One of the big questions that arise to web page administrators is: how to delete a page without affecting SEO? Many users question whether deleting old, traffic-free pages will improve SEO or whether it is necessary to delete inactive pages in order for Google to focus on active pages and improve rankings.
Google advises not to delete pages unless it is completely necessary, since it is always better to update the contents and products
Deleting a non-active or traffic-free page can in some cases improve the position of other content, for example, if traffic is redirected to other updated pages, although this is not always the case. In general, it depends a lot on the page, the theme and some factors.
Before deleting a page, you should do a little study and answer certain basic questions. This is stated by John Mueller, one of Google’s SEO experts, who has explained some of the main mistakes that are made when deleting pages from a website.
-What to do if a page is not working: If a page contains old, outdated or irrelevant content, users should be removed and redirected to other pages, for example to the home page, the store, similar products or other pages with similar content. You can also temporarily hide the page from Search Console, waiting for an update.
Sometimes a page’s lack of performance may be due to other factors, such as wrong keyword selection, and other times, a low-traffic page may still be relevant and should therefore not be removed. When deleting a page, you should ask yourself what’s going on and analyze the data beyond traffic and performance.
-The page should be updated: In the case of informative pages, such as guides and tutorials, it is advisable to review those pages. Can they be updated? Is the information out of date? Have new techniques, new products appeared? Whenever a page can be updated it should be done. Although you should also be aware that not all content is evergreen (a type of content that can last over time).
Product pages should also be approached from this point of view. Even in products that have received updates or new versions, before deleting the old product, it is advisable to update it, noting that there is a new edition or version, as well as the possible price difference between the two.
-Removing pages with little traffic improves total SEO?: There is a misconception about the fact that removing content that doesn’t work well improves the SEO of the rest of the page. Although in some cases it does happen, it is not an automatic process or a formula.
For example, deleting poorly performing pages may work for websites with a huge amount of content, since by deleting those low-performing pages, Google has less content to scan and, therefore, it will take less time to position the rest of the content. .
How to delete pages without affecting SEO?
One of the main reasons to delete a page in SEO has always been the cannibalization of keywords. In other words, two pages that had too similar content and that were “fighting” for the same position in the Google search engine.
Today, Google recommends that the pages be updated and that the content be changed to make each one unique. It will always be preferable to analyze each one of them to discover why they are not working and then decide if the page can be updated or if it can serve as a gateway to another updated page or product.
If you want to expand the information, you can see here the complete hangout developed by the Google SEO expert: