
Their question is more along the lines of – what’s the best way to delete them all without traffic and request deindexing on Google?
John explained that this is a process that can really just be decided by the SEO professional.
He also expounded on this and said that just because something is not receiving content does not mean it’s a bad piece of content.
Unless they are really, really terrible blog posts, it’s probably a good idea to keep them.
The situation could be that this could get traffic very rarely, or maybe only once a year. It could be something very seasonal overall, when you look at it from a bigger perspective.
Perhaps it’s a piece of content that gets traffic right before Christmas, for example.
He also said that from an SEO perspective, removing 450 pages from a very large website is a tiny change, so don’t worry about the details of how it’s done.
Just delete them when you recognize that they are no longer valuable. Deleting them all at once is also an option.
This happens at approximately the 40:57 mark in the video.
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John Mueller Hangout Transcript
John (Submitted Question) 40:57
My question is about dealing with outdated blogs on our platform. We have about 450 blogs, some of which are four to five years old, and therefore out of date and have almost no traffic on them. Do you recommend deleting them because they hurt our general search rankings? What’s the best way? Delete all without traffic at once and request index deletion at Google? Or do you recommend a step by step approach?
John (Answer) 41:22
So I think with blogs, you probably mean like blog posts, so individual pages, not like whole sets of pages. Because I think if you have so many different sets of pages, it’s probably a bigger change. But with 450 pages, say more or less, where you’re saying, well, these don’t get a lot of traffic, should I just delete them or not? From my point of view, probably that’s something where you can just make that call on your own. I don’t see that as being something where, from an SEO point of view, you would see a significant change.
Unless these are really, really terrible blog posts. The main thing, however I would kind of watch out for is that just because something doesn’t have a lot of traffic doesn’t mean that it’s a bad piece of content. It can mean that it’s something that just gets traffic very rarely, maybe once a year, or maybe it’s something that that is very seasonal, that like overall, when you look at it from a website point of view, it’s not very relevant, but it’s relevant, I don’t know maybe right before Christmas, for example.
So from that point of view, I would say it’s fine to go through a website and figure out which parts you want to keep and which parts you want to kind of clean out. But just purely looking at traffic for figuring out which parts you want to clean out, I think that’s too simplified. But, again, from an SEO point of view, like removing 450 pages from a larger website, that’s like a tiny change. And I wouldn’t worry about when you do that, and how exactly you do that.
Delete them whenever you recognize that they’re no longer valuable. Delete them all at once, that’s also an option. With regards to submitting them with the removal tool as well in Search Console, that probably wouldn’t change anything, because the removal tool in Search Console just hides the page in their search results, it doesn’t actually remove anything from indexing.
So that’s kind of like one thing you don’t have to do. But again, otherwise, I would think about which pages you want to keep, which ones you want to remove, and then go through it like that.