News articles can contribute to the quality of a website and do not need to be very popular to be worthwhile, according to Google’s SEO expert John Mueller.
During a recent Google Webmaster Hangout, Mueller was asked about best practices for pruning content from webpages and more, specifically whether it is a good idea to hide older news pieces.
Mueller responded that it was “pretty normal” for brands pushing out news articles on a regular basis to see a spike in interest and traffic over a short period.
He stated that just because these articles are not essentially “evergreen” and do not trend over time does not mean that they are low quality and need to be expunged.
Mueller went on to say that Google generally views pages as being of poor quality when they feature broken English, are difficult to understand, or are structured “in a bad way”.
A mix of these subpar articles and higher-quality pieces can also make it harder for Google to find the better news articles.
Mueller added: “So that’s the situation where I would go in and say, we need to provide some kind of quality filtering, or some kind of quality bar ahead of time, so that users and Google can recognize, this is really what I want to be known for.”
Brands should therefore target the publication of well-written and neatly structured articles consistently to improve the quality of a website.
Mueller also noted that a page with low traffic does not immediately translate to low quality.
Rather than thinking about popularity, brands should instead look at the content and see whether it has problems and issues within itself.
Getting rid of pages that are actually lower quality and replacing them with better ones will make it easier for Google’s algorithm to understand that a website is relevant and worthwhile for search users.