Most of the new website holders are always looking to extract best SEO results through their content marketing efforts. Fresh content for your website is always important and its performance in SEO. However, there is a unique importance of upgrading old content as well.
Google Freshness Update:
Google has already announced that it is going to launch Panda 4.2 update in near future. Before this update, Google had launched an algorithm which was responsible for making “content is king” mantra to be swept all over the industry. Since then, it is almost a year Google launching a refresh. It was great news for those website holders who were updating website content regularly. Organic position of your website can be regained with fresh content for your website. However, these updates of Google search engine algorithms are not very same for everyone. Some webmaster is put in tailspin and loses side of several things.
Every time a panda refresh is announced, there are a number of websites that get back tailed in search engine rankings. In this developing era of websites and quality SEO strategies, there are still a number of websites with creepy content as main reason of them getting back tailed by Google bots. It is certain that creating irrelevant and meaningless content just for rankings has no logical point and is totally useless method. Here are some points to remember to keep your website compatible for each panda refresh.
Verifying if your website is Panda proof:
It is noticeable that content with a lot of irrelevant keywords, low quality information / content are not only reason of getting penalized by Google bots and panda updates. Let us assume that your content is up to date and relevant to your website niche. You should always seek for missing points in your website and find the points that Google will use as reasons for penalizing your website. However, it is not as easy as sounds and does not help every time.
Dead content is one of the most common issues you will detect while performing a content audit over your website. Now some fresh geek might wonder what the hell is dead content while he was always adding fresh content to the website. Dead content is the content on your website which was fresh and useful for you visitors when it was added to your website but not anymore.
The more content you have the slower your website would get. The amount of content does not only effects on the speed but search engine rankings as well. It is quite possible that Google search engine bots crawl and index your less important / old content of your website and completely miss your master pieces.
It is the most common issue and it is much likely to happen with almost every website owner. As a website handler, we are always engaged with activity of adding new and fresh content to our website that make us completely forget about the old content we added long ago (a year or more). It happens quite quickly that it sounds. Old blog posts and articles are moved out from the homepage as they get older. Social media feed of these pages also go dead. Backlinks linked to these pages also go dead since the content is no more useful.
Reading this, one may definitely want to know what one can do with such dead content. There are many people (newbie, I call them) who prefer to directly delete such content from the website. They believe that deleting such content would allow search engine robots to crawl their main content only that is new and fresh. It is true however, there is no extra advantage. Wouldn’t it would be great if your old content can help you in your SEO campaigns. There are a number of fresh content SEO strategies that might help one to optimize old / dead content of the website. Here are some most common of them:
Optimizing dead content rather than deleting it:
Updating website content regularly is important for SEO. However, the process of creating new and relevant content takes noticeable time and efforts. Updating and optimizing the old content is quite easy and quick process. It is possible that dead content is still ranking well but people are not finding it useful since technology is updated now and a better method is developed for doing the same task as described in that content so they would not visit it. Here are several strategies to keep in mind while updating or optimizing your content:
- Avoid creating a new URL:
Many people prefer to create an entirely new page in order to replace outdated / dead content of the website. In fact, it works and helps in order to get more pages indexed by search engine robots. However, it is not recommended if the old page has a significant SEO authority. If the old page is standing well in search engine rankings there might be a particular reason (no need to figure it out). Why to lose all that ranking by starting a new page? Keeping all the updates on the same URL will maintain the very same SEO authority of the page.
- Updating targeted keywords:
While updating the content, seek for any new keywords or phrases that may capture sufficient traffic for new content. It is possible that the way people search for the information is changed with the duration of time. It is also possible that they require the very same information and searching for it with different keywords so keep your senses awake.
- Optimizing call to action:
It is certain that you are updating and optimizing your old / dead content so that they can perform even better on search engine and attract more traffic towards your blog. There are many purposes of writing the article and attracting audience. Keep yourself clear about what you expect from your audience. Are you promoting a service or offer of others or your own? You might also want users to sign up for your website so that you can build up an email database. Keep your intentions clear. The key of this process is to turn your passive readers into regular users of the website.
