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Removing Low Ranked, Un-useful Pages - worth it?

     
11:14 am on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just a simple question: Is the effort to remove pages from my site which aren't getting any traffic and are either ranked low in the search engine or not indexed at all, worth it?
3:30 pm on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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No. You don't create content for search engines. You create them for visitors. That is why some pages simply will get traffic from links from your popular pages.
3:47 pm on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Like ecmedia mentioned, you should create content for visitors and not search engines. On the pages that are not receiving a lot of traffic, ask yourself if they are useful to visitors? If so, do they have lots of unique content on each page? If they have plenty of unique/fresh content then I would keep them. If they are "thin" pages you might be better off consolidating the content on those pages.
4:55 pm on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I believe that you can use these pages to improve the rankings of some of your other pages. I think you can do this by putting related content on these low traffic pages and internally link them to you better pages. Also, I think that Google may factor in the total amount of relevant content on the site as a whole - the more, the better.
7:50 pm on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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This is a great question, and while I always hear strong opinions either way, I have not seen a definitive answer. I think Google frowns upon having a lot of 'template' pages that are just blank, or use widgets to provide content, but the fact is that large UGC sites will almost always have those types of pages.
8:11 pm on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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How is the site's traffic?

If it's not broken, don't fix it...
If it is broken then figure out what's wrong before you do anything.

I think the reason there are so many differing opinions on this subject is it's fairly site, content, uniqueness, actual usefulness to visitors in the situation and context of the site specific. What 'works' for someone else in their situation is not guaranteed to 'work' for you in your situation.
10:33 pm on July 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well said, oh Mad One! Your site may have 60% of its URLs apparently not in the index, and yet if you get some good new link juice, that may quickly begin to change.

[edited by: tedster at 5:57 am (utc) on Jul 17, 2010]

5:23 am on July 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thank you, oh Wise One!
5:32 am on July 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I don't if I entirely agree with that. Why would I want link juice for "un-useful" pages? I would rather improve the content of those pages or remove them. If I'm getting good traffic to my useful pages, my goal would be to continue to improve the percentage of pages that are useful. It's pretty hard to go wrong with that strategy unless of course you are a poor judge of what is useful!