The common approach to SEO seems to be to throw tons of pages up on a website and hope that it will result in some random traffic.
I do not agree with that approach, mainly because I do not think that random content creates conversions like some people think it does. Branding and trust create conversions. But here’s another reason to remove all those random pages – they are bring down your search engine rankings.
Some folks have noticed a sudden spike in v7n’s Alexa rank from the circa 2,000 to circa 700. This spike is due mostly to search engine referrals. It’s the result of a little experiment of mine.
Folks say content is king. They suggest that adding more and more content to a website can only be good. I disagree. I figure that adding non-performing content to a website will actually hurt your search engine visibility by diluting and wasting link weight on non-performing pages. By removing tens of thousands of non-performing pages, you conserve and direct that link weight and focus it on performing pages, and by doing so increase the ranking of performing pages in SERPs.
It’s a bit of a risky experiment – truly one that requires you to put your money where your mouth is.
About a month or so ago, I committed myself, removed pages from v7n that were xxx number of days old, had less than xxx number of page views, and less than xxx number of responses. Just to be sure that I didn’t remove any worthwhile discussions, I went through the list and checked anything that might be remotely worthwhile.
And I did not delete the threads – I simply moved them to a private, hidden, admin-access-only forum.
Within a couple weeks, I started to see the remaining pages performing much better. Within two weeks, search engine referrals were up 7,000 per day.
Content (marketing copy, etc) may be king when it comes to converting visitors, but for search engine rankings, link weight, domain authority and intelligent distribution of link weight appears to be much more effective, even when it means removing content.