The quality of your website content is the primary driver of your website’s search engine rankings and user experience. Great content is still king and better than having quality content created specifically for your intended user than that content that increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance to user needs. You need to fine-tune your website content when you want to go along this direction. And most often, it is rather good not to add to, and just let go of something that no longer gives value to your web page content. This situation is real and frequently happens to search engine optimization (SEO). That to optimize the content of your website, it is better to let go of underperforming or non-performing webpage content. So, better remove, prune, and take a portion of that content away, to allow those remaining web page content to revitalize and shine out their value to achieve your website SEO goal.

What is SEO Pruning?

The term SEO pruning, content pruning, and SEO content pruning are interchangeably in use. Contexts wise, these terms are usable one after the other or all usable at one time as long as the use of these terms leads to the same purpose for website SEO. When Google rolled out Google Panda 4.0 and Penguin updates, these updates enforced a reduction of the number of Google search indexed pages. Some webmasters began to perform content pruning of low-quality content. Those contents that did not add any value to the website anymore, such as thin or poor content, bad link building, and keyword stuffing that become underperforming or non-performing web page content. It is easier said than done to decide, and prune or remove indexed pages as it may go wrong if it is mishandled.

When you carry out the techniques of SEO Content Pruning, you can essentially define SEO prune, pruning or optimization, as a selective process to remove a webpage content from the website with the end goal of taking away unwanted elements, links, or pieces of content that are underperforming to improve overall search engine visibility and direct new, healthy traffic reputation of your website.

Why is SEO Pruning essential for your website?

That is what SEO pruning is all about. It matters significantly to clean and organize your website on two optimization fronts. First, your SEO pruning can take away content that is low-quality or poses threats or harm to your website ranking and visibility. Second, your content pruning can reorganize your content to bridge organic traffic while simplifying similar content elements or duplicating pieces of information and integrate these into a more accessible and shareable piece of website content for your search engines, readers, and customers.

Quality and not quantity matters most in search engine optimization, get rid of those non-performing content that can be indexed by search engines causing your entire website down, and provide a unique content to entice customers who get smarter every day in deciding whether to choose your content over the other website. These are the reasons that make SEO pruning as one of the effective SEO best practices. So, what SEO content pruning does is cutting off, taking away, and editing those underperforming or non-performing pages to improve the overall SEO health and reputation of your website.

Yes, it is best to maintain a little but great content to your website than pumping in or pampering as many web page content into Google search engine as possible. Get familiar and master these SEO Pruning Tips to guide you in pruning those underperforming or non-performing content that can pull your entire website down when Google search engines might index it. Kindly note that this is not a step by step guide and you are free to add other considerations to this list, that is arranged in no particular order. You can always tailor it to your website or business needs.

1. Identify pages with syndicated content.

It is best to define your content syndication strategy for you to optimize the potential of your web-based content and have it republished through a third-party website or syndication platform. Syndication works well and becomes useful when you are working symbiotically with a robust (website content optimization) strategy that begins with great content. When your digital content such as blog posts, articles, infographics, videos, and other relevant content of your website is syndicated, it enables your website to build a win-win relationship of having your content being published while the third-party website gets free, relevant content as a reciprocal value of such content exchange. Not all syndicated content is made unique, but when web-based content containing value-added content is affiliated and copied across websites, the syndication makes your web pages unique.

Identify the pages with syndicated content and make this available either in summaries or full renditions of your website’s recent content additions for content licensing for reuse or republishing arrangements. When you identify pages with syndicated content, include any type of digital content like videos, infographics, and other multimedia aside from the usual textual content. When you have correctly identified your syndicated page content, monitor and moderate its syndication cycle as it can last long, and may even create another series of syndication loops of content exposure, publicity for a wider content reach frame, and backlinks to your website. Make this as your kick-off point for the rest of your SEO pruning tactics that we will discuss in the succeeding sections.

2. Temporarily Pruning Out of Stock Pages

You can temporarily prune out of stock webpages that may return later on your website. Consider that these webpages can best represent what is happening now to our low-to-no-supply and high-demand conditions. And that it may again drastically change over a definite period shortly. Hence, you need a temporary redirect while keeping your webpages to rank and continue to give value to your website searchers or customers. Basically, you are not pruning this content out of your website, but just taking this away from Google index for a definite time. Temporarily prune your web pages with <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, FOLLOW”> as you don’t want to move it permanently. The robots exclusion protocol tells web robots or most often the search engines what to crawl or not on your site.

You can also use product-offer schemas to set options such as In-Stock, In-Store-Only, Out-Of-Stock, and Sold-Out. This information, as part of your organic results, will be displayed by Google, which is still a continued ranking of your webpage. The schema.org ItemAvailability tool can help you do this content pruning tactic.

3. Remove Review Spam

Before you remove any of your review spam from your webpages, check the site’s ratings and reviews whether these make sense. Then list down the issues of each spam. Identify these spams to reduce anomalies on your web pages content. Check for as well as filter out spammy or pointless reviews. You can use tools like Google Alerts, MOZ fresh web explorer, reputation management software, WordPress Plugins, and other related applications that can detect, remove your review spam, as well as filter out spammy reviews.

Also, Google has new updates from time to time on new review spam detection, so better follow them for your timely use, such as the recent algorithm changes in February this year. The update aimed to address review spams on Google+ Local pages to filter potential fake or computer-generated review spams. Google removes any “fake glowing testimonial,” or those reviews that are “too good to be true” as part of Google’s new algorithm update. In case of a negative review, Google will only remove it if it violates Google’s Guidelines to ensure posting of the true reviews, regardless if it contains negative or positive comments.

This leaves many companies to think about what they can do in terms of SEO content optimization to make sure their Google+ reviews remain on the page. In short, Google works to ensure that only irrelevant reviews and spammy reviews are removed to assure that your other reviews will not be deleted or affected. Well, business owners can help out by following a few simple content rules – and that is to make sure that your valid reviews remain on the page, and you can appropriately handle these authentic reviews.

4. Disallow permanently pruned pages.

Disallow permanently pruned web pages that still exist on your website. Make sure to remove only those content that’s weighing down your website, those that are underperforming on search engine result pages. You can use robots.txt file, which is a “robots exclusion protocol or standard,” which tells search engines (some are web robots), which pages to crawl on your site. Subsequently, it also tells web robots which pages not to crawl. Most websites don’t need robots.txt files, but why take your chances? Even though Google can usually find and index all of the important pages on your site as search engines can automatically not index pages that aren’t essential or duplicate versions of other pages, well, it depends largely unless specified. So better practice to put in place your robots.txt files on your website to indicate web crawlers which content they can or cannot crawl. Mainly, when you disallow permanently pruned pages by putting a robots exclusion protocol on your website, this serves as specified crawl instructions of “disallowing” or “allowing” the searches of any or all crawlers or user-agent crawl software.

5. Consolidate by redirecting

When you consolidate web pages by redirecting one to the other web page, it depends, but in most cases, only use suitable redirects such as the 301 redirect as being one of the