John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google was asked a question, whether to delete or keep low ranking content on a website or How to know which content to block (no-index meta-tag)?
John Mueller explained why some low traffic pages are okay and how to identify pages to block.
In general, Google looks at the content on a per-page basis and try to understand the site on an overall basis, to understand how well is this site working, is this something that users appreciate. Does the website follow best practices and guidelines?
He states that traffic isn’t necessarily the metric to use for judging whether a page is of low quality.
How to know when content is truly low quality.
John Mueller explains, if you’re publishing articles from … hundreds of different authors and they’re from varying quality and some of them are really bad, they’re kind of hard to read, they’re structured in a bad way, their English is broken.
And some of them are really high-quality pieces of art, almost that you’re providing. Then creating that kind of a mix on a website makes it really hard for Google and for users to understand that actually you do have a lot of gems on your website…
So that’s the situation where I would go in and say, we need to provide some kind of quality filtering, or some kind of quality bar ahead of time so that users and Google can recognize, this is really what I want to be known for.
And these are all things, maybe user-submitted content, that is something we’re publishing because we’re working with these people, but it’s not what we want to be known for.
Then that’s the situation where you might say, maybe I’ll put noindex on these, or maybe I’ll initially put noindex on these until I see that actually they’re doing really well.
So for that, I would see it making sense that you provide some kind of quality filtering.
But if it’s a news website, where… by definition, you have a variety of different articles, they’re all well-written, they’re reasonable, just the topics aren’t that interesting for the long run, that’s kind of normal.
That’s not something where I’d say you need to block that from being indexed. Because it’s not low-quality content. It’s just less popular content.Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-explains-content-pruning/