After Google Panda update, we have seen growing trend of removing outdated and obsolete content from webmasters for ranking advantages. There were probably a thought that older and obsolete content could damage website reputation and rankings. Some were also scared of Panda as if having older content on site may invite Google wrath.
Recently, Google webmasters forum received a query that read:
“We have a huge amount of content, obviously I know it all won’t be indexed, so would there be potential ranking benefit from removing content older than 2 years old? ”
In his response to the question, Googler John Mueller denied any such possibility. John said that removing older content hardly brings any ranking advantage. Just because a content old doesn’t mean it’s bad content. He explained the situation otherwise. He said that heap of older and obsolete content affects crawling rate. If crawler takes so much time crawling older content, it will miss the new content. It will eventually lead to indexing and ranking loss.
What John said was already in the domain. Many webmasters had stressed the same assertion multiple times. To those who are ready to play safe and set to remove older content, John has a suggestion. He said that don't remove a page just because it's a couple of years old. Before removing any content, view through their Analytics first. If analytics shows good traffic to a page, it means Google considers it of high quality and rankable.If you unfortunately remove content that Google is sending traffic to, then your overall traffic would decline.
Content is all about the quality. If you are able to add quality and value to an older content by updating it, please go ahead. Removing value adding old content would actually devalue your site.