Killing SEO rankings with Draft Content

You could be significantly harming your SEO strategy with draft content.

If you have similar articles already published; are in the process of rewriting articles, or trying to get new content bumps with republishing; this will all attribute against you as duplicate content.

draft content
draft content

Bots crawl every aspect of your website, including drafts and the trash bin. Don’t assume just because it is in draft mode, that it is not accessible.

I do not recommend setting no-indexing to draft content or any part of your website unless it’s necessary. Robots.txt filtering can be tricky at times, and you could risk accidentally setting valuable areas of your site to no-index. It also signals the wrong message to Google.

Finding indexed draft content

You can find broken draft content by searching for errors in Google Search console that look similar to this:


Second, You need to check for live links. You can look for these in Google Analytics and Ahrefs. The easiest way to find these links are using “?” in the page search.

Fixing indexed draft content

Best way to fix draft leakage is by publishing the content or permanently deleting the draft (not leaving it in the trash).

After which you can set a 301 redirect in your htaccess file to direct the bots to the published or related content.

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