As one of the content writing and SEO team at XRF Digital, I often have a chat with clients about the copy they have on their website.  Some clients have pages and pages of interesting content on their website however there are absolutely no links going to the content which means search engines will have difficulty finding it, and therefore it won’t be placed in front of those searching, so very low traffic, if any.

What is Orphaned Content?

This is content on your website which has no links to it, and therefore hard to find by both search engines and those searching for your particular topic/keyword.

The best way to get your content shown to the right people is to make sure that you have internal links (contextual links), external links and relevant links from other websites to your content.  It is essential that you do not stuff your content with links that have no relevance to the topic.  You should only link to other content which would enrich the information you are sharing.

orphaned content showing laptop

For more information on internal links take a look at one of our previous blogs Internal Links.

When we create new websites for our clients we often migrate data across, and then we work with the client to ensure that the content is still relevant and that the content structure is user friendly.

It is no surprise that with many older websites there are many pages that are on the same topic, when creating a new website we help our clients to identify these and create a new page combining all the content together.  This not only keeps the content fresh and relevant but also gives in many cases a far more informative and in-depth article.

Why Do I Have Orphaned Content?

Many of our clients have lots of interesting informative information that they share with their customers, many write an excellent blog and they will share that perhaps on their social media accounts and then they go back to focusing on their business.   In no time at all this content is forgotten (Orphaned Content) and the post on the social media account gets lost when more recent posts are submitted.

A great way of keeping on top of your content is to make a plan of what you will be writing looking at where that could link to on your site, for example in this blog we talk about internal linking, so it makes sense to put an internal link to a former blog which focuses on internal linking and how you implement them.

We also discuss how when we create a new website for our clients we migrate their data across, so we have linked to our web design page to show the visitor the web design service we offer.

We have a blog plan and we know what relevant links will be used well in advance, this also means we can easily go back and check should there be any major changes with any of the topics we have written, we can then go in and update the information.  In the same token in some cases, the content is no longer relevant, and therefore can be removed, however, do not forget to deal with the URL in the correct way by either redirecting the URL to another relevant page or 410 (page deleted) so the search engine understands what has happened to that page.

How Can I Check My Website?

You can check your website for Orphaned Content by using various free tools on the internet, I like to use Screaming Frog, which has a free version that will allow you to check all manner of things, however for a real in-depth check you will need to upgrade and pay.

Other good tools include ahrefs and Yoast

With the paid versions of the tools such as with YOAST, it is very easy for you to identify and manage your orphaned content.


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