Just a few days ago, we commented on a recent “Whiteboard Friday” on the Moz Blog that discussed on-page SEO. Today, we again find ourselves cheering on Rand Fishkin’s latest “Whiteboard Friday” on thin and duplicate website content.
In it, Rand recommends cleaning up your website’s thin and duplicate content that has little to no engagement. He calls this “cruft.”
Why is cleaning your content important?
Because Google, upon seeing this “cruft,” may not only hurt the rankings for these low-quality pages, but the rankings of all pages on the website, including your very best pages.
So all that work you put into those all-star pages is essentially lost because of those poor-performing pages.
Rand also points to an analysis performed after a recent Google algorithm update that found that sites that benefited from the update had better engagement than those that did not benefit. So that poor engagement on your website’s thin or duplicate content could be hurting your entire site.
Finally, thin and duplicate pages just take up space on your website. Google might waste time crawling these pages and may not crawl your good pages as frequently as it otherwise would. And then there’s user experience – the “cruft” could hurt your brand perception or, Google not being perfect as Rand points out, might even rank in place of better-converting pages you’d prefer appear in search results.
Tip: Do a Content Analysis to Identify Thin and Duplicate Website Content
How do we start cleaning up or rehabbing our content?
Rand has some ideas. And it’s very close to the content analyses we perform for our clients.
We use Google Analytics and other tools to create comprehensive lists of your pages, and then filter it based on the appropriate metrics and keywords. With the data in front of us, we can evaluate which pages are performing poorly and have little to no engagement, and which are performing well.
This information helps us create a plan to consolidate certain pages into a more comprehensive page that will perform better. We also swing the axe to get rid of some pages that are dragging down the website. And some we redirect to pages discussing the same topic, only with better, more complete information.
The goal is to create a site containing pages that share comprehensive information that meets users’ wants and needs. The improved user experience leads to better engagement metrics, which helps the website as a whole perform better in search results now that it isn’t anchored down by the “cruft.”
Do you have questions about rehabbing your content? Contact Us now!