How to Use Google Tools and Remove Outdated Content From Your Website

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How to remove outdated content from your website

In the cut-throat competition among businesses today, creating unique and catchy content is the key to attracting more customers. On average, about 26 percent of the marketing budget of companies goes towards content creation.

However, in order to stand out, you need to update your content regularly. Outdated content may make you miss out on opportunities and even impact your sales. It can even reduce the amount of traffic to your website.

So, make sure to get rid of your outdated content and offer the latest information to customers. When it comes to removing outdated content, you may first think of deleting them from your website. It may seem to be quite easy. However, it is not!

Even when you remove your outdated content from the website, there are chances that they would appear as snippets or cached data in the search results of Google. So, what’s the solution?

Well, if you want to delete the outdated content permanently, the key is to use the content removal tool of Google. All you need to do is make a request and get the content removed in nearly 24 hours. Let’s take a closer look at all the details.

When to Remove Your Website Content

You should always make sure that your site is up-to-date with all the latest information and developments. Otherwise, it will be more difficult for Google to crawl your website which could lead them into thinking nothing has changed since the last time they checked in their algorithm. Deleting content can help Google to focus on the pages you care about most.

One example good is Siege Media, which saw a 50% traffic increase for one of their clients after cutting 15 percent off the content.

Siege media content audit

Source: ahrefs

If you are thinking about the same, here are some situations when you must do so.

  • The images or web pages have already been deleted from your website or changed to the latest versions.
  • There is a change in the contact information or location of your business.
  • You no longer own the website where the content is posted, and it offers outdated information relating to your business.
  • The owner of the web page is not responding or refusing to delete your outdated content.

For instance, if your business has discontinued a particular service or product or your promotional material has already expired, it’s wise to get those web pages removed from Google.

When You Must Not Remove Your Website Content

While removing outdated content proves to be useful, there are some cases when you must not delete your web content using the Google tool. Some of the circumstances are:

  • The content is still relevant and offers value to your target audience. The information on the page is correct and valid. Make sure to use Google’s tool only when the content is completely outdated.
  • In case, you want to remove the information on the web page owing to legal purposes.
  • You are the owner of the web page. When you are a verified owner, you can yourself make the essential changes to the content instead of removing it.
  • The image or page is live and requires recrawling only.

SEO Factors to Keep in Mind Before Removing Your Outdated Content

Removing outdated content is quite easy. However, what if the content you want to remove still brings traffic to your website? To avoid making a decision that will cost you later, you need to run a comprehensive SEO audit on your website or scan the page URL via Ahrefs Site Explorer to see how it is performing in search.

Site explorer page audit

Here are the SEO factors you must consider when planning to remove outdated content from your website.

Test the Assumptions

Make sure not to just assume that your web content is of no value and get it removed. Instead, you must test your assumptions. Keep track of the conversion rate and bounce rate of the web content.

Check if the conversions from organic search are decreasing or increasing. In case the content is still contributing towards your business goal, you may not delete it.

Moreover, with the help of Google Analytics, you can also determine the performance of the page.

Analyze Ranking

Before removing any content from your website, you must also consider the ranking. If the content still ranks well on the search engine, make sure not to remove it. Also, avoid removing content that has highly competitive keywords or phrases.

Review Google Search Console and Google Analytics

Google Search Console and Google Analytics can be a great way to determine the health of your website from an SEO perspective. You can easily find information relating to search queries and page URLs, organic traffic, user flow and behavior, bounce rates, conversions, etc.

Check whether the number of clicks has increased or decreased. Check if there is consistent traffic going to the page. Lastly, check if there are conversions happening on that page or post. Accordingly, make the right decision.

Remove Outdated Content Tool

The Google Search Console’s removals tool is an excellent way to remove outdated content in much less time. You can easily hide the URLs temporarily from the search results.

Moreover, you can also view the content that has been reported as ‘outdated’ by users and is not showing up on Google. You can even view the URLs being filtered by the SafeSearch filter of Google.

Removal of Content from a Web Page

If you want to remove outdated content from a particular page of your website, here are the steps you must follow.

Step 1: Enter URL in the Tool

Google removal tool enter url

Once you open the ‘remove outdated content tool’, click on “New Request”. Next, you will have to enter the URL of your web page from which you want to delete the content. The tool will then analyze whether the page is live or not.

Select the appropriate response and click on “New Request” again.

Step 2: Enter a Word Appearing on the Old Version

Enter a number or word that is present in the cached version but no longer appears on the live web page. It will enable the tool to verify that you have selected the right page.

Step 3: Submit Request

Finally, click on “Request Removal”. You will receive a message saying that your request has been received by Google. Once you submit the request, you can easily keep track of the progress through the Google Search Console.

However, remember that this will not remove your outdated content permanently. You need to make use of the 410 deleted status or redirect the link to prevent the page from showing on the search engine.

But when Google recrawls the site, it will immediately stop the content from showing up.

Make sure to check back periodically in order to know the status of your request. In case, your request is denied, you will find a link in which there will be an explanation as to why it was denied.

Removal of Image from a Web Page

Removing an image is a little different from the removal of content. In order to remove an outdated image from a web page, here are the steps you need to follow.

Step 1: Enter Site URL and Image URL

Google removal tool enter image url

After opening the remove outdated content tool, click on “New Request”. Next, select the “Image” tab. Enter the URL of the web page as well as that of the image.

Select the most appropriate response and click on the “New Request” button again.

Step 2: Submit Request

In order to make the request, click on “Submit Request”. You will receive a message stating that your request has been received by Google.

Just like the removal of a web page, you can also monitor the progress of your request to remove the image.

Conclusion

Removing your outdated is no longer a difficult task. With the use of the remove outdated content tool of Google, you can easily get rid of the outdated content. Following these easy steps will enable you to remove your web content easily.

When your web pages show only the latest content, attracting potential customers becomes easy. Leverage Google’s tool, clear your website of all outdated content and optimally boost the success of your business.

 

About the Author

Bhavik Soni is a Creative Writer at Auto Monkey. We provide an original analysis of the latest happenings in the social media industry. Connect with Latest Social Media Trends and News plus tips on Twitter, Facebook, and other social tools on the web.

Avatar for Brian Childers

Brian Childers

Brian Childers is the Founder and CEO of Foxxr Digital Marketing, a St. Petersburg, FL-based agency specializing in home services marketing. An accomplished SEO expert with 15years of experience, Brian and his team has a proven track record of driving organic growth for home service businesses. Under his leadership, Foxxr's team of digital marketers crafts data-driven SEO strategies that consistently increase website visibility, generate high-quality leads, and boost revenue for clients in the competitive home services sector.