John Mueller: What to Do About Old Low-Quality Content

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A new article on Search Engine Journal reports that Google’s John Mueller just answered a question about what to do with old content that is of a very low quality.

Google’s John Mueller was recently asked what to do about content that’s older and low quality. Would it be better to remove the content? Or would it be better to rewrite the old bad quality content?

Mueller approached the question as if it were two questions. The first part of his answer focused on whether content is considered lower quality because it’s old. The second part of his answer addressed the issue of what can be done for actual low-quality content.

A user’s question centered around writing higher quality articles and whether he should then remove lower quality articles:

“Should I remove all articles? Is that going to affect my website, or I should keep that?”

Mueller said:

I think if that’s something that you think is good content that you want to publish with your website, with your name, then I would keep it. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad. But if you look at it and you say, oh, this is embarrassing for me now, I don’t want it to be online; it’s like so bad. Then that’s something where I’d say either improve it or remove it.

Some content just can’t be improved, like content about topics that are out of date. Examples of the kinds of content that probably can’t be rehabilitated are buying guides for products that are no longer manufactured, like pagers or old generation television sets. Other kinds of content can be improved. A common example is hundreds of city pages that were templated and are cookie-cutter, where the name of the city is replaced, and blocks of text are varied to create unique combinations of content using the same dozen blocks of content. Tactics like that are outdated and easy for search engines to catch.

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