Tech News Point of Sale CNET has removed thousands of old articles from its site and tells staff the removals will improve its ranking in Google Search, according to an internal memo. the news was first reported by gizmodo.
gizmodo reports that, since July, thousands of items have been removed from CNET. In it memorandum, CNET It says that so-called content pruning “sends a signal to Google that CNET is new, relevant, and worthy of being ranked higher than our competitors in search results.” Stories scheduled to be “stale” are archived using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, with authors alerted at least 10 days in advance, according to the memo.
“Removing content from the site is not a decision we take lightly. Our teams analyze many data points to determine if there are pages on CNET that are not currently serving a meaningful audience. These metrics include page views, backlink profiles, and the amount of time that has passed since the last update,” the memo says.
A comparison between the Wayback Machine files of 2021 and CNETThe site’s own article counter shows that hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of stories have disappeared each year dating back to the mid-1990s. Data for 2022 and 2023 was not available. Red Ventures, a private equity-backed marketing firm that owns CNET, He did not immediately respond to questions about the exact number of stories that have been removed.
Red Ventures has applied a ruthless SEO strategy to its list of outlets, which also includes The Points Guy, Healthline, and Bankrate. In January, futurism reported that CNET it had been quietly using artificial intelligence tools to produce articles, part of an expansive AI-powered SEO move that used generative AI tools to create content that could include affiliate ads. In the wake of that disclosure and the resulting bugs in AI-generated stories, Red Ventures temporarily halted content and revised its AI policy. CNET The staff unionized in May, citing a need for more control over how generative AI tools are used and how the site monetizes their work. (Disclosure: The editorial staff at The Verge is also unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East.)
red companies and CNET Justify the content pruning by pointing to Google Search’s ranking algorithm, saying that the process will “improve SEO rankings and drive more meaningful user engagement.” As gizmodo points out, deleting a portion of your files is not inherently a good SEO strategy: Google has saying his guide does not encourage the practice, although SEO experts said gizmodo which can be beneficial for sites if done carefully.
Red Ventures seems unfazed. According to the note, CNET will be subject to regular “content pruning” in the future, at least once a year.