Case Study

Content Pruning Efforts Help Reverse Traffic Loss & Lead to +23% increase in Traffic YoY




+23% Increase in Organic Traffic YoY after 5 years of -17% YoY Declines


Our client experienced organic traffic declines by an average of -17.3% YoY since 2018. YoY Trended Organic Traffic Declines

After an initial site audit, Seer identified 14K pages of lower value and duplicate content across the client's website.

Our goal was to prune the low value content in an effort to improve overall site quality, eliminate crawl bloat, and begin reversing declining traffic trends.


Simple, but not easy, we aimed to eliminate low value content, at scale, through Content Pruning and log file analyses.


1. Identified the Pages

Our first step was to crawl the website for a full list of URLs. We used those URLs alongside our client's analytics data to pull in relevant data points to complete step 2.

2. Determined Individual Page Values

To do so, we set a threshold on performance to help evaluate pages, at scale, by section.

The metrics used to determine the SEO value of a page were:

  • Organic traffic
  • Organic Impressions
  • Referring Domains / Backlinks
  • Keyword Rankings

3. Defined Criteria for "Minimal SEO Value" Pages

Pages that were at or below the following metric baselines were deemed minimal SEO value pages that we would take on to step 4.

  • 50 organic sessions
  • 50 organic impressions
  • 5 referring domains
  • 14 ranking keywords (position 1-100)

We identified 14K URLs that fit the criteria.

4. Evaluated 14K URLs

Not all URLs are created equally. Our evaluation of the minimal SEO value pages produced recommendations for how to handle each page:

  • 301 redirect
  • Noindex
  • 404
  • Block via robots.txt

5. Implementation

After that, we began working with the client to implement and QA our team's pruning recommendation. As of the time of this posting, we have a 90% completion rate on handling those 14K pages.

6. Calculated Wasted Crawl Budget Impact

Our team used log file data to observe and pull benchmarks on wasted crawl budget from 14K minimal value content before and after the pruning began.

Within 5 months into pruning implementation:

+8% lift in the number of hits to high value site sections

7. Future Proofing

Last thing on our list was to work with our client to update internal processes on checks and balances to prevent additional low value content from being created in the future 


For the first time since 2018, annual traffic has been on an upward trend for our client partner!

6-months of organic traffic growth since implementation.

+23% increase in organic traffic YoY as of Q1 2023

case study on successful content pruning
Source: AHref Client Partner Data

5-years of organic traffic declines is a hard challenge to solve and we are thankful for our client partner trusting Seer Interactive as their team to help them turn that trend around.


increase in Traffic YoY





increase of # of hits to priority site section



implementation rate