Rank on Google's first page in 3 months
Outdated content can reduce your website’s general authority in search results. In fact, removing or revitalizing outdated content can enhance your online visibility and Google rankings. By ensuring that content is as exact as possible, removing outdated content can enhance the user experience and strengthen your brand’s reputation.
Luckily, Google Search Console has an Outdated Content Removal tool that does a fair bit of the heavy lifting for you, and the tool was updated this month with a renewed platform that enables existing capabilities easier to use. Here’s what you need to know about outdated content and why you need to remove outdated content.
Any webpage on your website that is misleading, lacks value or does not reflect your existing brand positioning is considered outdated content. After Google’s Helpful Content Update, publishers are pushed to share useful content that satisfies users’ search needs.
As per guidelines, the search engine is not going to be polite on domains with outdated content which is not relevant in the present anymore. In fact, Google has clearly described how outdated content can impact each website.
Here are a couple of examples:
Isn’t that a lot of information?
If you have a large website or have been in business for many years, you may have numerous, if not hundreds, of the webpage of outdated content.
You should always keep your website up to date with the most recent information and advancements. Or else, Google will have a more difficult time crawling your website, leading them to believe that nothing has changed since the last time they tested their algorithm. Removing content can assist Google in focusing on the pages that are most important to you.
If your content contains information that is no longer accurate or relevant, it is crucial to remove it. This can include any information that may mislead or confuse your audience, like outdated statistics or product details. Regularly review your website’s content and identify pages that require removal or updating.
Suppose there have been changes in laws, regulations, or policies that render your content outdated. Then it is imperative to remove or update it. This is especially crucial for industries with rapidly evolving legal frameworks like healthcare, finance, or technology.
Remove content on your website that is offensive, discriminatory, or potentially harmful. Such content can damage your reputation, harm user experience, and even lead to legal consequences. Take immediate action to remove such content and ensure it no longer appears in search results.
Also, in the case where a company has discontinued a specific product or service, or if your marketing material has already stopped, it’s a good idea to have those web pages deleted from Google.
While removing outdated content is beneficial, there are some situations in which you should not remove your web content by using the Google tool. Some of the situations are as follows:
The content still seems to be relevant and essential to your intended audience. The information on this page is accurate and up to date. Use Google’s tool only after the content is completely out of date.
The outdated content holds historical value or serves as a reference point. Then it may be worth keeping it accessible on your website. Historical context can be valuable for visitors seeking insights into past events, trends, or information.
The outdated content has a significant number of backlinks or continues to drive traffic to your website. If such is the case, removing it entirely could have negative consequences. Instead, consider updating the content with accurate information or adding a note clarifying its outdated nature while directing visitors to more current resources.
The outdated content ranks well in search engines and contributes to your website’s organic traffic. In this case, removing it without a suitable replacement could result in losing visibility and potential leads. Evaluate the impact on search engine rankings and traffic before deciding to remove the content.
Google’s purpose is to provide users with up-to-date, relevant, and influential content. As a result, newly published content tends to ranks higher than old, out-of-date articles.
This is also why your website may be judged for having out-of-date content. Content that includes “misleading data” (aka outdated content) is considered low quality, according to Google’s recent Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
How else would you feel about a webpage if you came across a product page that had been out of production for ten years? Not very impactful, right?
Suggested Read: 9 SEO Best Practices to Improve Your Organic Traffic
Now that you understand what outdated content is and why it should be removed, it’s time to discover and remove those pages. There are several methods you can go with:
You can even use Google Search Console to find pages that Google no longer facilitates — and pages that it never enjoyed in the first place.
Google Analytics provides an excellent overview of almost every page on your website.
If you are wondering what SuiteJar is, it is a comprehensive SEO and Content marketing tool.
The tool bypasses all the tedious and time-consuming processes of finding the outdated content we discussed. And you don’t even need to integrate anything. Its unique feature – Outdated Pages – will list out all the web pages with outdated content.
The feature will help you keep tabs on the web page content, enabling you to keep them up-to-date.
Also, you can easily identify the pages that haven’t been updated in a while by simply reordering the – Last Updated – column.
You can identify which pages are outdated and choose whether to remove or update them. In this case, the blogs will do better when optimized. Therefore, there is no point in removing them.
But if and when you find a blog or a web page that you no longer need, you can move forward to remove it. The web page might be a service you no longer provide or a template that is obsolete.
Now that is covered, let’s see how to remove outdated content.
Pages with no traffic, no quality links, and no important information are candidates for removal. But don’t just remove it and move on. Removing content without taking the necessary precautions can drop you in hot water with Google, causing your entire site to slide in search results.
Here are three safe methods for removing outdated content from your website — and when to use them.
Is there a related, more recent page you could direct visitors to instead? Then, the simplest way to remove the out-of-date content is to create a 301 redirect.
Outdated product and service pages can be redirected to more recent ones. Old blog posts can be linked to more recent articles on the same subject. In terms of SEO, this is the most effective method for removing outdated content.
A 301 redirect keeps search traffic and incoming links from the original page. If an outdated piece of content has backlinks, you should redirect it. However, avoid using too many redirects. They can put a significant burden on your server, causing it to slow down and damage your rankings.
But don’t go overboard with the redirects — each redirect increases the load on your web server, slowing down your website, and it all adds up. In some cases, you can easily add some custom messaging and relevant links to other places users may go if they come on your old content. For example, “This job position is no longer open, but “check out our Careers page for more vacancies.” This works especially well with products that are temporarily out of stock. If the item is available again in the future, don’t remove the URL; instead, show comparable products to help fill the customer experience.
If there isn’t a useful page to redirect visitors to, you can inform Google and other search engines that the page has been deleted on purpose by displaying a “410 Deleted” status. Apart from a “404 Not Found” status code, which is returned when Google or your server cannot find the page, a “410 Deleted” status code informs Google and other crawlers that you removed the page on purpose, and it will not be restored.
Insert a no-index tag if you want to retain an outdated page on your website but delete it from Google. Google will continue to crawl the webpage, but it will not appear in its search results. To reduce the likelihood of the page being crawled again in the future, delete the URL from your XML sitemap, and everywhere it’s linked on your site.
Here are the steps to remove outdated content on a page:
For the final time, click “Request Removal.” You’ll get a notification that Google has received your request.
After sending your request, you can monitor its progress in Google Search Console.
But how long does it take Google to remove outdated content when a request is made? These requests are typically processed within 24 hours.
You can track the status of your request to see where it is in the procedure. It will be classified as one of the following:
Removing outdated content is no longer a difficult task. You can easily get rid of outdated content by using Google’s remove outdated content tool. Following these simple steps will allow users to easily delete your web content. Attracting potential customers is simple when your web pages display only the most recent content. Utilize Google’s tool to optimize your website by removing all outdated content and maximizing your company’s success.
When you delete outdated content correctly, you can boost your site’s ranking, enhance crawl capacity, and make sure your website visitors always have access to fresh, high-quality, and brand-enhancing content. Understanding when to remove outdated content is vital to optimizing the performance of your website. Skimming through the efficiency peaks and plateaus only requires a little knowledge and legwork.
No, removing outdated content from Google is not temporary. When you remove or update content on your website and request Google to re-crawl and re-index your site, the outdated content will eventually be replaced with new or updated content.
However, the changes may take some time to propagate across Google’s search results. It depends on factors such as the crawling frequency and indexing for your site.
No, there is yet another side to this debate in which old content may be completely alright in conveying your message about your brand or offering and does not need to be changed. The trick is determining when this is the case.
These requests are typically processed within 24 hours. You can track the status of your request to see where it is in the process.