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/webmasters/community?hl=en
6/22/11
Original Poster
garycashman

What is the best way to delete/update content for SEO purposes?

I have some posts that either 1) I want to remove altogether or 2) want to combine several into one post.

But what is the best way to do it for SEO? For the deleted posts, should I just delete it? Then Google will give a 404 error when it's crawled again.

For the combining posts, I can forward all the old URLs to the new one using a redirect. But then the problem is I will have several URLS being redirected to the new URL, is that not look like duplicate content?
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luzie
6/22/11
luzie
>>> What is the best way to delete ...

Don't! For obsolete content just wait until Google take notice of that by themselves. Give out error-404-(not found) or status-410-(gone) for pages you have deleted on-site.
 
>>> ... update content for SEO purposes?

There is no SEO-purpose conceivable that needed a content update. Either you think the users needed an update and update for them or don't update.

>>> But then the problem is I will have several URLS
>>> being redirected to the new URL, is that not look
>>> like duplicate content?


No, not at all, why?

-luzie-
Susan Moskwa
6/22/11
Susan Moskwa
If you remove something, it should return a 404. 404s are fine.
http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/do-404s-hurt-my-site.html

If you combine several articles into one, the old URLs should 301 redirect to the new URL. Duplicate content is when you're serving same or similar content on several different URLs at the same time; 301 redirecting is the way you fix duplicate content (you're getting rid of the duplicates by telling search engines that they now reside at a single new URL).
6/23/11
Original Poster
garycashman
Thanks. I've been through stuff on my site, and the only conceivable reason my site seems to be penalised is that there are some shorter articles on there, the majority are 500 words +. But there are shorter ones of around 200 words, which although merit their own page, IMO, perhaps the text/ads ratio isn't correct. So I'm gonna combine several into one page - surely this is for SEO purposes, rather than user information. The search engine logs showed people were coming into the site for long-tail queries so this is what they were searching for, and I'll remove some of the shorter stuff altogether.
 
But what can I do, I need to get my site out of the penalty, which sits any search result at a maximum #51 position.
Susan Moskwa
6/28/11
Susan Moskwa
Dude, it sounds like you've read too many tin foil hat "SEO" articles. As long as your site has worthwhile, original content on it (i.e. it's not just made to put AdSense on it), there's not a golden "text-to-ads ratio" or a word limit for ranking. I worry that you're just looking at the trees and not seeing the forest. Optimizing your site for search isn't about counting the words on a page, it's about making sure that you have useful, usable content, and then making that content accessible to search engines.

To put this another way: I have never ever seen a site where everything was great and it would have ranked well except its articles were only 200 words long. That's just... not the way the algorithm looks at stuff. If your site isn't ranking well, the cause must be elsewhere.
Susan Moskwa
6/29/11
Susan Moskwa
Hi, lockedout-noreason,

I assume you reached this thread through the Search Engine Roundtable article, which brought up the "Panda" update to make this an even juicier topic. But no one in this thread is talking about Panda, and the OP hasn't even posted his/her URL so I have no idea whether the site was penalized (as he claims) or affected by Panda (which is not a penalty) or simply isn't ranking where he'd like. I simply stated that, once you've started counting the words on your pages and making changes "for SEO purposes, rather than user information," you've missed the point. Believing that "the only conceivable reason my site seems to be penalised is that there are some shorter articles on there" is being paranoid, and I stand by that.

If you want to criticize the information that Google has given out about the Panda update that's fine, but be aware that you're the first person in this thread who's brought up Panda, so you'd be changing the subject.
5 MORE
ѕquibble
7/1/11
ѕquibble
Some would say that your site was spam. Indeed matters have been mentioned before >
 
 
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