If your blog has been around for a while, you may be worried that the older content is not as SEO friendly or is a bit stale. There are also many good reasons to revisit old topics, put a new twist on them or update them.
For example, Jerry Low covered recycling blog content in April of this year. He offers some excellent ideas for reworking things you’ve already written about. For example, you can turn your article into a visual for readers by creating an infographic or write a second part follow-up to a topic.
In this article, we’re going to look at how you can rework old articles into new ones or just give them a fresh update that will make them seem more current. We’ll also talk about writing articles so they stay current longer and when you shouldn’t worry about reworking old pieces.
The Importance of Going Evergreen
One thing you’ll want to do going forward is make sure at least some of your articles are evergreen in nature. These are topics that will be of help to people a year down the road, three years down the road or five years down the road. These are the backbone of any blog. A good evergreen article has these features:
Focuses on a long-term topic that will be of interest in the future
It does not use facts or statistics that will become outdated quickly
Does not focus on a fad or pop culture as these can date an article
An evergreen article does not have to be refreshed all the time, because it is automatically information that will be current both now and in the future.
Stay on Top of Industry Updates
While it’s nice to write evergreen articles when you can, it is also important that you stay on top of updates that are tied into your industry. However, by writing about trends in the industry, you may also notice that some articles get outdated as your industry changes.
A good example of this is the ever changing landscape of Google algorithms. Here at WHSR, it is vital that we keep our web host readers apprised of these changes and other current issues so that they can stay on top of the traffic they receive from search engines, protect themselves from hackers and a myriad of other issues.
At the same time, Google is constantly changing their rules, so these articles can become outdated quickly. We stay on top of this issue in several ways:
Posting fresh content about old topics that is more current
Offering news updates about what is going on in the web hosting world
Posting roundups each month that show what topics were covered on the blog and that serve as a handy reference for our readers
Reworking Old Content
If you want your blog to stay current, you have to make a judgement call about what content needs to be reworked, repurposed, or left alone.
At least once every six months, start at the back of your blog posts (the earliest posts) and start working your way forward through them as far as you have time for. Ask these questions:
Is this content still current?
Is there any new developments that can be added?
Have there been major changes?
Is any of the content in this article non-evergreen? Can I remove it or change it?
Can I expand on this topic with a new article?
Another option, if the article is extremely outdated is to delete it and replace it with something new along the same vein.
Let’s say you own a blog about wood carving. You wrote an article three years ago about how the shortage of a particular type of wood was impacting wood carvers everywhere, but since then there is no longer a shortage. This article probably can’t be saved other than to use as a historical reference.
Instead, it is probably better to replace it with something more current. What shortage are wood carvers facing today? Or, is there a new technology that is making their work easier in some way?
A Title Says It All
Sometimes, all you need to do is freshen up the title and make it more immediate to current SEO. A bit of simple research on what topics are trending and good keywords can help you take an old, dreary title and make it fabulous.
If you read up on SEO and Google, you’ll likely come across the term “Freshness Factor”. This is the term that SEO experts use to describe Google’s sudden penchant for fresh (new) content and sites that are updated often.
Cyrus Shephard over at The Moz Blog wrote about how fresh content influences searching engine rankings. He explains how Google’s Freshness Update places emphasis on fresh web content. Google even filed a patent back in 2003 that looks at scoring based on how often documents are updated on a site.
Yes, it is important to regularly produce new content. Yes, it is important to look back at old content. However, to focus solely on reworking old articles and pushing out content fails to meet what consumers really want and could backfire on websites in the long-term.
SEO Expert Michael Martinez takes content spammers to task and points to the fact that Google engineers are smart. They are constantly changing algorithms to stay a step ahead of content farms.
That adage that content is king is still in play. You must find topics your readers care about and write good articles that cover those topics.
The content needs to be well written and free of major grammatical errors.
Writing to keywords is less important than writing the best article you can write.
Google can and will change their algorithm at any time. If you are writing to one aspect of their algorithm, such as pushing out tons of fresh content, you can be certain your traffic will drop off at some point.
Instead, put out fresh, but excellent content. Remake old articles, but keep the ones that still make sense.
Yes, ranking is important because you want browsers to find your blog when they do a search for keywords that match your topics. However, your ranking will never maintain if all you do is chase after Google as the search engine runs around in circles.
Article by Lori Soard
Lori Soard has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 1996. She has a bachelor's in English Education and a PhD in Journalism. Her articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, online and she's had several books published. Since 1997, she has worked as a web designer and promoter for authors and small businesses. She even worked for a short time ranking websites for a popular search engine and studying in-depth SEO tactics for a number of clients. She enjoys hearing from her readers.