Purging old content? Google says No

By: Rob Corbidge, 15 August 2023

 a man holding scissors, greek sculpture, hi def, 8k

As one publisher reportedly removes thousands of articles, Google says that search likes old stuff

Following news that one US-based publisher has been removing old content at scale, Google has responded by saying such actions make no difference to search.

Gizmodo reported last week that tech site CNET had deleted thousands of old articles, causing a debate over whether such a strategy has any effect on the search process. And being that we all live in a one-search-engine-town, then that means Google. 

We can't know whether CNET has deleted the content, or more probably, archived it. However, the end result is the same.

The discussion about removal came to the attention of Google's Search Liaison account on X, who commented: "Are you deleting content from your site because you somehow believe Google doesn't like "old" content? That's not a thing! Our guidance doesn't encourage this. Older content can still be helpful, too."

The thread is here.

Google's John Mueller added that while "few people read your 'About Us' page, I wouldn't recommend deleting it, because it has unique value for your site and for the web."