How and Why You Must Improve or Remove Your Old Content

By Red House | Apr 30, 2019 8:00:00 AM | Content and Creative | 0 Comments

While it’s easy to look into the future and focus on new initiatives, sometimes taking a look into the past can be even more rewarding.

With more than 130 trillion pages on the web in 2016, there’s a lot of content being published. The Google search index contains hundreds of billions of webpages, which is only a small portion of the total pages available on the web. Some of this content is great, most of it is average and some is just not good at all.

So how do we create content that actually gets indexed? Start with creating, sharing and publishing only your best content. Today’s new mantra for content marketers should be, “Give Google only your best content and make it optimized, useful and relevant.”

Revisiting Content of the Past

While you may be focusing on these content-generation efforts today, if you look back, say, 5 years of content, how much of it is still relevant? Is it possible that old content is dragging down the authority of your website? It’s quite likely.

The next question is whether to remove old content or improve upon it, and how you approach these processes can make all the difference in terms of traffic, organic search rankings, links, engagement and, of course, conversions.

In three steps, here’s how to go about making the right decisions about what stays and what goes.


Step 1: Do an Audit

Decide what content is helpful, what’s neutral and what’s hurting you. Review and cite titles, URLs, publication dates, authors, number of reads/views, word count, links, etc.

 Step 2: Evaluate Quality

Objectively evaluate what you think is quality content. Google defines quality content as “useful and informative, more valuable and useful than other sites, credible and engaging.” In addition, metrics such as page views, organic traffic, and engagement can help you make decisions between what stays and what goes.

 Step 3: Take Action

Taking everything into account that you learned in steps 1 and 2, there are five scenarios to determine what action to take: 1) content is good and no changes are needed; 2) content needs to be updated/refreshed; 3) content needs to be completely rewritten; 4) content needs to be consolidated with other similar content; and 5) content just needs to be deleted and deindexed.

Key Takeaways

So how do you know whether content is viable or dead, and what to do next? Ask yourself these questions:

• Is it getting any traffic?

• Does it have any link equity?

• Is it ranking on Page 1?

• Will anybody miss it if it’s gone?

Many think removing or deleting content is dangerous and can impact SEO and other indexing for a site, but it really all comes down to the quality of the content itself. In fact, when Search Engine Journal went through this exercise for its extensive content archives, it increased page views and traffic  60%+ YoY.


Read the source article on Search Engine Journal.

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