Blog Post Consolidation for More Traffic

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EmeraldHike

EmeraldHike

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I just thought I'd throw this out there to see if it helps anyone. I've got a blog that's about 16 years old. It hardly gets any traffic. It used to get tons of traffic back between 2005 and 2008. I'll admit that I may have screwed things up somewhat along the way because I changed domain names twice, but I honestly think it should be getting more traffic than it is now. I launched the blog in 2004 and initially wrote about home improvement, but as the time passed, I began writing about more and more topics. Today, there are over 1,800 posts and I'm only getting about 100 visitors per day. Back when I was just a few years into the blog, I'd get that number of visitors for just one post. Through the years, I've watched as the traffic has slowly fallen. It's actually quite depressing.

I was just paging through some of the posts on this blog a few moments ago when I realized what I suspect is wrong. While I've got tons of posts, many of them were written on the same or very similar topics. Most of these posts would be considered parts of various series. For instance, I've got about 100 posts on different garden flowers. I added a few photos of flowers and then added a line or two about each one. As another example, I had written a very long story that was broken up into about 20 parts. I created one post that included the entire story and then 20 more posts that included the parts. And as a final example, I used to take flying lessons and I'd describe each lesson in its own post. Today, there are approximately 50 posts that are only marginally good. In each of these cases, I can consolidate posts into just one for each topic. For example, I can make one "Garden Flowers" post, one "Story" post, and one "Flying" post. All I would need to do is copy and paste the content and photos of the multiple posts into a new one(s) that covers the entire series. That way, the search engines won't think I'm running a lousy site with a bunch of junk posts. My pages will be thicker with good content. The thin pages will then be deleted. It'll be sort of like a forum where each series of posts will be treated as a long thread. I think that's the way to go.

I just took another look at this blog. I noticed another series of posts that can easily be consolidated into one. I did some bushcrafting a while ago and wrote a few different posts on handy knots that I used. In each post, I described a knot. These are fairly short posts that describe the knot and show a few photos. I think it would be beneficial if I were to merge all the posts into one and break that post down into sections. I'll add the photos to those sections where they make sense. That way, the search engines would appreciate the thick and bulky high quality content, so I'll get the SEO benefit and the readers will see all of my resources in one place. I think they'd like that as well.

I read up on this a bit and it seems that content consolidation and blog post consolidation is all the rage these days for SEO. People out there claim to have had their search engine traffic double, triple, and then some. I like that idea. I've never liked the posts the way they are. So many of them can be removed, but I'll first see if I can combine them into unique longer posts.

Do you have any experience consolidating your blog posts? If so, how did things turn out? Did you get more traffic? Were you suffering from Google Panda? I think that's the spell my website is under currently. Having only 100 visitors a day is no way to live.
 
EmeraldHike

EmeraldHike

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Okay, I've worked a few hours on consolidating some of my blog posts. I have to say that the experience has been rather eye opening. I had no idea how many lousy blog posts I had and I must report that it's quite a few. Apparently, back in 2008-2012 I wrote a lot of "thoughts." Stuff that no one in the world would be interested in. If you think about it though, I was doing the right thing. I was using my blog as a "web log." I was supposed to jot down thoughts about many a different thing. Well, that's what I did and I somehow ended up with over 1,900 posts, many of which were garbage.

What I've done so far is to combine topics into very long posts. So instead of having a category named "Hiking" that contained 35 shorter posts with some decent photos, I now have one post titled something like, "My Hiking Adventures" that includes all the posts merged into one. Yes, it's a long post, but I think that will be much better than the 35 scattered ones. It'll be one URL that the search engines might have more respect for.

I've done this consolidating with about 150 posts so far. I've whittled them down into three. Yes, that's three posts. And beyond that, I simply deleted about 20 posts about nothing. You know, a short blurb and then an embedded YouTube video. Those have got to be the worst of the worst.

Remember, Google likes long informative posts, so my advice to you is if you have written about learning tennis in the past via many articles, why not merge those multiple articles into one long one? It'll be easier for people who are interested to read and it may actually earn you some search engine love along the way.
 
Newman

Newman

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I've done this in the past. I once had a blog that had many short posts. I had thousands of them. The thing is, they were very helpful. Many of them were "how to" posts that didn't require a lot of writing to go along with the picture. I decided to merge many of the posts into single posts that were considered more thematic than anything else. My search engine traffic went up a lot after I got rid of all those posts.

There's an important aspect of large numbers of blog posts that you need to remember as a blogger. Let's say you have five categories and 500 posts. If you show 10 posts per category page, that's going to give you 10 pages in a paginated series (if you have 100 posts per category). WordPress only shows a few pagination page links at the bottom of each page, so it may take a few clicks to get to those old posts. That's not good because with each click there's a huge reduction in pagerank. This is one of the primary reasons that old posts don't rank anymore. They're buried on page 329 and it take 72 clicks to get there. People don't think of this when writing large volumes of information. If you consolidate your blog posts so there are fewer of them overall, you'll reduce the numbers, therefore reducing the amount of clicks it'll take to get to each one. So you'll end up with nice long posts that have higher pagerank. This should increase the value of your site overall.

You say that you're only getting about 100 visitors a day now. I've had single posts that have gotten 1,000 visitors per day, so don't worry when it comes to reducing the number of posts you have. Your visitor number should climb once you get things in order.
 
EmeraldHike

EmeraldHike

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I've been working on consolidating my posts for a few days now and am happy to report excellent progress. I've reduced the post count by about 200. Boy, as I look at some of these things, there's no wonder why I've been losing traffic. Some of them had absolutely no business being individual posts. They were totally parts of longer posts. For instance, I merged about 20 knot tying posts into one. I merged about 15 porch construction posts into one. About 50 airplane flying posts into one. About 5 crown molding cutting posts into one. And on and on. It's a real pain because I've got to save and then upload all the images, but it'll be worth it in the long run. So many of these posts have been popular in the past and I've had people contact me to see if I had other similar posts. Now, they'll all be in one place, so I suspect my visitors will like that. And so will Google, I'm sure.

I'll continue on consolidating every day until I'm finished. Just wait until I get to the flowers. Man, that's a ridiculous category. About 100 posts that should go into one. Crazy.
 
Blog Post Consolidation for More Traffic was posted on 12-19-2020 by EmeraldHike in the Tech Forum forum.
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