Checking old content should be part of your regular activities to ensure your content stays relevant to your audience.
Otherwise, old information could hurt your search engine optimization (SEO) by having too many pages about similar topics or even reusing keywords. The longer you have a website, the more likely it is that sometimes your content will eventually become out of date or irrelevant, and you will need to decide if you should update or delete it. Here, we will help break down when to delete and when to update old blogs.
When it comes to digital marketing, there are aspects of it that frequently change, like meta description lengths. If you have a blog post that discusses meta descriptions, you need to update it when the guidelines for it change. Google has changed the ideal length for meta descriptions a few times, so keeping a blog like that up to date is essential.
The Google algorithm also changes often, so if you have an SEO blog, updating it as new changes to the Google algorithm are made known is a good idea so that your content continues to stay relevant.
If you have content like this that is still viable but only needs to be updated to match the current status of the topic, you can update the post instead of deleting it entirely. In addition to updating old content, if you have, for example, three different blogs on similar topics, you can always merge that content into a single post, so you have one larger, more detailed post instead of three smaller ones. Bigger content can look better to search engines, so this tactic can help your SEO.
If you are having trouble deciding if the content is worthwhile to update instead of deleting it, you can look at its current and past metrics. Did the page get consistent traffic when it was still relevant? Did it make it to page 1 in Google search results? Were there a lot of valuable shares and high engagement when the content was new? If your answer to these questions is “yes,” then you might be able to breathe new life into the content by updating it to fit in with the current details on the subject. However, suppose the content is not something that is still relevant in general. In that case, you might want to consider incorporating some of the content from the post into a newer article that is linked to the subject.
Sometimes the information in the post is still relevant, but the author did not write the post very well the first time around. In that case, you can rewrite it to better present it. The easiest way to rewrite the content is to start a new document and use the old content as a template for the new content. Determine what information in the old content is the best and how you can improve upon it. Depending on how the updates change the content, you can either put it in under the old URL or start a new page and redirect the old page to that one.
You probably have blogs on your site that are simply irrelevant, and you would be better off deleting them than trying to update them with new information. You might have posts about products or services you no longer offer and do not intend to offer them again. You also may have posts announcing events that took place years ago that can be deleted.
While those are fairly common types of posts that you can delete, there are others that you may come across as you go through your site that you realize no longer offer any value to your page. You can choose to make these pages noindex, so Google no longer looks at them when it crawls your site, you can delete the pages entirely, which if you have a large site may be a good idea to help speed your site up, or you can repurpose that URL.
If you have two posts with similar content that is still current and relevant, but you cannot decide which one to delete or merge, look at the metrics for each page. Which one gets you more traffic? That is the post you want to make the primary post.
301 Redirect the Post
There might be links floating out there on the internet to these old posts that you want to remove, which is why you should not delete them without setting up a redirect to a new page first. This will automatically send someone to the new page when they try to visit the old one. Let’s say you have an old blog post about Facebook marketing tactics that has completely out-of-date information. You need to delete the post, but first, you need to redirect the link for that post to your newer post about Facebook marketing or social media marketing in general. Sometimes, you simply do not have another related page that you can redirect the old post to, in which case you can set up a 410 deleted notice on Google.
410 Deleted Status
If you do not have a page on your site that is relevant enough for you to redirect that old post to, you can set up a 410 deleted status on Google. This will tell Google that the page is gone because you deleted it intentionally, so it will stop including that page in search results for its related keywords. The problem with this is that you are deleting the post forever, so if there are links out there that point to this page, they will not reach it.
If you do not have any pages to redirect the page to, but you do not want to delete the post outright, you can give it a noindex status. This tells Google that the page should not be indexed by it, so it will not show up in searches anymore. The page still exists on your site, but when someone searches for the keywords used in that blog, it will not show up. This is a good compromise if you cannot merge, update, or delete a post.
Content Takes Many Forms
We manage everything from Facebook posts, Instagram Pictures, Press Releases, Print Ads, Web Content, and Blog Posts.
Get in touch and we’ll help you achieve your Digital Marketing Goals.