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What is a zombie page?

One of the topics that have been considered after the recent Google updates to optimize the user experience about the content of websites is zombie pages or so-called zombie pages. Zombie pages officially swallow our site creep budget, reduce its credibility and put our site SEO in a downward spiral.

But do not worry! Fortunately, there are still solutions we can use to identify and optimize zombie pages. If you think your site is experiencing this issue, or you would like to know about these pages and prevent them from forming in the future, do not miss the rest of this article. Because in addition to answering the question “What is a zombie page?”, We are going to get acquainted with the types of these pages and the immediate solutions to identify and optimize them; So join us.

What is a zombie page?

In the definition of “what are zombie pages,” we must say, zombie pages are pages that generate little traffic or no traffic to our site at all. These pages may be indexed, but because they fail to attract real visitors for a variety of reasons, they waste our site crawl budget.


Zombie pages usually contain pages with poor performance, very poor content, and structural flaws and have no value. These pages go to the buried pages of Google (pages 10 onwards) over time, but their negative impact on on-site SEO is increasing every day. To better understand this, in the next section we will examine Google’s approach to these pages.

Google’s algorithms approach to zombie pages

You probably know that Google has some very important algorithms for evaluating the quality of site content based on user experience; Panda algorithm, Freshness algorithm, and Rank Brain algorithm. Each of these algorithms takes into account different factors for ranking the content of different pages of our site.

Zombie pages do not have enough value to earn points from these algorithms. As a result, when Google finds that these pages are of no use to visitors, it either does not index them or, if indexed, buries them in pages 15 or 16 (even higher). Over time, Google will notice our passivity in optimizing and updating these pages, and this time it doubts the credibility of our site and is gradually preparing its yellow card; Google’s approach to zombie pages is just as simple and serious.


Why is it important to identify zombie pages?

Now that we know what zombie pages are, it’s a good idea to know why identifying a Zombie Page is so important before you know the types of pages. In a nutshell, identifying zombie pages is important in three ways:

  • Improve the user experience of visitors; Deleting or optimizing a site’s zombie pages allows for a better user experience and increased site conversion rate.
  • Improving the quality score or credibility of the site in terms of search engines; As we said in previous articles, search engines evaluate a site from different aspects, one of these aspects is the content of the site. Modifying zombie pages will improve the credibility of our site and its position.
  • Site creep budget optimization; Deleting or rewinding zombie pages optimizes the crawl budget. This will distribute the site crawl budget between its most important pages.

Get acquainted with all kinds of zombie pages

But let’s go to the introduction of all kinds of zombie pages! If before reading this article, you thought that zombie pages are just pages that have poor content, then you will find that these pages, just like the scary and weird characters in Hollywood zombie movies, have different types, which are:

1. Pages that are not indexed

The first group of zombie pages is pages that have been loaded for a long time but have not yet been indexed. These pages usually have technical problems, such as very long load times or scripts that do not run. In the process of crawling the pages of the site, Google does not select pages that are slow, have a loading problem, or are involved in issues that are likely to be abandoned by users; As a result, these pages are not indexed. Because Google perceives that these pages will not be visited or will not receive direct traffic from Google.

2. Pages that are not responsive

The next group is pages that are not responsive. These pages are not optimized for mobile or tablets, or it takes longer for users to navigate them on mobile phones and tablets. As a result, Google fines them for trivializing the subject matter of the site’s user experience, which lowers the site’s ranking.

3. Pages whose content is very weak and old

There are two types of zombie pages:

  • Published pages that have not been updated for several years. Google is downgrading these pages to the fact that they are no longer active.
  • Pages with content less than 300 words or content that does not meet the needs of the user and is used only to fill the page. These pages are also penalized and gradually reduce the site ranking.

4. Pages that are not optimized for search engines

There are other types of zombie pages that do not meet the internal SEO criteria, such as inappropriate title, lack of H1 to H3 headings, lack of SEO title and meta description, lack of specific keywords,s and so on. These pages will not be successful in search engine results, because even the minimum SEO on-page is not considered in them. To read more about this topic, we suggest you read the article ” What is internal SEO “.

