SEO UPDATING OLD CONTENT

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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This is the selling point of your post. It’s basically the hook as to why someone should click and who it’s for. Common angles include:

If we do this for “guest blogging,” we see a few lower-authority pages from lower-authority sites outranking us.

For that reason, we don’t usually republish posts unless they’re at least twelve months old.

Content isn’t always the reason your posts aren’t ranking. It’s sometimes because those that outrank you have more high-quality backlinks and ‘link authority.’

However, it’s an entirely different story for “website traffic.” All the pages that outrank us are landing pages with free tools.

A. Make sure your post aligns with search intent.

However, it’s worth noting that more search traffic isn’t the only reason to update or republish a post. You should also refresh posts to keep them updated and accurate.

It looks like 66 unique pages are linking because of this statistic, so it’s probably worth keeping that mention in the republished post.

Shows estimated monthly search traffic to this article according to Ahrefs data. The actual search traffic (as reported in Google Analytics) is usually 3-5 times bigger.

Just know that Search Console only shows average ranking positions, so it’s usually not a particularly accurate representation of your actual ranking position. For more precise ranking data, paste your blog into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, then head to the Top Pages report to see the posts that generate the most search traffic.

Republishing your post is the easy part. Just log in to your site’s CMS (e.g., WordPress), navigate to the old post, then delete the old content and replace it with the new. Keep the URL as is, but make sure to update the title and OG tags to reflect the new content.

For example, it’s clear from the titles and URLs that the pages outranking us for “guest blogging” are blog posts. That’s a good sign. It tells us that the type of content searchers want to see is blog posts.

If you want to boost organic traffic, then republishing any old post isn’t going to work. You need to find those that are underperforming because of content issues.

There’s no point republishing posts that were published recently. It takes time for posts to attract backlinks and for Google to understand where they deserve to rank.

To find out just how many others have linked to us because of this statistic, let’s filter the report for backlinks mentioning “20” in the anchor or surrounding text.

C. Rule out backlink factors.

Republishing blog posts is a smart way to get more traffic to your posts. It’s been part of our blog growth strategy for a while, and we’re not planning to stop anytime soon.

The good news is that there’s no need to read through every post word for word. You just need to get an understanding of the structure and key talking points. The easiest way to do this is to look at the heading tags for commonalities.

It’s unlikely that we could outrank them just by refreshing our content. Most people are looking for tools here, not blog posts.

To do that, follow the steps in this flowchart:

There are two reasons this is a good idea:

Search intent is the reason behind a searcher’s query. We already assessed this to an extent in the previous step when checking whether the pages outranking us were blog posts or something else.

B. Make sure it’s not a new page.

That tells us this is probably a content issue. If we were to refresh and republish the post, it’s highly likely that we could rank at least one or two positions higher.

Finally, change the publish date to the current date and hit update.

However, if we were republishing our post, we’d probably still go for a complete guide. That’s because this angle has more business value for us. It presents more opportunities for us to showcase our product and allow us to go deeper into the topic than an expanded definition.

It’s clear from the URL that our target keyword here is “guest blogging,” But as the Top keyword is something else, it’s highly unlikely that we’re ranking in the top three positions for “guest blogging.”

Paste the URL into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, head to the Backlinks report, then skim for common link reasons in the “Anchor and Backlink” column.

That indicates that the expanded definition format may be a better match for search intent.

For example, if we look through the report for our blog, we see our guide to guest blogging in position four for “guest blogged.”

As you create more content, you should realize a lot of your content will fail. It is up to you to determine what you are going to improve that content and give it a second chance.

I try to publish two articles a week – every Tuesday and Thursday. How often do I update my old content? Not enough. I don’t have a team like the New York Times Bestselling author Neil Patel does to update historical blog posts. His team updates 90 articles a month.

Does the old article or page exist on your social media pages? If your outdated content exists on your social media profiles, you should delete the social media post that originally promoted it. For example, you don’t want people to review your social media feeds and see your old content.

Pillar pages will help you with semantic SEO. They will help you optimize for the general or cluster topic. Not just the specific phrase. Pick a primary keyword phrase. Find the related phrases connected to the primary one. Answer as many questions as possible throughout your content to that broader topic.