- Promote it as you did when it was launched:
If your new content is relevant and important enough, you can start the promotion. For startup, add them in your promotion schedule. This can be done by creating a Facebook post for the article. It can be also pushed farther in the media with Twitter. Including the updated and optimized content in email marketing campaign is also a great way to promote such content. This is only recommended if the content is hitting some of the trending topics or it is useful guide according to modern method. It can also be placed on home page for extra attention.
These methods might have delighted many folks. However, these strategies are not applicable for every kinds of dead content, here are some exceptions:
When to delete old / dead content:
Despite of various update and optimization techniques, there is some content that does not deserve to stay anymore one your website, such as:
- An article about services or products that are no longer promoted / offered by you
- Employees and executive profiles, contact information that are no longer working with your online business
- Job posting and advertisements that have fulfilled their purpose
- Posts that represent the same information (delete one of them only, duh…)
However, some folks have figured out unique and effective methods for handling such pages:
When deleting some content, 301-redirect is going to be best choice. It can be used in several circumstances. You can use it to point towards counterparts of the old products through the old content page. If a job is no longer available, advertisement page for that job may redirect people to the career page of your website if that job is not available any more. You can even pick your most famous blog and redirect people there through the duplicate page / old / dead page.
- Custom Messages:
Despite of redirection being an easy and attractive method, do not get crazy over it and go on redirecting every old page to newer pages. Keep in mind that every redirect is putting more loads on your server which eventually caused your website to be slowed down. Website speed is crucial for your website’s ranking over search engine rankings. As an alternative of redirect, you can simply add custom messaging on old content with your newer links to other places where audience landing on old content would like to go. For example, you can add following on your outdated advertisement for job: “This position is already filled, check out the career page for more!” (Sounds more professional than redirections, doesn’t it?). This is also applicable for products that are still being sold by your website but are currently not in stock. In such situation you might not want to delete the URL but instead add similar products on the same page with an out-of-stock warning.
There are several techniques that are useful to get best out of your old content. On the other hand creating fresh content for your website as well is similarly important. You have to maintain collaboration in both the strategies in order to provide best experience for your users and new visitors.
After knowing so much about the optimization of the old content, it is also important to understand why optimized old content / dead content and new content are critical for SEO performance of the website:
Fresh content triggers fresh index:
It is not like more and more fresh content would easily serve you higher indexing. However, if you keep updating your website with new content, pages, etc, the search engine will more frequently crawl your website. In such situation, your chances of getting higher ranking in search results would comparatively increase. However, the ultimate base of your ranking is the content you provide. Remember that more content is not the key here. Whenever you update the website, maintain the standard of your content high. Google would simply penalize your website if they find it stuffed with too much useless content and irrelevant keyword.
Increase the potential of getting more authority:
Almost every website holder wants to become authority in Google’s eyes in their respective niche. All they need to do is to follow a simple rule “Content is king”. You website’s authority potential would be boosted if relevant and valuable content under your niche is published through your website on regular basis. If your website is an active source of top quality content, you would eventually build a strong user base with regular and loyal users. Loyalty of the users is something cannot be faked or bought. It will give your online business strength of competing with well established business under their niche.
Keeping the audience happy:
Updating the website on the regular basis with valuable and latest content is a great way of keeping the users updated. It will increase the potential of the website of converting new visitors into customers / users. If audience of the website is engaged, a long term loyalty would be developed which will help to drive more traffic and tremendous value of the website. It will not only make your audience satisfied, but also make your website stand good with Google. Keeping your website active and alive will attract more audience. For instance, no one would want to claim an offer or buy something from a website that has three year old article on their homepage.
For developing any online business, building trust among user is the main factor. Online commerce is still in developing phase with a limited number of users (still huge) around the globe. In such situation, trustworthiness is all a customer seeks for, which can be easily attained with active public engagement.