5. Important pages to which we have linked from the footer of the site

The next zombie pages are the pages that are one of the most important SEO elements of the site in the footer of the main page, but they have no content. Do not be surprised! Many sites still do not realize the importance of a page about us, terms and conditions, contact us, and so on. While their existence is one of the basic requirements of SEO. The emptiness of these pages makes Google consider them Zombie Page zombies.

6. Pages that are orphaned

Orphan pages are pages that Google crawlers do not find because they are not linked to other pages and are not accessible from the site menus. These pages have almost no chance of attracting traffic, so Google may recognize them as zombies.

7. Any page that does not need to be on another site

In addition to the above, there are pages on sites that do not require a user and their existence is not necessary. These pages are also a kind of zombie page. But how do we identify these pages? Is it easy to identify them? The answers to these questions are given in the next section of the content.


Solutions for immediate detection of zombie pages

As we discussed in the previous section, zombie pages can take many forms. But the important thing is to identify, optimize or delete these pages. We have to find them before we enter the optimization and removal phase. There are two ways to do this:

The first method; Identification with the help of Google Console Search

Enter the Google console search of our site and click on the Performance tab. When our site performance is displayed, click on the “+” icon and select the “Page” option. From the “Filter and Compare” options, click Compare and enter the URLs of pages that we think perform poorly on a good page. This way we can identify pages that are not working well, have a severe drop in traffic, or no traffic at all.

The second method; Manual identification

This method is used for small sites that we are somewhat familiar with zombie pages. In this method, we enter the URL of the page that we suspect, in the Performance section of the search console to know the status of its index. After knowing the status of the page index, we make a decision about it.

How to identify zombie pages with Google Search Console

Introducing 5 techniques for optimizing zombie twists and improving site SEO

We hope that this part of the article answers the question “What are zombie pages” well, and that you have a correct understanding of the nature of these pages. But whatever the turn, it’s time to introduce some great and immediate techniques to solve the problem of zombie pages. To optimize zombie pages you need:

1. Strengthen and optimize the content of these pages

If the zombie pages we have identified the need to review the content and add new content, we must do so. With this strategy, our worthless pages are revived. So let’s try to enrich these pages with video, video, podcast, and content in addition to updating the text content. After completing these steps, we can request the indexing of these pages again.

2. Review the internal SEO of these pages

In the case of pages whose content SEO is not observed, we must do content SEO after updating the content. These include page URL, H1 title and tag, meta title, meta description, schema, image SEO, keyword density, introduction, call to action, and content structure layout. In this method, we have to request a manual index after finishing the work.

3. Improve the user experience of these pages

If you remember, in the introduction of different types of zombie pages, we also mentioned non-responsive pages. The solution to optimizing these pages is to improve the user experience these pages; Like responsive design and improved loading speed.

4. Redirect zombie pages

The next step is to redirect these pages. We can redirect pages that are not content-compliant and contain important links to high-traffic or related content. For example, suppose we have a few articles with poor content and no traffic, and one popular and popular article. The best we can do is redirect all these articles to the main and most visited article to build credibility for that page. For more information, we suggest you read the article What is a 301 redirect .

5. Delete these pages forever

If none of these methods are suitable for optimizing a zombie page and that page is not indexed at all, get rid of it and delete it. To do this, just go to the console search panel and the Removals section, enter the address of that page in the New Request section, and wait for Google to delete it forever.

How to remove zombie pages in Google console search

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to identify and remove zombie pages?

Because these pages waste the site creep budget, degrade the quality of user experience in using the site, reduce conversion rates and hurt the site’s reputation against Google.

What is the best tool to identify zombie pages?

The first and best tool is Google Search Console. In the next step, if the site is small, we can manually identify them to some extent.

How to solve the problem of zombie pages?

The first step is to identify the type of these pages, then choose the treatment. For example, if a page is weak in terms of internal SEO, or has poor content, we should work on strengthening its internal SEO, or if we find a page that is really useless, we should remove it altogether.

Concluding remarks

In this article, we got acquainted with different types of zombie pages, and methods of identifying and optimizing them. If you need to review the pages of your site according to the description we gave, get started sooner. But if you are just starting out, what you have learned will help you to avoid creating such pages in the future.

We would like to know your opinions and experiences with zombie pages. If you think there is a topic that we have not covered in this article, or you have an experience that you would like to share with us and other audiences, we would be happy to raise it in the comments section. Rest assured we will respond to you as soon as possible.