Many-a-times, your website needs to be updated or the content should be deleted to capture net new traffic on your website by attracting more and more visitors. The irrelevant content is of no use to your visitors and can be a reason for switching to other websites. There are various reasons as well as various ways to update or even get rid of old posts, pages, and content of your site.
Don’t delete your old content- Update it
Creating new stuff and deleting the old one for your site is quite necessary, but it will take far more time than it does to update something old. Few changes in the old stuff with new technologies and new information can rank well.
Here are some key points that should be kept in mind when updating dead content-
Don’t create a new URL – If one would create a new page to replace old and outdated content to get more pages added to the index, this will work, but updating the existing content will keep all the authority in one place. Why get started all over when the existing URL ranks well for a reason.
Update your keyword research – Don’t’ forget to consider any new keywords that you could incorporate to attract new visitors as everyone searches new keywords but they want the same information as well.
Optimize your call to action – As the updating function is done for the visitors for their better experience, but do you think through what you want them to do after they have gone through your blog posts? Do you have any new offer? Do you have any new products or services to offer? The aim should be to turn the visitors from passive reader to active member.
Start promoting it again– Once you are done with updating with relevant information, don’t forget to filter it back into your promotion schedule. You should post it on facebook, twitter, and include in an email campaign as well. Make sure that it gets placed on your homepage when it hits on a current trending issue.
Ok, sometimes it should be deleted
Where you have an option of updating the existing content, on the other hand, you can also get rid of outdated one that should not be required anymore. For example-
- Similar or duplicate content
- Job postings
- Executive profiles
- Old products and services that are no longer being offered by you.
Why do you want to delete them? Well, the old or outdated content adds no more value now or even in the future to your website. Here are some tips-
301 Redirect– For many people, 301 redirect is the best choice for their website while deleting content. Make sure that the old URL 301 redirects to the new, once the URL is rewritten. This will help your website, informing search engines that any link equity should now be given to the new URL that the old URL had. It will provide a great experience to the users as they will not found a 404 error page on their screen.
Custom messaging– If you consider the previous option then it will put more load on your servers, thus slowing down the speed of your site and this is what you don’t want to happen to your site. You can add custom messaging and related links on other places, rather than 301 Redirect for your website. For example- If one is looking for a particular position that is currently filled, then the other career pages links can be helpful for them as this will work best with your out-of-stocks products.
Tell Google to forget about your old post
In many cases, no matter once you delete old posts from your website, Google still show it in the search results. Do you ever think why Google keeps content? They do keep it such that if a user performs a search, what they want is the result. From their perspective, this is kind of failure when they have nothing to give. What can be done in the case when your outdated posts still shown in search engines? Here are some steps to be followed-
Step 1- Entirely delete the content
There are various things to be done when you want to remove content on the web. For example- if you want to entirely hide from Google, do present the search engine with a 404 page. When a user found a 404 page in their search engines that means the posts is entirely removed rather than redirected.
Step 2- Remove internal links
Next step is to scan your site to discover the links that redirect us to removed pages. Make a list of incoming links to the following page and remove them throughout the site.
Step 3- Remove external links
The step is quite harder as it wants you to examine the link profile that you are removing and find third-party sites that link to it. When you are trying to remove links, you also want to remove as many links as possible.
Step 4- Robots.txt
Many attempts to block the page with the robots.txt file, to remove it from search engines as Google will not find such page. If Google scans the page and sees a 404 page, they eventually remove it from their search results.
Step 5- Submit a removal request
There is a URL remover tool in the Google Webmaster Tools, which you can use to submit a page for removal from live search as well as cache results. After that what you need is to wait as Google will eventually learn the non- existence of the page and will no more offer in the live search results.
A faster removal for site search
Google now understands that you no more want to serve such outdated pages on your website, thus made it easy to remove a page from custom site search. Two options are provided- URL submission and Sitemap removal.
Conclusion– To make your content still valid, you need to update the outdated posts and contents or delete it anyway. Many times it is not necessary to delete, there is a lot you can do with your old content that still works well by updating it. Therefore, you need a healthy mix of both tactics to provide the best experience to users as well as to keep the content fresh.
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