There’s a good chance that if your brand has been creating content for a long time, you’ll reach a point where topics and themes overlap. You may even have several pieces of thin content on similar subjects spread out over different pages.

This could be because of the preconceived idea that the more content you produce, the more Google will reward you with higher rankings. However, you now face the dilemma of multiple pieces of content all competing for the same search intent.

Google’s algorithms aim to show no more than two results from the same domain for a given query. So along with your rivals, you could be competing against yourself as well. This is where content consolidation comes into play.

Here’s a quick look at some golden opportunities for content consolidation, and how to provide your audience with worthwhile experiences.

Why should you consolidate content

Content consolidation can:

  • Streamline your content efforts and increase the chances of high ranking pages.
  • Improve link building efforts as other sites will only have one version of your content to point back to.
  • Make it easier for users to locate the information they’re looking for.
  • Help you to remove underperforming content that may be doing more harm than good.

Opportunities to consolidate content include:

  • Thin content – If certain pages are light on content, Google could determine that they don’t provide value to users.
  • Duplicate content – Even though Google doesn’t penalise sites for duplicate content, multiple URLs hosting the same content could consume crawl budget and dilute signals.
  • Outdated or obsolete content – A user that comes across your outdated content is more likely to bounce from your site, taking their business along with them.
  • Content that doesn’t get any traffic – Use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to identify which pieces of content are failing to help you reach your business goals.

How to consolidate your content

  • Get rid of content that doesn’t provide value

“If it’s very thin content, then . . . we might just spend crawl budget on pages that are, in the end, not performing or not even being indexed anymore,” says Martin Splitt, developer advocate at Google. “It is usually a good idea to see [whether a] piece of content really does not perform well; let’s take it down or at least change it.”

  • Combine content that serves a similar purpose

Regardless of the stage of the buyer’s journey, most users will be looking for answers to multiple questions closely related to each other. For example, would-be car owners will want to know about miles per gallon, safety ratings and special features to name a few.

Rather than having numerous articles addressing each question individually, think about combining content so it’s all in the same place. You’ll not only reduce the amount of competing content but also deliver a better user experience.

  • Refresh existing pages (instead of creating new ones)

“I wouldn’t create a new page that basically says the same thing because, especially when they’re really similar, [Google] might just think one is a duplication of the other and then canonicalize them together, no matter what you do in canonical tags,” Splitt advises.