Google’s John Mueller was asked what to do about content that’s older and low quality. Would it be better to remove the content? Or would it be better to rewrite the old bad quality content?
John Mueller approached the question as if it were two questions.
The first part of his answer focused on whether content is considered lower quality because it’s old.
The second part of his answer addressed the issue of what can be done for actual low quality content.
This is an important question. Some people will treat lousy content like weeds and make it disappear. And some kinds of content is like that when it is outdated.
The person asking the question stated that when he started out his SEO was “bad” and that he subsequently wrote, in terms of content quality, “bad articles.”
His question was that after writing higher quality articles should he remove the lower quality articles.
John Mueller answered with a comment about old content.
“I think if that’s something that you think is good content that you want to publish with your website, with your name, then I would keep it. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad.”
He then followed up with a comment about what to do about truly bad content.
“But if you look at it and you say, oh, this is embarrassing for me now, I don’t want it to be online, it’s like so bad. Then that’s something where I’d say either improve it or remove it.”
There’s some content that can’t be improved, like content about topics that are out of date. Examples of the kinds of content that probably can’t be rehabilitate are buying guides for products that are no longer manufactured, like pagers or old generation television sets.
Other kinds of content can be improved.
A common example is hundreds of city pages that were templated and are cookie cutter, where the name of the city is replaced and blocks of text is varied in order to create unique combinations of content using the exact same dozen blocks of content. Tactics like that are outdated and easy for search engines to catch.
But those pages can be rehabilitated with some creativity and some hard work.
And sometimes it’s just best to redirect the old and not-good content to newer and better content that is on the same or similar topic. This is the easiest way to deal with old and not-good contetn.
There are many ways to rehabilitate old and low quality content and two of them, as John Mueller said, are improve it or remove it.