Save Time on SEO Using the Cruft Finder
by Arina Smith Marketing 08 February 2018
The world of search-engine optimization (SEO) is constantly changing, and people naturally pay attention to the “new rules” to success. Some things never change, though, and that includes the importance of cleaning up your site’s junk URL’s and low quality content (also known as the cruft).
“There are many secrets to SEO, but at the end of the day it all begins and ends with what’s on your website,” explains Jason Berkowitz of Break the Web SEO.
Fortunately, even if you’re not the most tech savvy or you just want a quick solution, there’s the Cruft Finder, a tool which specializes in picking out the cruft pages for any site.
What Is Cruft?
The term “cruft” means anything that’s left over, doesn’t serve any purpose and can even be a liability. It first became popular among developers who used it to describe unnecessary code.
In the context of a website, cruft consists of any pages or URLs that serve little purpose and are holding the site back. The two most common types of cruft are pages with low-quality content and junk URLs.
Why Is It Important to Get Rid of Cruft?
Here’s the problem with cruft – it brings down your entire site, and that’s because search engines take your site’s overall quality into account when ranking its pages.
There are several important factors that go into your site’s overall quality from the viewpoint of the search engine bots. First and foremost is the quality of its content. How people view your brand is important, as are engagement signals and its perceived authority.
The simplest way to get your site’s pages ranking higher is by improving its overall quality. Publishing great content and getting backlinks are effective ways to do this, but the most dramatic results occur when you eliminate your site’s cruft.
By deindexing pages on your site that are low in quality, you can immediately raise the average quality of each page on your site. Those craft pages are essentially weighing down your good and great pages, preventing them from achieving higher search rankings. Cutting the cruft is the solution.
Finding Your Site’s Cruft:
Although deindexing your site’s cruft can help, you can negatively impact your site if you choose the wrong pages and URLs. That’s where the Cruft Finder, created by the team at Inflow, can come in handy.
The tool is Google Sheets-based, and all you need to do is enter your site’s URL in the Root Domain field. The Cruft Finder works particularly well on locating cruft specific to e-commerce sites, and if you have one of those, you can select its platform under the platform drop-down box, such as Shopify or WooCommerce. Otherwise, you can stick to the Platform Agnostic option.
Cruft Finder should run automatically, but if it doesn’t, you can go under the Select Option drop-down box, and then select Run. When it runs, the tool populates the spreadsheet with all your site’s potential cruft, making it much easier to find.
You may want to do more research on specific pages if the Cruft Finder detects a substantial amount of cruft. Regardless, the tool can get you started on removing your craft and improving your SEO.
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