Google’s John Mueller has cleared up any confusion around what to do with low quality content when he was asked about it today during a Google Webmaster Hangout.
First, Mueller gives a decidedly non-technical definition of low quality content:
“So, in general, when it comes to low quality content that’s something where we see your website is providing something but it’s not really that fantastic.”
What should you do if you happen to come across low quality content on your site? There are two approaches, Mueller says, so don’t jump to the conclusion that the content should be deleted.
The best solution is to keep the content where it is and improve upon it.
“There are two approaches to tackling this. On one hand you can improve your content, and from my point of view if you can improve your content that’s probably the best approach possible.”
Really take a look at the content and think about why you published it in the first place. If it has a purpose then make sure it adds value.
“You clearly had a reason for putting this out, now be serious about the content you put out and make sure it’s useful.”
Mueller adds that there may be extenuating circumstances where deleting the content is a better option.
Sometimes you may not be able to improve on low quality content because there’s just so much, or maybe it was all auto-generated at one point.
Rather than improving some pieces of content and not improving others, Mueller recommends being consistent and cleaning it all up.
Noindexing low quality content is an acceptable way of “cleaning it up,” Mueller says.
So there you have it. If there’s low quality content on your site that can be improved upon — do it. If you can’t, get rid of it.