How Do Old Articles Affect SEO?
It was early in the 21st century that some powerful and well-known businesses realized that providing specialized articles and creating valuable content was the missing part of online marketing that could drive large numbers of users to the website and landing pages and sell more products and services.
Some businesses also saw blogs as a good opportunity for advertising revenue. Unfortunately, the first attempts at creating a blog were not very attractive experiences. In the creation of the content of these blogs, no attention was paid to quality and attractiveness. Many companies’ blogs were just a bunch of texts, with no content marketing principles in writing their articles.
The best analogy we can have is that every business blog is more like a home greenhouse than anything else. Having a greenhouse indoors can help to enhance the beauty of the home, purify the indoor air, delight guests, and create a cozy home environment. Today, these greenhouses are getting a little better than before, and most businesses have realized the value of this space more than ever before. The only annoying thing is that there are some old and abandoned articles on some websites!
These conditions put content and SEO teams of business in an area of uncertainty that raises fundamental questions:
- What to do with old site articles that have a good position but the content is useless?
- Will removing these articles cause the site to lose its credibility and position?
What problems do these old articles cause?
Too many pay attention to the number of articles, create content farms and neglect the quality of content. Technically, removing outdated articles can make Crawl Budget work better on your website pages.
Let’s go back to the greenhouse example. If you have to plant thousands of plants and weeds in your greenhouse, it will make less energy available to your major plants. In fact, the weeds feed on the energy in the soil and cause the main plants to not be well-nourished, which is a waste of energy. There is a limited time for crawling robots to review articles on your website, and this should not be the time to review old and worthless articles on your website.
On the other hand, the content of your articles represents your brand. Improving the quality of articles will increase your credibility and value in the audience. The content of your website should be of value to your audience and this can be done only with the constant optimization and care of the content creation. If you have found how a valuable blog can be helpful for SEO, in the following, we’ll help you find out how to use it optimally.
Valuation of old site articles
The first step you need to take to improve site SEO using old blog articles is to gather enough statistics and information about their performance. Depending on what CMS you use, you can access the generated content database. You can also extract article URLs through the Google Analytics Console and Google Analytics tools.
After gathering the information, you need to review and evaluate these articles. Now is the hardest job in the world; after evaluating these articles you have to decide whether to keep or delete them.
There are 5 important questions to consider when evaluating articles:
1– Is the article content useful to the user?
Useful content gives the user information or entertains them. A useful article should answer the user’s question, solve the user’s problem, or be of interest to them. This useful content can be any type of content you are thinking about (text, image or video).
2– Is the content valuable?
Pages that have been visited a lot via high search engine statistics, articles that have gained natural backlinks to the website, or those that lead to user acquisition, will be categorized as valuable content for the websites.
3 – Is the content good enough?
There may be articles on your blog that are value-added but not well-written and that do not respect the principles of content production. For example, articles with a lot of writing problems fall into this category.
4- Is the article relevant to the business case?
The content of the articles should be relevant to your website and business type. Otherwise, there is no reason to keep these articles.
5– Is your subject or content repetitive?
While evaluating articles you may encounter articles that are similar in the topic or seem to be completely duplicated. These articles may cause problems such as copied content and cannibalization.
What about old articles that are still valuable?
Decide on the fate of old articles by answering the above 5 questions. The articles to be removed can be redirected to the most relevant article or homepage in Redirect 301. Once you have removed valuable old articles from worthless articles, you should take steps to use the value of these articles. Updating, enhancing the information, and improving the writing and appearance of items should be on your agenda.
1- Improving the quality and structure of the content
To begin, it is advisable to modify these articles in terms of publication. Articles should have a good expression style and communicate with the user in the simplest way possible. The next step is to follow the principles of SEO and content production in the article. Checking for and inserting relevant internal links, text replacement images, and Schema markup are important things to do. The third step is to improve appearance. Adding attractive images and videos, or using bullet points and numbers to improve the look of articles is one of the most important things to do in older articles.
2- Updating and adding information
Articles that do not provide up-to-date and valuable content are of no use to your audience. But some articles have great potential for updating and gaining position. One way to turn old articles away from valuable articles is to update their information. According to published statistics, blogs that update old posts have a 74% higher chance of getting visitors. Adding information is another way to enrich old articles. Gaining new information, changing new rules, or adding new rules, new events, and the like are subjects that can help you add valuable information to old articles.
3- Republishing content on social networks
If you spend the time and money on improving and producing content, you better target the end product to your audience. To do this, we suggest posting up-to-date content on social networks and displaying it to users by changing the release date, top of the article, or even the homepage.
Last step, track results
Every time you finish your mission of removing or updating old articles, you have to take the last step. In fact, the last step is to keep track of the results of the work and the impact of the changes you have made.
The Google Search Console tool helps you compare the position and statistics of each page before and after the changes. Improving rankings on target keywords, increasing CTR rates, and increasing the time users are on the page are factors that can determine whether a change is positive or negative. Note that improving and updating content is best done on a continuous basis.
In fact, part of the content team’s activities is reviewing old articles. If we review all articles on the site over a certain period of time and ignore them for a long time, we will not have a proper understanding of the impact of the changes. Another practical technique for improving SEO using old site articles has been the detailed tutorials on reinforcing the internal linking of new articles, we recommend reading this article as well.