You wouldn’t consume stale bread. Why would your users consume stale content?
Out-of-date content is annoying to users and will affect your UX. Removing under-performing content will help you massively with your SEO efforts. Instead of chasing your tail looking for the next big SEO thing, why not take a look at your housekeeping and ensure your site is up to date and that you are maximising your SEO?
What’s the deal?
The truth is that if you are not on top of any indexable content, Google could well manage it for you. By focusing on unused content, you can then move onto pages and content that are important and maximise their return for you. You can read more about why content is king in this Huffington Post piece.
How can I manage content effectively?
You have a variety of options for accomplishing this. You might choose immediate deletion, user redirection, using 404/410 codes or a “Noindex” meta tag depending on the situation.
You could try to leave items on the site but temporarily take them out of the index. This is ideal for large sites with major product copywriting needs because you can use the meta tag
It is also possible to remove a given product from navigation and any internal search results using the aforementioned method. Google will still crawl the URL and any direct links will still work, maintaining a strong UX and delivering on your SEO.
You could also remove items permanently from your index and your catalogue. That way, URLs wouldn’t be indexed and users would not be able to find them. This is particularly useful for information such as blog content that might become outdated quickly. Simply use a 404 / 410 code to delete it from your index.
There are many more options for content pruning, including tricks such as putting pages behind password protection. The best steps to take depend on what you might need to do with that content in the future. SEO experts agree that this is a crucial step.
If you’re not sure what to do next, you might consider consulting a website designer such as http://www.viziononline.co.uk for guidance.
These tips will assist you with your site housekeeping whilst maximising your business and website return. Isn’t that everyone’s goal?