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Don’t Let Your Old Content be Dragged Down by New Knowledge - Especially in SEO

Working in SEO, I am continually scouring the web for new golden nuggets of apparent wisdom as part of the holy pilgrimage to page one of Google.

Ironically, whilst searching for SEO, it’s not uncommon to find URLs ranking on page one that were posted years ago. When searching for SEO best practise, I recently found an article written in 2013 from a great source, Search Engine Land, which has stood the test of time pretty well, but it won't be the same for all blog content. You would have of thought that all these people writing about and (hopefully!) understanding SEO would have managed to outrank a page from 2013!  

As part of my latest research haul, I stumbled across an article which said something along the lines of ‘SEO for dummies’. A humorous title, nothing wrong with that. Until a pop-up promoting a piece of content obscured a large portion of the screen. Following Google’s announcement that ‘intrusive interstitials’ will see mobile search rankings penalised, this title isn’t as funny.

No doubt there are countless articles around SEO ranking prominently due to long-term page authority and a wealth of links. But the last thing you want is to draw visitors to a piece of content that is outdated, it’s a sure way of losing credibility and this isn’t exclusive to content around SEO; countless websites will have published content that with modern knowledge is essentially wrong. But how do you avoid this happening?

5 Simple Steps to Updating Old Content

If you’ve been posting a blog per week for the past 5 years, trawling through each one will take hours, let alone the updating. In an ideal world everything would be edited for the modern day, but updating a piece that hasn’t been viewed in years is hardly a great use of time. Here’s an approach to identify the content that needs updating most:

1. Go to your Google Analytics account and hit 'Behaviour', 'Site Content' and then 'Content Drilldown'
2. Find the sub-domain your content sits under, likely /blog or /news
3. Click here and browse the content that is getting viewed regularly. Is any of it old?
4. Specify a ‘secondary dimension of ‘medium’. This will group together all pages by the medium; in this case we’re interested in organic
5. Anything that is old and has a high percentage visit via organic search needs to be updated

The content viewed regularly from organic search is likely ranking well in Google and therefore people have an interest in gathering information on the topic you have written about. This is where updates are most important, so that your regularly found content is accurate to those looking for your product or service. It’s also worth reviewing anything being visited from outbound campaigns.

With a little bit of digging, your old content can continue to provide a return for years to come. If you want help with identifying these key content pages, Google Analytics reporting or SEO, we’d love to talk; drop us a line on [email protected] or 01635 521 224.

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