Does pruning content help your SEO?

We asked our experts to tell us about their experience with pruning and to report the results if possible. Unfortunately, it’s not usually possible.

When content marketers and SEOs delete pages, it’s usually part of a bigger content marketing audit. Rather than pruning and measuring in isolation, they’re changing a bunch of other stuff at the same time.

Q: Did cleaning out your garage make you happy?

A: Yes, but we were moving anyway. Now we live in a new house and we love it.

So we can’t say that the happiness was from the garage. Here are the reported results.

Dana DiTomaso

“The problem is that these projects are also done in conjunction with technical fixes, rewrites to titles/metas, etc — so I don’t have a screenshot of just content fixes in isolation. I can say that we’ve seen traffic gains of anywhere from 30% to 150% when everything is done well.”

  • Content pruned in isolation: no
  • Results: 30 – 150% increase in traffic

Ross Hudgens,

“A recent we ran involved pruning over 3,000 pages, which resulted in organic traffic improvements. Outdated and low performing pages were removed from the site toward the end of April 2018.

The number of pages pruned was equal to roughly 15% of the entire site at the current time. Organic traffic after the project went up about 50% and has sustained itself since then, helping provide evidence of the benefits of a proper content audit and content pruning.”

  • Content pruned in isolation: mostly yes
  • Results: 50% increase in traffic (well done!)