What to do about old, low-quality content

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Google’s John Mueller was asked what to do about old, low-quality content. Is it better to delete the content? Or would it be better to rewrite the old shoddy content?

Old content and low quality content

John Mueller approached the question as if it were two questions.

The first part of his response focused on whether the content is considered inferior because it is old.

The second part of his answer addressed the question of what can be done about real low-quality content.

This is an important question. Some people will treat the ugly content like weed and make it go away. And some types of content are like that when they’re out of date.

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Old and bad content on an improved website

The person who asked the question said that in his early days his SEO was “bad” and that he later wrote, in terms of the quality of the content, “bad articles”.

His question was that after writing top quality articles, should he delete the low quality articles.

He asked:

“Should I remove all posts, will this affect my website, or should I keep it?” “

John Mueller responded with a comment on the old content.

He said,

“I think if it’s something that you think is good content that you want to post with your website, with your name, then I would keep it.

Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad.

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He then commented on what to do with really bad content.

Mueller continued:

“But if you look at it and you say, oh, it’s embarrassing to me now, I don’t want it to be online, it’s like so bad.”

Then this is something I would say either improve it or remove it.

Improve old content

Some content cannot be improved, such as content on outdated topics. Examples of types of content that probably can’t be rehabilitated are buying guides for products that are no longer manufactured, such as pagers or older TVs.

Other types of content can be improved.

A common example is the hundreds of city pages that have been modeled and are cookie cutter, where the city name is replaced and the text blocks are varied to create unique combinations of content using exactly the same dozen blocks of content. Such tactics are outdated and easy for search engines to grasp.

But these pages can be rehabilitated with a little creativity and hard work.

And sometimes, it’s just better to redirect the old and bad content to newer and better content that is about the same or a similar topic. It’s the easiest way to deal with old and bad content.

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There are many ways to rehabilitate old, shoddy content and two of them, as John Mueller said, are to improve it or remove it.

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Watch Google’s John Mueller answer the question about old, low-quality content


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