Im finding that just having great content on your site is not enough, you also need to trim the fat so to speak and have as few low quality, as per Google, urls and pages as possible.
This isn't news to many here but I wanted to share what I'm seeing on my site. It's an example that it may take many months(years?) to recover fully from your quality content being diluted by lower value content.
In my case I had a previously top ranked and heavily trafficked informational site in its niche of the web and, prior to Panda being set free, I had the misfortune of adding an entire dynamic store section to the site. Affiliate pages that my information seekers found useful and used quite a bit.
At first I thought it was a match made in heaven but that was only a short time before the first Panda iteration. When Panda his this site it stopped sending traffic to any of the 8,000 or so product pages(they had reviews, price comparisons etc but mine is an informational site, not a store).
Not only that but the traffic to the informational pages was cut in half, overnight. Of course I promptly removed the entire store section, it wasn't worth losing informational visitors and wasn't getting traffic anymore anyway, but traffic didn't return. Other things happened however including:
- GWT reported a plummeting number of incoming links, 90% of them disapeared.
- GWT reported a plummeting of visitor numbers, sitewide.
- Google search reported roughly 8,000 supplemental pages.
Since then, and it's been a long time now, the recovery has been slow but steady. The number of incoming links is still climbing in GWT, as is the traffic, and something is interesting in what GWT is telling me.
GWT is suggesting that the links I had on the informational pages prior to adding the store became unworthy when I added the store and are now being deemed worthy again that the store is gone. That's what I find most interesting, page A can definitely be affected by page B and link A can also be affected by page B.
For that reason a high concentration of AWESOME pages is mandatory in todays Google, imo, and I have a question: Should I, or would you, delete all pages Google/Bing/Yahoo is not sending any organic traffic to and not counting incoming links for?
I could trim an additional 10% of my pages at this point, even though they are fairly useful articles, and if Google doesn't like them they may be holding my other pages back too, right?
Any thoughts appreciated.