Gizmodo published an article “exposing” CNET for deleting thousands of pages, as they put it to “game Google Search.”
What CNET did. “Thousands of articles” were deleted in recent weeks (CNET declined to provide an exact number), according to Gizmodo. CNET confirmed the content culling. CNET decided which pages to “redirect, repurpose or remove (deprecate)” by looking at metrics such as:
What CNET said. Content deprecation “sends a signal to Google that says CNET is fresh, relevant and worthy of being placed higher than our competitors in search results,” according to an internal memo. Taylor Canada, CNET’s senior director of marketing and communications, told Gizmodo:
‘Not a thing’. Before the article published, Danny Sullivan, via his @SearchLiaison account on X, posted:
Sullivan was then asked about old content that has broken links, is no longer relevant or can’t be made more helpful. Sullivan’s response:
Except, it is a thing. Google once advised removing content. After Google launched Panda, a Googler shared this exact advice (emphasis mine):
“In addition, it’s important for webmasters to know that low quality content on part of a site can impact a site’s ranking as a whole. For this reason, if you believe you’ve been impacted by this change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Removing low quality pages or moving them to a different domain could help your rankings for the higher quality content.”
Yes, that tip is from 2011. But logically, it makes sense because we know some of Google’s algorithms, including helpful content, evaluate sitewide signals.
But other Googlers, including John Mueller and Gary Illyes, have since said the opposite – essentially advising improving content, as opposed to removing it, where possible. See:
Why we care. I’ve found that deleting content can be good for SEO. I’ve done it, written about it and spoken about it at conferences and on webinars. To be clear, deleting content alone probably won’t help you much. However, deleting, improving and consolidating content should be part of your SEO strategy because it helps improve your overall content quality.
Dig deeper in Why and how to delete content in bulk for SEO, a great case study by Search Engine Land contributor Jared Bauman.
Don’t trust Google’s advice blindly. Gizmodo’s article also featured a great quote Lily Ray, head of organic research at Amsive Digital:
The post Google warns against content pruning as CNET deletes thousands of pages appeared first on Search Engine Land.
from Search Engine Land https://searchengineland.com/google-warns-against-content-pruning-as-cnet-deletes-thousands-of-pages-430509
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