Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Neil Cheesman on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, April 4, 2019).

What to do with the expired events pages?

Scenario: About 1000 events/shows across 20+ venues each year - each event lasts a few days or a week or two.

The question is - what to do with the `expired` events... two of the leading websites in this market seem to leave the 
expired events with the same pages/urls etc

A benefit from this will no doubt be to `capture` some diminishing traffic trail... but... content that won`t satisfy the users although while on-site they might go elsewhere on the site...

The alternative is to delete these urls and let them go to an `optised` (with content) 404 page

Suggestions? Pros/Cons?

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Scott Clark: Could you convert the event pages to "event recap" pages? Then have a "similar events coming up" section on it? Give someone a free ticket to write up the event for this page?
  • Jeremy L. Knauff: ^ That’s your answer.
  • Neil Cheesman: Each event has a related events section on the page - which is a soon to be occurring event (updated) - and "free ticket for a write-up" - you need proper reviewers for that... London-based we have over 50 reviewers - I am thinking about `recruiting` fo the regional theatres.
  • Scott Clark: It sounds like you have your own answer to this, just bake in a workflow to morph the pages from "coming up" to "recap/review"
  • Neil Cheesman: the downside is the increase use on the server... although I think each url is minimal... in terms of Kb
  • Michael Martinez: Unless you have a very poor server you don`t need to worry about the potential load. Since there are so few venues to manage, you could try a hybrid scheme similar to John Bosworth`s method. For each venue create a "past events" page and redirect retired event URLs to that page. The past events page will preserve any PageRank-like value that the old event URLs may have accrued. The last thing you want to do is create a lot of 404 errors because people following those old links won`t be very satisfied with a "page not found" message.
  • John Bosworth: I work on a lot of job board sites and we tackled the ‘expired or no longer there’ situation by checking the url parameter on the 404 page and doing a server redirect to a custom page explaining the job was expired and these we’re the next best alternatives.

    More importantly, we returned a 410 status on this page so the old jobs were removed from seerch engines after so long so the site wasn’t smashed with huge 404 errors.
  • Stockbridge Truslow: My solution is tied into your "related events" thing you mentioned in a comment above... you can leave the old events and then drive the people who land on that forward by giving them an option to find something they`re interested in that`s coming up.

    The trick is to make sure you capture "what" it was they were looking for when that past event came up. Were they looking for shows at a specific "Venue"? (Click here to see upcoming shows at this venue). Were they looking for a specific "Act/Talent"? (Click here to see where is playing in the future.) Were they looking for a specific "type/genre of show"? (Click here to see more musicals, comedies, etc. based upon the category of the event they are looking at). Etc.

    As long as you`re driving the user forward - I think there`s benefit to those older events. If they are marked up properly, Google will devalue them as time goes by anyway - but it won`t remove them completely so they could very well come up again in the future (especially with long-tail searches).
  • Neil Cheesman: Thanks for your detailed feedback - this is the way forward :)

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Thursday, April 4, 2019).

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