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We have hundreds of PPC landing pages, similar to:

example.com/apples

Search engines have found these pages and ranked them. They are light on content and we have since created high quality organic pages we want to replace them with, like:

example.com/eating-apples

Despite following all SEO best practices on creating high quality content, good on-page code, and good interlinking, the second page will not show in searches, even though it is more relevant based on tools like Moz page grading. The second page (/eating-apples) is in the engines' indexes for several months now.

The only thing I can think of is the first page (/apple) is over 3 years old and the second one is just a few months old.

I do not want to do any redirects if I can help it, so could I use canonical URL to point /apple to /eating-apples? That way, we can still send PPC traffic to /apple but tell the search engines that /eating-apples is the appropriate organic page?

Or, do I need to block organic traffic to /apples using robots.txt or no follow and hope that the search engines pickup the /eating-apples page?

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As Stephen suggests: don't block the PPC pages in robots.txt as it runs the risk of not having any of the pages rank properly.

I suppose the best way to deal with this is to increase or keep increasing the number of internal/external links to the SEO pages. That way Google might/will start to think of those as more relevant to show in their result pages over the old and trusted PPC pages that is has ranking highly now.

Perhaps you could even transfer some old links to the PPC pages to the new SEO pages to increase the signal that you want those to rank?

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    I think the canonical tags they suggested are a decent idea. Using canonicals would probably help. Jul 17 '17 at 14:11
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It seems some others agreed with my idea of using canonical tags to move the page (/apples) and link equity (aka link juice) to the new page (/eating-apples) so I thought I'd post this as a possible answer.

To summarize, a canonical tag would be placed on the PPC landing page (/apples) with an URL value pointing to the new organic page (/eating-apples). Any links, link equity, PageRank would be transferred to the new organic page from the old PPC page by way of the canonical tag. Whether or not this will result in the new page ranking is left to be seen.

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