Should I delete "Trash bin" forum topics? Bad for SEO?

Impaler

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
27
Hello, I have a question to ask.

For many years and up to this day I have this old forum section at the bottom of my board called Trash bin. And various deleted posts and topics were automatically sent there when deleted and is staying there even today.

There are almost 18k replies. 95%-98% of that forum section consists of topics having one deleted comment as its first post and that's it. People can't reply to these topics. Those are short and quite useless posts which seldom have a few relevant keywords.

I'd like to explain more in depth how it works. For example there is a topic "My summer" with replies. A mod deletes a useless comment from the topic and a topic is made in Trash bin with title "From: My summer" and it contains that delete post.

I kept it for all these years hoping that it would somehow help with SEO by having random people googling stuff and ending up in the topic that is in trash but in turn discover my forum and move on to other topics and become a members down the line. Even to this day I manage to find results on google that are nothing but a result page of a certain search query. That's not useful at all per se as for an user but helps to discover the original site.

Now in 2021 should I be deleting this Trash bin and its topics? Is it bad for SEO nowdays? What are the exact reasons for deleting it or keeping it? Or should I hide and archive it but keep that section in case a time comes when it would become beneficial in some way? Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks!
 

Matt M

Developer
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
471
Having a bunch of random disconnected comments isn't going to help you.

Any minor SEO advantage will be burned the second they bounce back out because the keyword they were seeking did indeed match on your site, but the topic was not helpful.

Stop thinking about SEO and focus on what is right for your community.
 

Impaler

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
27
Also is there a way to actually measure if anything is indexed or bringing in users into the topics of that rubbish bin forum.

I got google analytics installed but that's where my knowledge ends how to track visits to that particular section of the forum.
 

Matt M

Developer
Joined
Apr 28, 2005
Messages
471
Google Analytics should be able to tell you if you search for content with the forum ID but I'd be surprised if them hitting your page resulted in more views and registration.

SEO is really important but always think about what is best for humans first. đź‘Ť
 

Impaler

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
27
Does anyone else agree with Matt?

I'd really love to hear from more people :)
 

Pete

Flavours of Forums Forever
Joined
Sep 9, 2013
Messages
2,704
Would tend to agree; I don’t usually leave my trash bin visible in the first place but if I did, I’d expect users to bounce in from Google and bounce out again not having found anything immediately valuable.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
8,120
I like an audit trail so nothing gets hard deleted on my forums including spam. It all goes into a hidden forum/trash bin. It's rare but occasionally it can useful to help solve an issue.
 

ab7fh

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
135
I created a Duds forum, but it is not accessible to anyone, but moderators and admins. Google doesn't want to index crap content, so if you thought it was crap and that's why you put it in the trash, most likely Google will too.
 

Impaler

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
27
That's it. I'm convinced. I got rid of the trash forum by making it visible only to staff. :) Thanks for everyone sharing their thoughts.
 
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