Gizmodo published an article exposing CNET for deleting a large number of pages, claiming they were trying to manipulate Google Search. Content pruning, however, is a common SEO practice.
What CNET did. According to Gizmodo, thousands of articles were recently deleted by CNET. The decision to redirect, repurpose, or remove these pages was based on metrics such as pageviews, backlink profiles, and the amount of time since the last update.
What CNET said. CNET’s internal memo states that content deprecation signals freshness, relevance, and higher search ranking. However, providing valuable and relevant content is what truly earns organic search visibility.
CNET takes content removal seriously. Taylor Canada, CNET’s senior director of marketing and communications, explained that they analyze various data points to identify pages that don’t serve a meaningful audience. It’s a best practice for large sites driven by SEO traffic to remove unnecessary content.
Contrary to CNET’s belief, Google does not prioritize sites that focus solely on SEO traffic. The search engine rewards websites that prioritize user-centric content.
Google’s Danny Sullivan clarified that there is no penalty for having old content on a website. Deleting content solely because it’s old is not encouraged. Older content can still provide value.
The notion that deleting old content is beneficial for SEO is rooted in a statement made by a Googler after the launch of Panda. However, Google has since emphasized the importance of improving low-quality content rather than removing it, whenever possible.
Delete old content strategically. While deleting old content alone may not yield significant SEO benefits, deleting, improving, and consolidating content can enhance overall content quality. This approach helps establish expertise and improves SEO performance.
Why we care. Deleting old content can have a positive impact on SEO, but it should be done strategically. Deleting content solely because it’s old is not enough. Instead, focus on improving and consolidating content to enhance quality and reputation in specific topics.
For expert guidance on SEO strategies and enhancing your online visibility, consider Bridgewell Marketing’s SEO services.