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A new events page cannibalises its own site!

     
9:14 am on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Here is a site that launched a page for an upcoming event. This event got very popular in the niche and a lot of heavy-weight sites voluntarily linked to it. As a webmaster, I couldn't be happier.

Subsequently Google adjusted its ranks such that relevancy of other pages were ingnored, including the homepage, in favor of this page for queries this events page doesn't give answers to. Naturally the bounce rate increased and conversions reduced. The event is over and the page lived its life. It debunks the theory however that Google returns the most relevant page from your site, no matter what their individual popularity is.

The most prudent thing to do, IMHO, is to 301 redirect this page to the homepage. One might even be tempted to redo the page so that it becomes relevant to many of the queries this page ranks for and let it remain 200. Which is the diligent thing to do?
11:00 am on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The second choice! The first would not be user friendly (and G might not like that kind of home page redirect which should actually be of an instructive 404).


[edited by: aakk9999 at 12:23 pm (utc) on May 14, 2015]
[edit reason] Corrected a typo [/edit]

11:39 am on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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tangor, but this continues to be linked from some sites that I would give my right arm for. Nor would I go back to them and ask them diplomatically that the event is over, please remove this link!

So, there will be direct traffic to this page and if I rewrite this page to something not relevant to the event, I might as well 301 redirect it to the homepage and hope the link benefits get transferred to it. Homepage might subsequently rank where this events page ranked. As it stands, this events page ranks for even for the brand name search ahead of the homepage.
11:43 am on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You could rewrite the page in the past tense, e.g. "Back in the day, this event was a real barn-burner. We kept this page up to show you what you missed...blah, blah" Then it still has some semblance of usefulness. It's also an effective technique for business listings where the business has gone out of business. People will still search for it.
12:08 pm on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You could rewrite the page in the past tense, e.g. "Back in the day, this event was a real barn-burner. We kept this page up to show you what you missed...blah, blah" Then it still has some semblance of usefulness. It's also an effective technique for business listings where the business has gone out of business. People will still search for it.


webcentric, but how will it help with my high bounce rate and low conversions for queries that have nothing to do with this event and yet this page ranks for?
12:34 pm on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It won't. I don't think you can have it both ways. I'd probably do something along the lines of what webcentric suggests.
12:36 pm on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Just know the web is sometimes screwy (as in odd, strange, weird), but the USER is the one to satisfy. That's generally good practice. webcentric offers good advice on one method possible. Yet, the OP suggests that you're not really getting any SITE benefit... just the page. At this point you can be white hat or black hat (black hat would be redirecting the page 301 to homepage) instead of updating the page to show the event is over, and possibly "check out our other pages..."

The "link juice" you see is for that page, not your site, so make that page WORK for your site by using it to advert/hawk the rest of the site.
1:27 pm on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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so make that page WORK for your site by using it to advert/hawk the rest of the site


Good advice! There's no reason the page has to be a dead end.
4:55 pm on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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You could insert canonical url into the page redirecting Google to a page of your choice and then google will index that page instead
 

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