How & Why You Must Improve or Remove Your Old Content By Danny Goodwin
As part of our ongoing employee development here Absolute Digital Media, we often watch webinars hosted by leading names in the industry. The latest one was hosted by Danny Goodwin, Executive Editor of Search Engine Journal. Known for his in-depth articles about SEO, PPC, social media marketing and content marketing, Danny’s webinar was one we didn’t want to miss.
Table of Contents
- Paid, Organic & Zero-Click Searches In Google
- How Google Defines Quality Content
- 8 Most Important Elements To Know
- Defining Quality Content
- Metrics Help Define “Quality” Too
- Possible Fates For Your Content
- 301s & PageRank
Paid, Organic & Zero-Click Searches In Google
According to Goodwin, despite Google’s warnings against the over-using of keywords for optimising page content, results have suggested that this could still prove beneficial, particularly in an age of zero-click searches. He explained that more and more websites are suffering from fewer available clicks and that in a lot of cases, the solution could be to turn weaker content into ‘warrior content’.
To increase the chances for indexing in organic searches and to encourage clicks, webmasters should optimise content smartly. Including keywords in specific parts of your posts and pages where they are not only natural, but valuable can help suggest to Google that the content is relevant to the topic without being over-stuffed with key terms. In addition, responsiveness and image optimisation are key players in search engine optimisation, with metadata following closely behind as a priority.
How Google Defines Quality Content
Google uses a set of guidelines, otherwise known as the Quality Rater Guidelines, to identify the quality of a piece of content. In order to ensure that your content meets these guidelines, you need to ensure that it is:
- Offering Value To The Reader
Despite this, Google suggests that digital marketers refrain from removing old content, and create new, high-quality content instead. In the words of Danny, “never remove something that someone could find useful!”
In July, Google updated its Search Quality Rater Guidelines with “several new notable areas” for webmasters and content creators to follow. Jennifer Slegg, long-time speaker and expert in SEO marketing, stated that:
“The most noticeable for content creators is that Google wants their raters to not only look at the reputation of the website itself, but also the content creators themselves… This is one area that many sites fall down on. They might have an ‘About Us’ page, but the bios of their authors are sorely lacking. It also means that those accepting contributions from those not working for the site in question need to keep an eye on the reputation of their contributors as well.
“If content is created by someone with a great reputation, it makes sense for Google to rank that content higher than from someone with a bad reputation since it is generally a better user experience for the searcher. But it means many will also need to brush up on their bios, too. It is also worth noting that this doesn’t apply just to written content, but other types of content as well, such as videos and social media.
Earlier this year, we wrote a guide on how to improve your Google E-A-T rating, which you can read here!
8 Most Important Elements To Know
In a useful 8-step guide, Danny explained some of the most important elements to know in order to identify the quality of a piece of content. This includes ensuring that the URL is SEO friendly, ensuring that the piece contains inbound and internal links and ensuring that the author’s name is visible within the piece.
Defining Quality Content
While Danny’s 8 most important elements to know can help ensure that your blog is ready to go live, there are a handful of buzzwords to use to ensure that your piece is of a high-quality right from the get-go.
Metrics Help Define “Quality” Too
Whilst there are a number of ways to define “quality content” based on the originality of the piece, there are several metrics that can help to define its value. These metrics include:
- Organic Traffic
Possible Fates For Your Content
Low quality is often defined by exaggerated titles, inadequate EAT and a lack of content on the page. Essentially, if there is no purpose behind the content, it could be doing more harm than good! To ensure that your content remains accurate, information and sharable, Danny recommends refreshing your site’s content on a regular basis, ensuring that you also amend the publishing date. During this content “refresh”, you should also ensure that all sources linked within the piece contain up to date information to ensure that your content remains relevant.
301s & PageRank
Whilst Google can forward PageRank through 301 redirects, not all 301 redirects pass 100% PageRank. A 301 redirect will pass 100% PageRank only if the new page closely matches the topic of the old page. Having an editorial calendar in place will ensure that new content is unique, reducing the risk of content cannibalisation. To increase your ranking, you can use various keyword research tools such as SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool and Google Search Console, you can write content that is relevant to what’s trending.
In addition to ensuring that your brand always stays fresh and relevant, you should never put a date in your URL, as Google is less likely to rank it. Ensuring that your URL is concise also enhances its ranking.
For more information about content cannibalisation and removing your old content, get in touch with a member of our content marketing team on 0800 088 6000, today.