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    TPN
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    Remove Low Quality Content to Increase Rankings?


    The site I am working on still has old product pages indexed where the content is lower quality or thin.

    Do you feel that the old low quality/thin content could be pulling the site down as a whole and if these pages are are not used anymore would it help removing them from the Google index manually?
    Last edited by TPN; Feb 25th, 2016 at 09:58 AM.
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    It could be affecting the results, yes.

    I'm assuming they're "old - but still available products"?
    I suppose it's silly to suggest somebody beefs up the content for them?
    If not, rather than mess about manually removing them, you could just add a robots "noindex" meta to those pages.

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    • Josoftech agrees
    Last edited by ClickyB; Feb 25th, 2016 at 11:14 AM.
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    TPN
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    Some of the older products are no longer available but the description stays active. Do you think it would be best to remove these pages from the index and then in future redirect old products to the category pages so any link juice gets passed along
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    Originally Posted by TPN
    Some of the older products are no longer available but the description stays active. Do you think it would be best to remove these pages from the index and then in future redirect old products to the category pages so any link juice gets passed along
    I would do that (either redirect to relevant category page or to similar/replacement product page).

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    • Jocelyn agrees
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    Originally Posted by ClickyB
    I would do that (either redirect to relevant category page or to similar/replacement product page).
    The product page are dynamically generated so it hard to keep track of everything but I think you are right the best way is to code a redirect to the category page if the product returns no database results.
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    Originally Posted by TPN
    The best way is to code a redirect to the category page if the product returns no database results.
    Not always. Consider the user. They have followed some link somewhere and they expect it to lead to a page about product X. If you just redirect you loose.

    If a customer came into your store and said "I want product X" you wouldn't tell them to look in aisle 16 if you knew the product no longer existed would you and yet that is what you would be doing online..

    Sometimes it is better to keep the product page with a relevant message. "Product X is no longer available - it has been superseded by Product Y (with link)" / "We no longer stock Product X but offer a better alternative with Product Y (with link)", etc.

    This also means any juice that product X had will now be part passed on via the link to the correct place.

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    • Pierre Benneton agrees : Always thing on the user side of life ♫ ♬ ♬ ♬
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    Originally Posted by Doodled
    Not always. Consider the user. They have followed some link somewhere and they expect it to lead to a page about product X. If you just redirect you loose.

    If a customer came into your store and said "I want product X" you wouldn't tell them to look in aisle 16 if you knew the product no longer existed would you and yet that is what you would be doing online..

    Sometimes it is better to keep the product page with a relevant message. "Product X is no longer available - it has been superseded by Product Y (with link)" / "We no longer stock Product X but offer a better alternative with Product Y (with link)", etc.

    This also means any juice that product X had will now be part passed on via the link to the correct place.
    This is true but if the product is no long available the page starts to become a little thin on content since there is only the description left. Having a number of pages with thin content can cause problems across the site with rankings and a noindex will not pass link juice to pages that are more popular.

    The options seem to be ..
    1. noindex ( avoid too many pages with thin content )
    2. Add more content to products we don't even sell any more
    3. 301 redirect to category pages

    I am leaning toward noindex. What are your thoughts?
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    Just my opinion and there is nothing wrong with the answers above.
    A lot would depend if there ar any external links to these products. If there are none then you can simply delete them as they will carry no link juice other than what is being passed to it from the internal structure so personally I would dump them.

    If there are links though this is where it gets a little more complex,

    Firstly remove any internal links to these products to enable them to die internally but to hang on to most of the page rank they are gaining you I would 301 them back to the category page if your sure your not going to sell the product again in the future.

