Should you Update
Old Blog Posts
to Rank Higher
Do you often wonder if you should update old blog posts for SEO?
The straightforward answer is – YES!
But there is more to it than that. From the get-go, I just wanted you to know that you should be prepared to start updating old blog posts.
If you do it correctly, it will increase your ranking on Google and other search engines.
But there is definitely a wrong way to update your old posts, and you want to avoid that.
So, let’s dig in because the method is pretty simple to learn and follow.
Partially Update Old Blog Posts for Corrections
Sometimes you might want to update old blog posts to correct things.
Theories and practices change over time. Sometimes tactics are proven to be wrong.
Updating old content that could reflect wrong information or methodology is a great idea. There is nothing wrong with correcting content to reflect the truth. There are many things wrong with leaving content up that misleads or lies to the reader.
You should always keep all your content in check and update when needed.
You don’t have to announce it, either. You’re not trying to hide anything. You’re simply making corrections based on new information that you’ve learned.
If you misled people from the beginning, you have done them wrong. And instead of dwelling on your obvious mistake, I recommend editing in a way that shows the previous misleading information but updates the content with truthful information backed by sources. You can do that by using a “strike out” font that puts a line through the old content and maybe using a red coloration for the corrected content.
Think of it like a school paper that your teacher graded.
Whether you’re trying to get with the times or be a more honest creator, you should update old content on your blog to make it align with factual information.
You never want the reputation of misleading your audience, especially if you focus on developing your authority within a specific niche.
Update Old Blog Posts to Align with the Current Year
I write many blog posts about strategies that work for the current year.
I put the year in the title and throughout the article to make it as relevant for the year as possible.
This is because when I search on Google for tactical or strategic content, I always look for the year it was made. This is because a set of strategies written about in 2011 may no longer be valid in 2022 (the current year this post was made). So, the year the article was created does matter to me, and I’m sure many people are doing the same thing I am doing.
So, I do suggest you update old blog posts for the year.
But not just to update the date!
You also need to update the context of the content. This is especially true with articles focusing on strategies and tactics. They change over time. When they do, that gives us bloggers an opportunity to update old content in hopes that it will rank better on search results than it previously did.
And when updating strategies and tactics for the current time period – be sure to type in that you’re updating it for the strategy changes. That will tell the reader that your content is being redone in a way that teaches them the new steps or methods of what they want to know.
It is powerful because you’re showing them that you’re updating content for the times. It shows the expertise in your content. They’ll know to come back to your blog for more updates as they happen. They’ll see that you’ve updated the methods each time there is an update throughout the years.
It does make you look good and like a professional in your niche.
Heavily Update Old Blog Posts into Guides
Another idea that I recommend is to update old content to create extensive guides heavily!
I would especially like to do this to content that didn’t go anywhere, but I felt that it could have gone somewhere if it had just been perfected a little bit more.
Let’s say you have an old post of about 500 to 1,000 words of basic content about a subject. Take advantage of the situation and update it into a guide of about 2,500 words or more. I’d focus more on 4,000+ words.
People love guides! If you already have a blog post with a content strategy (good topic) attached, then you have your basic plan for a guide.
Simply take the topics within the post and expand them into a complete guide. Any content can be cut into sub-topics. You might have to read another relevant guide to get inspired to cut topics into sub-topics, but I’m telling you that this works for every topic out there.
Just make sure every sentence counts. You want people to stay on your guide and be gripped by every sentence you have written on it.
Audit your guide before you hit publish!
Make sure that it is a guide that you’d want to read!
This is an excellent way to update old blog posts and bring life back to them.
Creating New Content Might Be More Ideal
Sometimes content you create just isn’t going to do well no matter what you do.
Not all content is created equally.
Even if you spend a lot of time on it and try to make it the best it can be, sometimes the content doesn’t amount to anything in the end.
It isn’t your fault. It doesn’t make you a bad writer. It is just the luck of the draw. It happens to the best of us. And it happens more than once and will happen again in the future.
And it doesn’t matter how much you update it – it isn’t going to go anywhere.
So, sometimes it isn’t ideal for updating old blog posts.
Instead, it might be a better idea to create a new post around the topic but not quite specifically that topic. You don’t want to duplicate content that isn’t doing well with the same kind of content topic. