Does the old content spark joy?

It’s reckless to delete a URL (or even change a URL) without checking a few things first. Ask these two questions to help you decide if that page sparks any digital joy:

  1. Has it been visited in the last year? Does it rank?
    Not sure? Here’s how to check the rankings of any page using Google Analytics
  2. Are there links to the page? From other websites? From your other pages?
    Not sure? Here is a list of tools for checking backlinks

Actually, if the page has zero visits, it won’t appear in Google Analytics, so those who purge content either use other tools to crawl their site or they purge ultra-low traffic pages.

Here are some more specific reasons from the experts, reminding us to consider the content’s purpose.

“Are these extra pages unnecessarily mucking up your onsite search results? Like, when you search and you get a big ol’ list of stupidly irrelevant pages? If they’re showing up in that list, get rid of them.” – Kristina Halvorson, Brain Traffic

“The reason is link equity flow. Would you rather have 1000 external links distributed amongst 700 pages or 500? The answer is the latter and why it’s so important to cut low performing pages.” – Ross Hudgens, Siege Media

According to the published PageRank algorithm, the more links it takes to get to your good stuff (through paginated date/category archives), the more times the damping factor gets applied to every one of those links.” – Corey Northcutt, Northcutt SEO