We are living in a world of data and information, and the evolving technology has made it simpler to weed out all the unnecessary info and bring in newly updated content that will be useful for the users. On May 4, 2020, Google launched its new core algorithm update. This is the second update of their algorithm of the year. Moreover, this algorithm has come when user behavior is completely transformative due to the presence of COVID 19. At this time, when billions of terabytes of data are being transferred on the internet, the content pruning session must happen twice a year.
Industries such as media, finance, and healthcare saw a major boost in their sales growth at this challenging time. At the same time, the business of travel, construction, and transportation companies had to face major downfalls.
The latest update of Google’s algorithm that has rolled out has quite similar properties to that of Google’s E-A-T guidelines. The major focus is to produce high-quality content and a great experience for the users.
As per Google, the new core updates are designed to provide authoritative and relevant content to its users. To provide high-quality content to its users, the content must be relevant and accurate to the user’s search query at all times.
So we come to the question, what to do when the information on your website becomes outdated? This is when the role of content pruning comes in. Content pruning is a process of removal of the irrelevant or unrequired content from your website. If your website has a high number of old blog posts, announcements, product pages, etc., you should consider pruning the content.
To put it simply, for Google to notice your page, it is essential that it must find the content that is useful and can be trusted. Keeping the content that is outdated and has no value is just a distraction for Google.
The content pruning process is useful for adding value to your websites. Till now, you would only have heard of adding new content to raise the value of a site. But using this method, you can increase the value by removing content from a website.
During this pandemic, when everyone is looking for reliable and genuine information, content pruning is the best way for your website. It will help you weed out old information and surface the new one.
Content pruning is a process of removing or updating old and irrelevant content from your website’s archives that is purposeless so that it does not affect the authority of your website. Remember, it is not always that the old content is useless, some of it may be relevant, and that is why we need the process of content pruning.
Only the content that is not producing any results for your SEO needs alteration. For instance, a post written on updates of new web series of the year 2012 will not be of any use now. Hence, we can delete that data from our website.
To get a good ranking in the SERP, it is extremely important that you remove all the balls and chains that stop you from getting good ranks.
Pruning need not only mean to remove all the old data. Pruning can also be used to add some new information to the old data that can raise the value and authority of your website.
Why is it Important to Prune Content Frequently?
Content pruning essentially is not a one time process but an active process that keeps running with the growth of your website. A big problem with most organizations is that they keep accumulating content on their website without trimming it, which results in low rankings of the website.
The outdated and thin content always results in poor performance of the site. Hence, you always need to delete or update some relevant information on all your blogs with time so that Google can’t find content on your site that has no value.
In case you are entirely new to this field and have never pruned the content of your website, you may require a large cleanup process. When things are all set and managed efficiently, then you can trim down your content pruning process ton once or twice a year.
As per SEMrush, over 51% of the companies benefit big time from pruning their website’s content. If your website contains over a thousand pages, then you must prune three to four times a year. For an efficient content pruning session, you need to follow your site’s analytics and understand where it is best to prune the information.
Benefits of Regular Content Pruning
Google’s latest Core update has made it essential for regular content pruning of the website’s data to get good SERP rankings. The process of pruning in itself is quite important and has multiple advantages to offer. Check out some of them.
Pruning ensures that whatever is present on your website is of the best quality. Pruning removes all the repeated and unnecessary content of the website. Moreover, it gives a new and appealing look to your website.
Enhanced User Experience
A good website is the one in which the user gets the information he is looking for immediately. When your content is pruned, automatically, the most useful information gets highlighted, which improves the user experience on your website.
More Purposeful Links
Whether linking internally or externally, the quality and the information in the links must always be the best. Pruning helps ensure the links provided to the pages are all authoritative and relevant to the user’s quest.
Increase in Crawling
The crawling process for Google’s bots becomes simpler if your content has been pruned efficiently, beforehand. The indexing rate of the content increases and every crawl by Google becomes more valuable for your website. Therefore, always make sure to keep your website lightweight and beneficial to get better rankings in SERP.
Process of Content Pruning
The given steps will guide you to perform the process of content pruning with high efficiency.
Make a Definition of Your Audit
All the content on your website is not harmful. Some of it may be still producing good results in the search engines. Hence, you must figure out the pages that are indexed with Google. These are the pages that need revaluation, and their content can be updated to make them more meaningful. We can add new examples, tips, and stats in those pages. Also, it will help you find data that is of no use and can be weed out.
Identification of Low Performing Pages
When studying insights to determine your website’s asset pages, you will come across many pages whose information is presently useless. Make a note of those pages. These pages might still be getting a few clicks, but our motive is to check if they are making the website go up or down.
You need to check all the content and make a judgment for yourself if the content is valuable. You can use several SEO tools for this process, which we will discuss in the next point.
Pull in Traffic & Backlink Data
To determine which pages are over-performing and which are underperforming, you might need to take the help of various SEO tools. Google Analytics & Google Search Console can be helpful for getting this data. If a piece of content has not gotten any traffic or links in the last two years, it indicates that it can be pruned.
Deciding to Improve or Trash the Content
Once you are aware of the underperforming content, then it comes to you to decide whether to keep the content or remove it entirely from your website. You can update the post or article if most of the content is valuable, and you would only need to remove a fraction of the article.
In case, it is too much work and the result is not worth the efforts, then it is better to drop that post. If the topics of the content are still useful, then you should update the content with more relevant data.
Results of an Efficient Content Pruning Process
Content pruning can bring a big change in the rankings of your website. Therefore, it should be taken seriously. In a recent content pruning process done by Hubspot, they deleted over three thousand old blog posts, which resulted in a sudden spike in their rankings.
Hubspot is a top SEO giant that is always looking to provide the best optimization for Google. They are always ahead of others in publishing new content and fixing various technical issues in the content.
The content pruning process that they followed happened to be highly successful for them. Soon after the pruning process, Hubspot’s crawling budget lowered, click rate significantly rose, and indexing of their site also became faster.
There are hundreds of examples proving that by effectively pruning your content, a direct impact is put on the website’s rankings. Hence, it is always beneficial to conduct content pruning process once in a while.
Google is endlessly working day and night to make the user experience more fluid by providing relevancy, accuracy, and quality in their search results. Hence, it is the best time for any website to weed out the unnecessary data stored on their website. The process of content pruning clears the data for you and makes your website more fresh-looking, and reliable to get the information.
Therefore, to benefit the most from Google’s new Core algorithm, you must take a step forward in content pruning and update your website’s content as per Google’s expectations. It will lift off all the unnecessary data and help your website achieve better overall rankings in the SERPs.