SEO # How should you handle the pages which are no longer relevant for your website?

In our previous article which was SEO # Does exif data in an image help increase ranking? we discussed if Google stored and uses the image EXIF data in an image for ranking or not. Today we will like to discuss how we can handle pages on a website which are no longer relevant for your website.

Many times in the life of a website some pages become irrelevant and they no longer serve a purpose for your website. In that case sometimes you wonder if you should delete them or keep them and what would happen to your Google if you delete the page. The answer to the same is complex and will need a little thorough study.

Some strategies which you can follow are as follows:

Firstly, if the page which you want to remove is fairly well ranked on Google it will not be a good strategy to delete the page but if the content on the page or product on the page is no longer available with you, you should put a list of options for your users on the page. As an example, Suppose you were selling a Hot Product 2 years back which is no longer HOT or you longer have any in your stock than keeping that page on your website is of no use for the user, but if that page has a good PR and is well ranked by Google you can list alternatives for that product which you currently have and link to them. This will be really useful if you do not have alot of pages on your website i.e. you only have a website which has less then 100 pages indexed by Google.

Secondly, if your website has 1000′s of pages and alot of products which are indexed on Google it will be a better idea to just delete the page and let it go to 404 error because other pages of your website will get better ranked when irrelevant data is no longer available on your website. But you can use the strategy of keeping the page and listing alternatives on the page as well.

Thirdly, you can let the Google know when you want the page to expire with the meta tag expire-after and putting a date in the value section. This lets Google know that the particular page is no longer relevant after the set date and will remove the page from index.

The strategies listed above are best ones to handle the pages which are no longer relevant for your website. Remember keep cleaning your website of clutter and waste pages over time because more waste pages you have lesser is going to be your ranking.

There is a huge misconception that if your website has lesser pages indexed than your ranking on Google suffers. We will cover this part in our next article and will explain in details how many and small pages get ranked on Google.

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