Low-quality pages are those on your site that don’t increase your SEO ranking or even do much for your site visitors. While you may not think any of your pages fall into the low-quality category, they may be there without you realizing it. There are a few different kinds of low-quality pages to look for as well as several ways to fix them.
Locating, Recognizing, and Fixing Your Low-Quality Pages
The first step in locating your pages that can be weeded out is to search for them and identify that they are indeed on the lower-quality end of content. It might be a bit of a nuisance at first, especially if the content that comes up is something you worked hard on; however, in the long run, locating and deleting your lesser-quality content will be beneficial for you and your site. As technology and SEO grows, it’s best to adjust with it, so out with the old, in with the new. Your site will look and perform better in rankings as well as overall.
Types of Low-Quality Pages
There are three types of low-quality content, and the first and third below are considered the main ones. You’ll want to keep your eye out for these as you search.
- Thin content pages, or pages with very little information or that only contain an image, are not very useful to visitors or visible in search engines. A perfect example of this is a link to an image that takes you to a page with only the image; these are placeholder pages.
- Poorly written content is another example of a low-quality page. While this does fall into the low-quality category, at least it’s an easy fix. Follow a guideline or checklist page to improve your content—or, if you don’t have time, consider hiring a freelance writer or editor to help you out on a per-project basis.
- Duplicate content is the third category of low-quality pages. Duplicates take up space on your site without adding to its value or rankings. In fact, Google might even penalize you for having content that shows up in their index—either from your site or another. Duplicates can have a negative effect on your rankings, so it’s best to find and remove them.
How to Tell What’s Low-Quality on Your Site
If you don’t take the time to find low-quality content on your website, Google Panda may very well find it first. Panda can dramatically alter search results through quality control, and you’re better off filtering out your content before you notice your page ranking has fallen and don’t know why.
There are several ways to weed out the two main types of low-quality content, duplicate and thin. Tools are available to help, such as Copyscape for duplicate. Querying through Screaming Frog SEO Spider or just Google will help identification as well; if the query returns no attachment pages indexed for your site, you have none. Screaming Frog shows the low-quality pages in groups, which is how they often occur. When you test to see if the resulting pages are indexed, you can locate those with duplicates or attachments.
Rectifying Low-Quality Pages
Once you’ve located and identified those pesky pages that qualify as low-quality content, it’s time to decide whether you actually need them or not. For this, you will have to use your own good judgment. Once a year is a good time frame to periodically go through your pages and weed out the ones you don’t think you need.
- Redirect your URLs. If they are still visible and bringing in traffic, redirect them to a related category or page—or just the home page. For those with no traffic, just delete them.
- Remove the pages that are no longer relevant. Check all your posts, especially if it’s the first time since you began, and delete those you don’t need.
- Use the “noindex” tag. If your page still contains relevant links you want to keep and brings in some traffic, use this tag so that Google will overlook the page in the search results but keep it on your site. This keeps the page visible to Google as well as the links.
- Improve your content. This is the most obvious solution for fixing thin or duplicate pages on your site. When you’re creating content, try to make it unique and useful, aiming to be the original content instead of the copy. Others will more readily share and link to your content and Google will view it as an addition to its index.
Once you take these steps to weed out your low-quality page content, your website will be more streamlined, more useful, and better ranked. Better ranking means more traffic, more visitors, and more visibility. Higher-quality content also looks more professional, giving you better credibility and standing.
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At Bright Vessel, we can help you create and streamline your content. Contact us today with your questions and needs.