A little publicized SEO factor with Google’s PageRank is the issue of updating old posts.
A webmaster/blogger who pays attention to their blog content, updating and fixing old posts, is one who cares about their blog and their blog’s content. Google’s PageRank algorithm tests to see how often a web page is updated and the length of time between changes in a blog post’s content.
It makes sense, too. If you work hard to bring the best content to your readers, then you would want to make sure that the old content continues to have life and vitality. Google wants to honor those who honor their blog content.
Here are some tips to help revitalize your old posts for your readers, as well as to help your search engine page ranking.
- Link to Old Posts: Want to revitalize an old blog post easily? Just link to it. A new incoming link drives traffic to it, as well as search engines.
- Add Intrasite Links: Go through your old posts and look for opportunities to link from within the post to other related posts you’ve written more recently.
- Write It Better With Keywords: Now that you understand the importance keywords and search terms play in helping your blog content get found on search engines, go back and rewrite the content with more and better keywords.
- Rewrite and Update Information and Blog About It: Posts which are popular or have timely information worthy of updating, can be updated and fixed, then bragged about. If you make big improvements, point to them in a new blog post to let people know you are working on old material to make it better. It also helps to drive traffic and call attention to the wealth of information your blog contains, not just today’s news.
- Rewrite From a New Perspective: As you improve your blogging skills, learning more all the time, you may want to revisit your old posts and rewrite them with a fresh perspective.
- A Revitalized Post Can Become The New Popular Post: After you’ve been blogging a while, you learn what turns a blah post into a snappy post. Editing, rewriting, or updating a post can not just add more search terms and keywords, it might turn the spotlight on the re-energized post to become a Most Popular Post.
- Add a List: Instead of writing paragraph, paragraph, paragraph, try changing the content into a list form, guiding the reader through the process rather than just telling them about it. Lists and instructions are very popular compared to story-telling guides.
- Spell Check: Spelling errors seem to appear like weeds. I swear I proof and check thoroughly everything I publish, but something always seems to peek out from the flowers months later. Go through and fix those spelling weeds, checking for “from” and “form” and other non-spell checking common mistakes. And while you are at it, change wrodpress to WordPress and plug-in to Plugin so people searching for your topics on these will find them.
- Update Links: An external referring link isn’t permanent. Links destinations change all the time. Some webmasters are smart and add redirects, but not all are, so update your old posts by checking for outdated and dead end links and removing the truly dead ones and updating the moved links.
- Revisit the Topic: Clean up the old post and then revisit the topic in a new post, referencing the old post. It’s a chance to say all the things you didn’t say the first time, adding more to the story, and a chance to add a spark of attention to the old post.
- Incorporate the Old Post Into a Series: When you’ve been blogging a while, you find yourself returning frequently to a subject theme. If you find you have a related collection of blog posts, edit them to become an article series, connected together as a small body of work instead of sitting alone individually.
- Create Your Own Top 10 List: Write a blog post featuring your top 10, 25, or 50 blog posts, honoring them as your favorites, most popular subject matter, or most popular for the year or month, creating a list directing readers to the old posts.
- Use Related Posts: Through a Related Posts WordPress Plugin or manually, add a list of related posts to the bottom of your blog posts, pointing readers to your old posts for more information and reference.
- Change The Title: If the post content is good but the title stinks, not attracting the attention you think it should, change it. You need to make another decision on whether or not to change the post slug, the URL permalink of the post, to match the new title. Few change the post slug, but do change the post title to make it really describe what the post is about and it may start attracting more traffic.
- Find a Way to Create Interest and Enthusiasm on the Subject: Whether the information is a little old or not, find a way to energize the information to create renewed interest in the subject. Not just through the editing process, but blog about it and the lessons you learned, referring back to the new edited version.
- It’s soooo old…: There are times when the information within an old post is soooo old, there is really no fixing it. It just has no value. Some choose to delete these for a variety of reasons. You can also keep it, but add a note that explains that this information is no longer valid, and points them in the direction of newer information, revitalizing a more recent post.
Even changing and updating a link shows a search engine you’re paying attention to your old posts. A little more care, cleaning, and maintenance may speak even more about the care you have for your entire blog, increasing your page ranking.
Don’t let the dust pile up on your old posts. Give them a good dusting and shine some light on them. They are still worthy, right? Make sure they continue to represent your blog well.
The author of Lorelle on WordPress and the fast-selling book, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging, as well as several other blogs, Lorelle VanFossen has been blogging for over 15 years, covering blogging, WordPress, travel, nature and travel photography, web design, web theory and development extensively as web technologies developed.