It means content creators and SEO professionals need to get better at addressing gaps. What could stop a searcher from getting the information they need from your website page? Your website should be organized to different main topics and address as many searches as possible about a certain issue. One of the ways you can do: create a pillar page.

10. Update your call to actions (CTAs)

What tips would you add to this list? Are you updating your old content frequently? What has worked for you?

It was their ‘light bulb moment,’ and it should be yours too.

In this blog article, you’ll learn why you should update your old content. And you’ll get tips to help you do it.

Finally, your updated content will provide you with an opportunity to re-promote it via social media. This could potentially lead to additional social media shares and inbound links.

The power of compelling headlines.

Let’s dive into how you can best update your historical content with some tips and tools.

Actionable content is content that can immediately be acted upon by readers. Actionable and helpful content shows readers how to complete a process with step-by-step instructions. It provides value by pointing to examples and tools, and it addresses the reader’s needs, problems, and questions they are asking.

Here are several approaches that you can take when you’re in two minds about what content should be updated first:

Freshness is one of the factors search engines use to judge the quality of content. Fresh content has been an important ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm since Google announced its freshness update in 2011. Making updates to your historical content changes the way your content shows up on the results page because Google displays the publish date. A more recent date makes a better impression. Searchers are more likely going to click on something that was published a couple of days or weeks ago compared to months or years.

Furthermore, more frequent updates of your content will encourage Googlebot to index your website more often. A Googlebot has a limit on the number of pages it’s able to crawl every day giving priority to newer content.

Why update your old content?

A pillar page broadly covers a particular topic. For example, you may write a pillar page about video, and a piece of content on that pillar page is information about YouTube, a more specific keyword within a greater topic of the video.

Ready to give your older content a second life? Here are some things you should do.

HubSpot analyzed their content and found 76% of their monthly blog views, and 92% of their monthly blog leads came from old blog posts. In fact, 46% of their monthly blog leads came from just 30 blog posts. They publish 200 blog posts every month. They have nearly 6,000 total posts on their blog.

Annually comb through the old posts to find content with outdated data. Find posts that can be optimized with high-frequent and missed keywords.

To create a pillar page, you can bring together or cluster topic areas together into a pillar page. For example, if you have a lot of topics about SEO, you can bring together your articles about on-page SEO, technical SEO, and off-page SEO into one SEO pillar page. When you have a pillar page, you can connect other related blog posts to it via links.

Remove fluff words and avoid using complex words that impair perception of information. If your sentence sounds awkward, you are probably using passive voice. A passive voice uses more words and can be vague. Using an active voice results in shorter, sharper, and easier to read sentences. Active voice helps your reader gain a stronger connection to your call to actions.

If you don’t have a lot of time to update your old content or keep your newer content fresh as the content ages, creating evergreen content is the right approach.

4. Identify and fix your broken links.

Thin content is content with little or no value. Write at least 300 word articles. Make sure your articles provide depth.

Evergreen content is one of the most valuable forms of content. Why? It never ‘gets old.’ Some examples of evergreen content include tutorials, how-to guides, lists, testimonials, and glossaries of terms or phrases. If you added a specific date or time frame, make sure you go back and update them when the date gets too old.

Do you really need to add more words? If you can get the message across in a few hundred words or through images or videos, it may be enough. For example, one of my blog posts: the right way to Google yourself [infographic] is one of my shortest posts (only 500 words), but it is one of my most popular blog posts. It helps that I included an infographic. Don’t add words just to add words. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words. Think of the user experience instead. People would rather have the answer to their questions right away.

Moreover, all of your content eventually diminishes in value. It is critical to review it and identify issues. By updating old content, you’ll get search engines such as Google and Bing to crawl your website more frequently. This will help you show up higher in search results.

That’s ok. If you have a small team or you are doing it all by yourself like me, you can update old content in between creating new stuff.

As your content gets older, the chances of the calls to action you included in the content are no longer up to date. When reviewing CTAs, you can:

Duplicate content creates problems for search engines and affects your SEO strategy badly. Since duplicate content is information within one or several domains which is entirely identical, it may pose the range of threats.

There are different levels of updating content.

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