The big question people have is whether or not poor-quality pages will drag the rankings down sitewide. The answer to that is really varied, and here, we’ll discuss the impact of these low-quality pages.
First, there is an idea that not ranking and penalization are the same thing. Some will complain about penalized sites, when in fact, the truth is their page isn’t ranking. There is a difference between google looking at the page, and not trying to rank it. If it fails to rank, it’s because your content isn’t good enough, or not relevant to the search query. it’s a failure to rank, but not penalization. The duplicate content penalty, however, isn’t actually a penalty, but it’s the ability to rank because of content quality. Another is content cannibalization penalty, which is another penalty that’s not a penalty. Both relate to the inability for pages to rank due to content issues, but they’re not penalties, but instead, you can fix these, and from there you’ll rank.
Penalties are basically you’re not doing something that follows google guidelines. Google determines the quality of a page by the way that it handles the issue and answers the queries. It can sometimes be done on a specific level, but mostly generalized.
Some sites can get away with this, but that’s because of the density of the noise that’s located within the site. For example, a site that has a lot of high-quality pages but has one thin content sections typically won’t have issues with ranking. If a site contains mostly pages of lower quality, they will struggle with ranking, and usually, getting enough linking and traction through PageRank will play a big part of it. Low-quality pages theoretically can hinder a high-quality page’s ability to get the right signals for Google to understand the page. Sometimes google can’t get past all the signals for low quality either, so really it all depends on how much bad content you have, and how both of these play a major part in the overall site’s quality.
You should, if you suspect any low quality on the site, you should definitely choose to eliminate it. that’s because it can affect the ranking at times, and it can sometimes cause issues, sometimes not. But, the truth is, it’s better to change any low quality content because while it may not directly bring you down, sometimes, having that content off of the site will save you later on. Plus, with the way Google’s algorithm is, chances are they’ll probably change a few things that come around with this, so sometimes it’s better to just eliminate all of the poor quality content, and you’ll be able to, with this as well, foster and build better quality for not just your site, but also for the search engine as well. Google likes quality pages and rankings, so it’s best to make sure you minimize the low quality signals on your site as much as you can.