Why should you care about the old content of your website?
1. Old content can eat the crawl budget of your website.
In other words, Google cannot index the whole internet. That is why it gives to each website a limited budget of the amount of pages to crawl and index. Google cannot define clearly which page of your website should be crawled first. As a result it can spend your budget on the old content and didn’t crawl the pages which you find more important.
2. Old content can make Google algorithms to lose interest to show your site.
Imagine that there are two sites. Both sites are about the same topic and publish new content regularly. But one website has only evergreen content while another one contains a lot of outdated information. Which site should Google rank higher? Right. It will choose the first one.
3. Outdated infromation can highlight your website as misleading.
For example, many things about SEO, which were true 3 years ago, are not right anymore. There is no clear proof but in the fight with fake news Google started to update their algorithms to identify and exclude misleading information as well. This can harm your whole website ranking score.
There are many other reasons to clean-up your old content but let’s stop on these three.
Step-by-step Guide on cleaning your old content.
Here is the list of questions which will help you to decide what to do with the old content of your website.
Delete the page/post if the answer to any of the following questions is “No”:
1. Is this information still relevant?
2. Do you find any part ot the info useful?
3. Can you use any part of the content to create more competitive page? Will you do that in the next 3 months?
Noindex the page if any of the following statement is true:
1. Some parts of the content are irrelivant but I will update it in the future.
2. The content is not unique (you copied it from somewhere fully or partially) but I need it to keep visitors on my site when I reference to the subject from my other pages.
3. The content is not relevant anymore to my whole site subjects but I would like to keep it for myself.
4. The content will never be ranked high or updated but I want to keep it for my memories.
In all other cases keep the content as it is.
Let me know if I missed something in this guide.