Google’s John Mueller recommends that websites with rotating seasonal content should keep it all contained on one URL.
This topic came up during a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout when someone asked for advice on how to handle seasonal content when the season is over.
The individual asking the question said he has a client who removes Christmas content when the season is over and republishes it again the following year.
Could that cause problems with ranking and indexing? If so, what’s the best course of action?
In response, Mueller offered two possible solutions.
Solution 1: Publish the content for a reasonable length of time
Regularly removing and republishing content will cause Google to look at the content differently than it would otherwise, Mueller says.
If that’s what the client insists on doing, then Mueller recommends at least leaving the content up for a “reasonable” length of time.
It will also help if the content is linked to elsewhere on the website, especially the homepage.
That will let Google know the content is relevant and should be considered important.
Here is Mueller’s exact response:
“I think that’s always a tricky situation if you have something that’s so seasonal that you want to remove the content afterwards.
When you remove the content, and when you remove it from our index, then the next time we find the content again we have to think about is this content really here or is this just going to disappear again. So that’s something where I don’t know what the best approach there would be.
I think if you can keep your Christmas content up for a reasonable amount of time, that it’s not just a matter of days we have available to actually index this content, then probably that will work.
In general you also need to make sure that it’s clearly relevant within your website as well. So, in particular, on your homepage and elsewhere on your website, kind of link to your Christmas content.
So it’s not just that we can find those URLs, but actually so that we see it’s something really important that you think is relevant there. And that’s something you could do for seasonal content in general.
Solution 2: Use a single URL for all seasonal content
Another solution that would work is using one URL for all seasonal content published throughout the year.
From Google’s perspective it’s acceptable to swap out Thanksgiving content with Christmas content, and then again with Easter content, and so on.
Mueller recommends this solution because the URL would build up link equity. Google would then understand that the URL is relevant and important.
Again, this will only work if the content remains on the URL for a reasonable length of time.
Swapping out content on the same URL on a day-to-day basis is not recommended.
Here is Mueller’s exact quote:
One thing you could also do is use one single URL and reuse that depending on the individual seasons that you want to target.
So if you have Thanksgiving content, and then you have Christmas content, and then you have Easter content, or whatever you have, then it might make sense to have one page that’s just for seasonal activities essentially. Where you swap out the content depending on what season you’re trying to target.
That would make it a little bit easier for us to recognize that’s actually something really important. Because that one URL would collect links over a longer period of time. It would be something that people could refer to and link to in the long run.
That’s something that would help us to understand that this is actually pretty relevant. Even if the theme of that page changes over the course of the year, as long as you’re not changing the theme of the page day-by-day, then I think in general that would work out.”
Hear the full question and answer in the video below (starting at 32:57):
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