More and more, we are seeing Google provide webmasters with information and resources to implement a variety of best practices on their sites. One such recommendation, which is no secret, is the importance of having unique, relevant content on your website.
While a ton of webmasters are searching for different ways to boost the amount of content on their sites, there are some who actually reduce the amount of relevant content unsuspectingly, and unnecessarily.
I want to take a minute to explain how this is a fairly common practice. Here is one such example:
Bob has a real estate site. On his site are over 1,000 home listings, each with unique descriptions that Bob’s staff of copywriters have written. He typically sells about two homes a week, and once a home is sold, Bob naturally removes the listing from his site. The length of time that any one listing stays on the site is usually about three weeks.
Bob “naturally” removes the listings because why would he keep them up once they’ve been sold?
Even though a listing has been sold, the page is still comprised of unique content which is contributing to the overall relevancy of the site. In this type of situation, it is not uncommon for pages to be added to a site, then taken down before search engines even have time to find and index them. Why not benefit from the vast amount of time that was taken to create these listings? The solution: a Sold archive.
Archives are a great way to house dated content which continues to benefit a site. From sold real estate listings to old products, news articles and press releases, archives are beneficial not only from a search engine perspective, but a user perspective as well.
Let’s use Bob as an example again. Keeping a Sold archive on his site will give potential sellers the ability to view successful sales from the past, and help to facilitate a decision as to whether or not Bob is the right agent for them. A Discontinued Product archive can be used to alert customers to new, comparable products. A News archive will allow users to view past achievements, technology updates, etc.
Regardless of the type of content on your website, there are a number of ways in which archives can be beneficial from a user standpoint. And when combined with the added benefit they provide from a search engine standpoint, it’s a win-win situation.