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We have a site with a high volume of traffic, but a single page accounts for about 90% of the visits from Google organic search (our primary source of traffic). The site has several hundred pages in total, however, the page in question is pretty far off topic from the primary topics/ goals of the site. It just happens to be a very old page with a lot of great content that Google loves.

Here's the issue. The other pages on the site (the one's that actually matter to the business) are getting less traffic over time. It seems that Google may have become confused about what the business really does, and is delivering more off-topic traffic, and less on-topic traffic over time.

Question: Should we kill the page that's attracting off-topic traffic to eliminate the risk of Google being confused? What are the potential downsides to killing it?

  • Is the page taking significant resources to keep up? Does it require extra servers, content updates, or moderation? – Stephen Ostermiller Jun 7 '17 at 0:47
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    What's the bounce rate from that page? – JCL1178 Jun 7 '17 at 6:34
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I've been in your shoes. You would be a braver human than I was to kill a page that is bringing in ~90% of your organic search traffic even if Google is getting confused.

What are the potential downsides to killing it?

Obviously, loss of a heckuva lot of traffic to the site. Your analytics should inform the decision here:

  • Is the bounce rate/exit rate on the page in the 90's?
  • Are you getting any movement off that page and onto the "relevant" pages?
  • If the answers above are Yes and No (respectively), have you optimized the popular page to attempt to move people in the right direction?

If you haven't already, make sure your internal linking strategy is as good as it can possibly be and use every available space on the popular page to link to your more relevant content. You could also change the page to drip the bulk of the content in exchange for something from the user (newsletter sign-up, etc). This would also be a good time to use heatmaps to see where users are touching the page and maybe introduce your own banner ads or similar linking strategy.

tl;dr I cannot recommend in good conscience that you throw away that much traffic. Try to manipulate your visitors onto the more relevant pages and Google will follow that signal.

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Plz don't kill that page! And don't worry about Google confusion. He is only focus upon the UX of your website rather than your business objective.

The above answer is as per my real experience for the same situations & Unfortunately at that time we had deleted that page & loose that client. ;)

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