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Archiving Content and SEO

6:10 pm on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hello Everyone -

I am not sure if this is the best forum to post this in, but since it's not engine specific, I wasn't sure.

I have a question about archiving web (not blog) content and maintaining SEO, and the best way to go about it. I manage a website that has around 1,500+ pages. We have a lot of content with key phrases that we rank really well on - the site is about a decade old and the bulk of our traffic is native search driven so maintaining SEO integrity is a huge priority for me (obviously). Additionally, we currently have two CMS's that house our content (again, an issue I have no control over, but just as an FYI).

Executives want to archive most of the content except a small percentage. We are not producing new content (outside of weekly blog posts, but that is only accessible via the home page which is an entirely separate issue) on a regular basis. There is a lot of "freshening up" of existing content happening.

My question is: what is the best practice for archiving content and how do I maintain our SEO while doing it? I am hesitant to archive anything. What are people's thoughts on this? And if it is going to be done, I want it done correctly.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated, since this is a relatively new area for me. Thanks!
3:36 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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What do you mean by "archive"? Pull it off the web?
3:42 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No, not pulling it off the web. The people I work for aren't using the term archive in the true sense of a web archive - they mean "hiding" it from site navigation and making it only accessible via search on the site which I am, as the in-house SEO, adamantly against.

Their next option would be to push down 75% of of the content or so another layer (so 3 or 4 clicks, vs the 2 it is now). I am trying to find the best way to please higher ups and not make sure we lose our traffic.
2:58 am on Sept 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

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