Question

Any tips on optimizing content

  • 22 October 2021
  • 3 replies
  • 37 views

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Hi guys,

do you have some tips on how to optimise content within the community and SEO-wise?

The use case (in real life ATM) is, that our company made a change to a service, which was unpleasant to a small but loud group of customers. We weren’t on top of our game as this change was made and the community members were the first ones to post questions and conversations to our community about this change. As a result, these questions are in the top 5 in Google searches.

Now we’ve made the decision to revert this change and announced it in the community with a new article. But this article does not seem attract interest well enough. I’ve linked this new article in all the existing questions, marked it as the best answer, but still it’s at place 8 in Google searches and has only a few hundred views… The original questions have almost 11K views in total.

 

Any tips? Or is this just a waiting game?


3 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Hi Suvi,

interesting situation you have there. It actually reminded me of other situations like product launches (e.g. the usual “new iPhone” threads) that pose a relatively similar challenge to direct Google performance the right way after a change.

Of course I don’t know all the details (like if these high-ranking questions are still valid / occuring), but I can break down some of the options for you:

 

De-index questions in Search Console

Withing Google Search Console, you can actually request specific urls to not be indexed. This process might take a few days, but it will achieve that outdated information is not misguiding users away from the more relevant information. You can read more about this here. Should you have questions / want me to check if I can do it for you, please let me know.

(Re-)Move content on the community

One (maybe obvious) choice could be to archive this content. If your archive is set (via category settings) to not index content, Google will catch up with that. Of course you can also remove the content, but I could see this as problematic for users that were active in that discussion.

Re-direct via script

I know that there is also a way do re-direct users to other pages via script. Basically, if someone tries to access this url, your announcement will automatically be loaded instead. I am not much in favor of this, simply because it means that also users clicking on a link on your community (e.g. in a category page) will not be able to access it any more.

 

As a last tip I also would recommend to not look at the total views on search results pages, but also at the amount of clicks it still receives. Chances are that people don’t click on it that often anymore.

Let me know if you have more questions around this!

Userlevel 5
Badge +3

Thanks for your thoughts @Julian ! 

Good ideas you’ve got there :relaxed:  We have de-listing as an option on the table, but we haven’t taken that step yet :relaxed:

Our actions have been

  • Pinning the “wanted” topic on the frontpage of the community and re-indexing the homepage, that should help us with Google :relaxed:
  • Re-optimising our topic and its title with the terms used in Google queries (we used the grammatically correct version, customers not..)
    ​​​

If these do not work, we’ll consider de-listing. Archiving could be one, but that might seem odd to our community members and send a message of us hiding unwanted content.

Userlevel 7
Badge +1

Yeah, for me in the end it always is a balance of directing the users where you want them to be, and preserving the user experience. That’s also why context is important here. If your users (for whatever reason) should still be able to find that content, I personally would also be against hiding it actively.

Let me know if something changes or if there is anything I can help with. :)

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