Identifying Active Pages is absolutely crucial!
The notion of Active vs. Inactive Pages is, for SEO, as close to “useless vs. useful” as we can get. It tells us if a page performs as an organic landing page or not.
A page which generates at least one organic visit over a given period.
All we need to do is make sure we don’t compare apples and oranges – always compare Active Page volumes or ratios over the same length of time. Easy: all Botify crawl reports use a 30-day period.
Active Pages is a useful metric to consider when making decisions (for example, to confirm that a website section should be disposed of, because it is identified as totally useless), as well as when checking results (to measure the impact of internal linking optimizations, for instance) or monitoring SEO efficiency on a particular section of the website.
Imagine increasing the number of active pages AND the number of visits per active page!
Broadly speaking, some SEO indicators are about whether a page exists or not for search engines. Others are about how the page is perceived by the search engine.
We recently covered two key indicators of the first kind, available in the Botify Log Analyzer:
The second kind of SEO indicator deals with content uniqueness, semantics, incoming links, ranking, etc.
If we look at this through an SEO transformation funnel, indicators for whether a page exists or not for search engines are at the beginning of the funnel. Indicators about page perception are in the middle, and Active Pages and organic visits are at the end of the funnel.
The active pages ratio provides an interesting indication sitewide, but it becomes all the more meaningful when considered by type of page.
Both Botify tools provide active pages information, but with slightly different perspectives:
Here are a few graphs you can find in our tools (and a few details about what they are built from, if you are interested in what’s under the hood).
Botify Log Analyzer:
Report from website crawl and logs analysis:
Graph example: active pages by dimension or page category (one bar per category – labels were removed)
Logs monitoring interface:
Graph example: active pages over time with distribution by category, daily view
Of course higher is better. But what you can expect depends on the nature of your website and on pages types.
For instance, in an e-commerce website, navigation pages by product category, which role, in SEO, is to attract middle tail traffic, should all or virtually all be active. On the other hand, if there are millions of product pages which bring in long tail traffic, an active pages rate of 20% can be seen as good. But, if products from a particular section perform a lot better than products from another section, then it’s worth checking why.
A particularly low pages rate for a specific type of page can indicate several things:
You may also suspect abnormal page volumes based on other information – and common sense.
We have visibility over volumes by page type in the Botify Log Analyzer, or through the URL Explorer in Botify Analytics, by filtering to get a specific URL format.
Did any figure make you raise an eyebrow? Did you expect as many pages? Or perhaps you expected more? It’s worth validating that we have the right ball park figures.
For instance, if you are an e-commerce website:
Because website volume and depth are often closely related, the top causes of excessive depth are also top causes for abnormal page volumes: read more about these problems in our post on website depth.