There is a shift a’happening in SEO Google land that is super important for us all to notice.
The good news is that it addresses the panic most of us feel trying to produce the quantity of content we think is required.
The bad news is that we are being told we have to pause and address the quality of our websites. This is kind of like being told we have to clean out the scary closet in the basement.
Either way, this is happening whether we like it or not. Time to put on the big pants and take a look at it straight on. Ready? You’ve got this!
Is there such a thing as too much high-quality content?
Suddenly, this does seem to be the case! As a content creator, I’ve been operating under the assumption that “more is better.” Producing regular, high value content, optimized for my selected key words and phrases… This was the proper MO to kick butt on Google search.
Now, even if your content is really great, you could actually have too much of it. In this post, I’ll tell you why too much content (about the same topic) could be problematic for SEO. And, I’ll give some tips to solve those problems. Finally, I’ll talk you through the process of combining two articles and consolidating great material.
Why does too much content lead to SEO problems?
Google will now only show one or two results from the same domain in the search results. If you are a high authority domain, you might get away with three results. So, if you are writing about a similar topic a lot, you’ll have a bigger chance to suffer from keyword cannibalization. This means that if you focus your articles on the same topics and the same keywords, you’ll actually be competing with your own content.
Cue confusion… “Isn’t this what we were supposed to do?” Yep. But, Google changes the rules on us all the time because they need to ensure they are always producing good search results. We always have to earn our search ranking. There just can’t be a shortcut, as much as we all want one.
Again, this is good news. We have permission to clean up our existing content, rather than having to schedule 52 new blog posts for the year on the same subject.
Solving the SEO problem of too much high-quality content
Take a moment to look at your website, as well as your Google Analytics. What are the most visited pages and posts?
Google considers the articles that have the most internal links pointing towards them the most important content on your website. Figure out which articles are the most important and make sure to link to these within your website. This sounds easy, but it is a lot of work, especially if your site is large. You should be adding hand-picked, relevant links that are useful for someone visiting your website. Automation will not give you quality results.
Don’t panic! There are a lot of sites that keep adding content and do wonderfully in SEO. Just think about news sites for example. You can solve a lot of the SEO problems with a very good and hierarchical site structure.
You can also enjoy writing new content about new topics, and include a link to your highest valued pages or posts. This strengthens your SEO authority.
PRO TIP: a client of mine did this exercise. He did a quick Google search and realized that an old blog post was still ranking the highest. He realized this post promoted a product idea he hadn’t really thought of before. The next thing you know, he realized a whole new product campaign for 2019! This is a powerful exercise that might just delight and inspire you!
Having too much high-quality content on your website does not mean that you have to throw half of it away. About a year ago, I started noticing that I was suffering from keyword cannibalization at Greta Rose Agency. Since then, we have been combining a lot of articles (and moving articles to G.P.S.). Combining articles is not that different from writing a new article. Good preparation is half of the work.
Let me explain just how to do that:
Step 1: Which URL should you use?
The first step in combining two (or more) articles is deciding upon the URL you want to keep. Which of the articles attracted the most traffic? I’d recommend keeping the URL of the article that was most successful in the search engines.
Step 2: Decide upon a new message
If you want to combine articles, you’ll probably have two (or maybe even more) stories. Two articles that have a slightly different purpose and a different message. What is going to be the message of the new post?
In order to come up with your message, you could try to phrase a question which your new text should resolve. We refer to such a question as the central question of a text. The new blog post will be the answer to your central question. It could be that your new article will have the same message as one of the articles you’re planning to combine. It could also be a new (broader) message. Make sure to take some time to think about it.
Step 3: Write some new paragraphs & organize the old ones
Take your favorite paragraphs from both articles and block them out. Perhaps one group follows the other naturally, or perhaps you need to mix and match them a bit.
You’ll probably need to write some new paragraphs. Your introduction and your conclusion will probably need some altering. Perhaps you need to write an extra paragraph to make sure that the new article has a logical structure.
Step 4: Delete and redirect
You can now delete all of the old posts (except for the new and combined article). Of course, redirect those posts to the awesome new one you just created. I strongly recommend using Yoast Premium plugin to redirect automatically for you. Make sure you don’t have any broken links by checking each and every one!
Step 5: Republish that awesome content!
You have now created a new article. I would treat it as such and republish it on your website. The combined insights of those old articles are valuable for your readers. Don’t forget to share it on social media and in your newsletter either!
Conclusion on too much high-quality content
It is possible to have too much high-quality content on your website. If you have been blogging for some time, it is almost inevitable to have too many great articles. You’ll probably suffer from keyword cannibalization. That does not mean that you have to throw that content away! Work on your site structure, make sure that your internal linking structure is flawless. That is a lot of work but will pay off in your rankings. Also, combine articles that are about similar topics. Just create an awesome new combined article. Good luck with cleaning up that site!