Index Your Site... But Not Too Much
When you build a site, SEO basics tell you that you want it to be indexed by Google and other search engines, right? But did you know that over-indexing poor quality pages can actually hurt your SEO rankings?
If you perform a query, like the one pictured (site:yourdomain.com), the results will populate every page from your site that is indexed, in order of ranking. If you continue to scroll through the results, you may be a little shocked at how many there actually are! This is called an "index bloat" and it happens when there are a lot of low-value pages indexed in your search query, especially when compared to your high-value ones. These low-value pages offer little to no value in terms of ranking, so your best bet is to actually de-index these. These pages can include:
those with thin content (less than 100 words)
stale content pages (ex. promotional, news etc.)
You can achieve the largest rank boost by removing any pages with thin content. Next, look at your lowest ranked pages and see if they match any of those described in the list above. You may also want to look at pages that have been filtered from in-site search results, user profile pages, pages that are handled http instead of https or www instead of www-less.
Removing these excess pages will not only improve your ranking, but it will also increase user experience with better load times!
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