Why you should never delete content from your website

Posted on October 13, 2009


Adding content to your website is good for SEO, this much is obvious to most people. However, removing content from your website can have just as big an effect, only in the opposite direction.

Firstly, why would you want to remove content from your website?

You may have products on your website that are no longer in stock, or no longer available. By removing the product pages you’re cleaning up your website so that only products in stock can be found. By doing this however you’re making pages that have been indexed by Google, potentially bookmarked by human visitors and have links directed to them, vanish. All of the power they have accrued disappears, forever.

There’s not much point performing SEO on your website and adding content if you’re going to remove it again just as quickly is there? Instead of removing the pages that you no longer want, why not just hide them from your navigation, or even remove them from being found via your search? If visitors still land on them from Google, or from other sources, instead of finding an unhelpful 404 error they could be greeted with a message saying that this product is out of stock, but you have more similar, better products.

What’s better, a page not found or an opportunity to sell that also improves your SEO?

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