Something’s Rotten on Your Site: Getting Rid of ROT Content

At SteerPoint, we’re dedicated to bringing you the latest news on trends in Indianapolis SEO and SEO around the world. The most savvy web users can get tripped up when ROT Contentdealing with Google, Bing, or other search engines’ preferences. Small mistakes can leave your website buried among millions of pages – something the Indianapolis SEO experts at SteerPoint want to prevent.

One reason websites get buried stems from redundant, outdated, and trivial content (ROT). Most website managers use this content without knowing it, or mean to take it down but never do, leaving visitors unlikely to return to the site. Let’s discuss what qualifies as ROT content and how to avoid it.

How to Know if Something’s Rotten

According to Mike Corak and Anna Hrac, who will host a webcast on this issue April 23, 2015, website managers fall prey to ROT when they “[prioritize] quantity over quality” and focus more on SEO results than actual content. Many of these managers are more concerned with filling their publishing calendars or adding more blog posts and features than providing good content. In general, content is considered ROT if it:

  1. Doesn’t say or do anything new.
  2. Refers to specific timeframes – once that timeframe is up, remove the content.
  3. Exists elsewhere. For example, if you’re a tea shop owner and notice posts about tea’s health benefits all over the news, don’t post on that topic.
  4. No longer meets your objectives.
  5. Contains incorrect information – for example, a page for an employee who has left.
  6. Has too many links or landing pages, or the links lead to trivial sites.

Preventing Content Rot

Whether you’re working with Indianapolis SEO or SEO outside SteerPoint’s jurisdiction, there are ways to get rid of ROT and keep it from returning. Often, this involves deleting content – especially duplicates. If you want to keep dated content, use archives or date stamps so site visitors can skip over it if they want. If you can, hire quality control experts who can examine posts for redundant or dead words and filler content.

Remember: There’s a Reason for ROT

Redundant, outdated, and trivial content is not a problem – it’s a symptom. If your website is full of rotting content, you need to understand why. To do this, set style guidelines specifying minimum word length, what constitutes filler, and other rules. Perform a content analysis or ask an expert to do so. The larger your digital presence, the more you’ll need to focus on management and content strategies.

Need help with ROT? Let us know at SteerPoint!