    If there is a remote chance you may restock the product in the future then I would redirect with a 302 (temporary redirect) to preserve the link juice and allow you to put the products on hold as such..
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    I thing I would use Doodled solution

    Sometimes it is better to keep the product page with a relevant message. "Product X is no longer available - it has been superseded by Product Y (with link)" / "We no longer stock Product X but offer a better alternative with Product Y (with link)", etc.
    And I would add a noindex tag to the pages as well so Google is happy and users are happy.
    Last edited by Pierre Benneton; Apr 22nd, 2016 at 03:59 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    A lot would depend if there ar any external links to these products. If there are none then you can simply delete them as they will carry no link juice other than what is being passed to it from the internal structure so personally I would dump them.
    I disagree. Even if they have no links they may still rank and bring in traffic. Say you rank for 'navy blue door paint' but you don't stock it anymore. Keep the page but say it is 'out of stock/discontinued' and you recommend 'Sea Blue door paint'. This way you also have a fighting chance to convert a navy-blue-fan to a sea-blue-customer.

    On top of this even though you may find no links you have no idea where the page is bookmarked.

    Originally Posted by Chedders
    I would 301 them back to the category page if your sure your not going to sell the product again in the future.
    Disagree again. If someone arrives on your site after having followed a link expecting to find navy blue door paint and instead they find a category page they are almost 100% likely to bounce.

    Interestingly some of the big boys also hang onto pages: Light Industrial to rent in 70-74 Burners Lane, Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes, MK11 3HD, MK11

    I've seen others as well - just can't remember where.

    Originally Posted by TPN
    if the product is no long available the page starts to become a little thin on content since there is only the description left.
    ... and what was there before? The only content you have removed is a 'Buy Now' button????
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    Originally Posted by Chedders
    ... if your sure your not ...
    From Radio 4 the other day - "I hate people who start their email 'I hope your well.' They hope my well is what?" But it's not that sort of forum ;)
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  23. Dinosaur
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    The point was if there is no external links then the only reason the page would be ranking is from internal links, its pointless to keep internal links going to a product you no longer stock as that dead ends the user. On large sites where products lines are being changed on a regular basis this becomes a major problem as dead products can out number the live products extremely quickly and only offers a bad user experience.

    A page with no links either external or internal is an orphaned page and if the content is thin as the OP suggests then the best course of action would be to remove the page/product. There is no reason to suggest the page will rank for anything meaningful as it carries no power.

    Rightmove and other property sites are slightly different as often they will show past history of the property and what the property sold for and other properties near by for sale so therefore it has value to users doing research. It may also come back on the market so keeping it ranking is in the interest of site. If the OP is selling say mobile phones I doubt a user will be interested in knowing that the seller used to sell a outdated analogue Nokia phone back in 1990 which is never going to come back into stock. Ya sure move it to a history type of page showing the development of phones over the years but to keep it as a listed product is pointless and bloat.
    Last edited by Chedders; Apr 24th, 2016 at 07:52 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Doodled
    Sometimes it is better to keep the product page with a relevant message. "Product X is no longer available - it has been superseded by Product Y (with link)" / "We no longer stock Product X but offer a better alternative with Product Y (with link)", etc.
    But when do you cut that off? I've got a store that has a lot of products expire daily, sometimes only been in stock for an hour or two. Do I keep thousands/tens of thousands for months/years? What would you say the cut off point is? Also how would you automate doing this with a large store without running the risk of duplicate content?

    We've instead opted for the approach of a redirect to a custom 404 page that's uses their browsing history (through our product recommendation tool) to try and provide the above, then manually 301 redirecting any of the linked to/high traffic pages to their respective brand pages (which will normally stock another variant of the product anyway)
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    Mulled this over at the weekend and came back to find Matt mainly covering my thoughts however he seems to be talking about unavailable products still being listed within the store - which is frustrating. I'm talking about not listing the product but the product page itself remains with suggested alternatives.

    Overall, to me, each situation turns on its merits both in terms of doing it at all and, if you do do it, fade.

    Remember also that there are bookmarks to honour, image searches and link opportunities - I think if I found an original product page for my Nokia Brick 820 from the 1990s I'd at least share it!

    Interestingly gumtree does not delete its pages either ...
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