Content Pruning

Content Pruning is when you remove and update content that overburdens the website. This process hinders performance. By applying content pruning, the overall health of the website is increased.

Just as you prune a tree in which you remove all the dead leaves and branches so that the tree could grow in a healthy environment and its energy goes to the right parts.


The answer to this question is that the content that has lost its worth and is useless is known as weightless or dead weight. For instance, pages with outdated information are considered as useless information. Some other examples are the pages that are not getting any audience or pages with content repeatedly shared. All this needs to be pruned so that the audience gets to see proper content.



Content pruning is a never-ending process. Your content could require pruning at any given moment and doesn’t have a specific time.

The content needs to be updated weekly or monthly depending on the content that is being written. So while doing this, pruning can also be applied to maintain the right state of the content.


Firstly the content is overviewed, then audited and lastly it is pruned. In simple words, the low-quality content and pages are removed. The content which is underperforming also needs to be changed. Removing isn’t the only operation that can be performed on useless data. There are other ways to do it as well.


The first step is in which the content is overviewed. This step is also known as a content inventory. During this step, a complete list of all of the content is created. This can be done using a variety of tools from Google. Ensure that it includes all PDF files, pictures and videos. Enhance the list by using the right tools and filter out all the repetitive areas. In the end, an overview of the content will be displayed consisting of URLs. For each statement, set the goals, audience and search queries that need to be achieved through it.


The second step is known as auditing the content. It is a process of evaluating the content elements and calculating how well they are performing. From the first step, the content inventory list is taken and the general performance is checked on it. The general performance is how many visits and conversions have been made from it in the past year. Moving on from this step, more operations are performed to audit the content. This includes checking performance, the number of internal links and external domains linked. It is an easy task to do this which can be done using ContentKing or Ahrefs etc.

Furthermore, social performance is also inspected. Here shares, conversions and traffic of the pages are checked from the past year. This can be found using tools like BuzzSumo and the web analytics tool.

Content auditing also consists of examining if the content contains outdated information. This can be done using various tools such as smart search queries and for the URLs, Screaming Frog can be of great help.


After computing and calculating the content, mark all the content in the spreadsheet. Mention all the that isn’t getting enough visits or organic traffic. Also, mark the content that consists of very few internal and external links. Content has low performance in social media and contains thin content that should also be marked in these lists. Thin content is defined as dispensable content. This also consists of duplicate and automatically generated content.

Content that has been outdated also needs to be removed.

Before setting out tools to prune the content, remember that there are other ways for removal. Improving the content, or making it non-indexable are 2 tools you can use to optimize content.


Cannibalizing content means that the blogs and articles present on your website that can be ranked from the same search query are optimized in such a way that they can be ranked from similar search queries. In this way, it cancels out each other’s chances to show up in Google Search. To find this, look for pages having unique titles, headings and descriptions.


Removing the content isn’t the only option. It can be cropped, edited and can be moved into the frequently asked questions section for further assistance of the reader.

Content can be combined to make it around one topic making a strong and valid point rather than just creating clutter with the weaker points.

If the content is old but still somehow useful, just ensure that it is properly mentioned or some disclaimer is included that the information mentioned below is outdated.


Always be careful that by removing the low-level content, organic traffic can still occur. Organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic. In this kind of traffic, users visit the websites as a result of searching it.

As with the rejected links, be mindful to not delete the links all at once. Try doing it in stages by paying attention to the worst-performing content. Take some time to analyze and then continue pruning.


Just as the pruning of a tree is vital for its growth, the same is the case with the website. Dead leaves and branches need to be removed in order for the tree to grow and fulfill its requirements.

Pruning the website also allows the website to grow in terms of traffic and ranking. Content maintenance is important because if not done, it will hinder the website from ranking in Google Search. Along with that, there are many other cons of not pruning as well.

Hence, keep pruning your website properly to receive benefits from it.

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