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I have a plan to delete many thin content pages (more than 8000-10000 pages) from my websites. These pages created automatically by WordPress system, they are ATTACHMENT PAGES automatically created every time I uploaded the images files.

These attachment pages actually get some traffic also and some of it even proceed to the sales of my company (but only 3-5% of the total sales).

Each ATTACHMENT PAGES contain only:

  • The image
  • title and description (auto pulled from image's name)
  • h1 (auto pulled from image's name)
  • "p" and "li" tag (auto pulled from image's name)
  • The attachment pages contain no internal link and external link.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about:

enter image description here

Someone told me that lots of thin content pages would hurt the overall ranking of the website. Actually my website has only 10 main pages which are rich in content (95% of sales are from these 10 main pages). All those ATTACHMENT PAGES are not off topic keyword content but thin and still relevant to the products that my company is selling.

I am a bit worry:

  1. Should I delete all these thin content attachment pages?
  2. Will the overall ranking of the 10 main rich content pages get better after deleting those thin content pages?
  3. If I delete them, it will return a real huge amount of 404 pages (8000-10000 pages) immediately in one night, will this have a bad impact on the ranking of the existing 10 main rich content pages?
  4. Is better to return 410 redirection if such a huge amount of URL will be deleted.
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I'm curious as to how these pages contribute to sales. WordPress media pages don't usually have links to this the rest of the site. How are users landing on these pages and then making their way to a full pages where they can buy something?

Thin content can hurt your site, but these pages probably aren't hurting the rest of your site because they get so little traffic. Google notices that your site has thin content when most of the visitors that land on your site encounter usability problems due to thin content. Removing these thin pages is probably not going to boost your main 10 pages and you would certainly lose the sales associated with users landing on these thin pages.

That being said, WordPress is just dumb for creating these thin pages to begin with. There's no good reason that any CMS should create a page for image.

I would not recommend returning a 410 gone status for these pages. The usual way to handle this problem in WordPress is to redirect the attachment pages to the attachment itself. If somebody visits the page for an image they instead get a redirect to the image itself. Redirecting to the image is a much more user-friendly way of getting rid of these pages then removing them entirely.

The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress as a setting for doing this redirect for you. If you're going to remove the attachment pages, I'd recommend installing Yoast and having it implemented for you.

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  • Hi @Stephen Ostermiller Thanks for your answers it helps me alot. Regarding your question about how it contributes to sales, the attachment pages can rank in search result especially the low competition keywords. All my images are named with the product name + some keywords mostly are very low competition keywords. Then i have more than 10000 pages of attachment pages with almost different low competition keywords. This fills all the low competition keywords gap in the market. The attachment pages have header which contains the menu navigation to main pages, user can navigate to. May 18 at 16:45
  • There could be an opportunity to create better pages for these keywords. May 18 at 17:44

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