Google Explains the Low Traffic Content & Which Pages Should Be Removed
Google’s John Mueller opens up about how to recognize pages to block. He also explains why some low traffic pages need not to be removed. In a Google Webmaster Hangout, Mueller explains it all and answered everything from low traffic pages to noindex and the pages that the webmasters need not worry about.
1. Are low traffic pages okay?
Removing low performing pages has been a strategy for webmasters. Low-quality pages bring less traffic. Therefore, they should either be indexed or removed entirely. When one webmaster asked if low traffic pages are harmful, John Mueller explains it thoroughly.
The webmaster of a news site arises a question to which Mueller replied.
- The question was:
“We’re publishing news and articles. For example, we have 100 new articles every day and ten of them give us 95% of the organic search traffic. Another 90 go nowhere. We’re afraid that Google can decide our website is interesting only for 10%. There’s an idea to hide some boring local news under noindex tag to make the overall quality of all publishing content better. What do you think?”
2. How Google analyses website’s quality:
At first, Muller discusses how Google algorithm reviews web pages and then the entire site to understand what the quality level is. He answered it on a general level. That means it is useful for any kind of site.
- What Mueller Said:
“In general, we do look at the content on a per-page basis. And we also try to understand the site on an overall basis, to understand how well is this site working, is this something that users appreciate. If everything is essentially working the way that it should be working. So it’s not completely out of the question to think about all of your content and think about what you really want to have indexed.”
Then he stated about the news site. He replied that traffic is not always the metric to use for judging a web page is low quality or not. So, just because a news article is not popular, does not mean the content is of low quality.
He says, “But especially with a news website, it seems pretty normal that you’d have a lot of articles that are interesting for a short period of time, that are perhaps more of a snapshot from a day to day basis for a local area. And it’s kind of normal that they don’t become big, popular stories on your website. So, from that point of view, I wouldn’t necessarily call those articles low-quality articles, for example.”
He also highlights a few issues like – if the content is hard to read, poorly structured, and developed with broken English, it is a low-quality content.
According to him, “On the other hand, if you’re publishing articles from … hundreds of different authors and they’re from varying quality and some of them are really bad, they’re kind of hard to read, they’re structured in a bad way, their English is broken.
And some of them are really high quality pieces of art, almost that you’re providing. Then creating that kind of a mix on a website makes it really hard for Google and for users to understand that actually you do have a lot of gems on your website. So that’s the situation where I would go in and say, we need to provide some kind of quality filtering, or some kind of quality bar ahead of time, so that users and Google can recognize, this is really what I want to be known for.”
3. How to diagnose article quality:
According to John Mueller, the structure of the content will show you the quality of the content. A less popular webpage is not always due to poor quality content. Low traffic can be a flag to alert you to a possible problem. But low-quality content is not a problem itself.
Take a look at the content and consider the following to determine the reason for low traffic. The low traffic might be due to
- The outdated web page information (it should be improved)
- Thin content (not okay, should be removed)
- The web page is on a topic that is not so popular (that is okay)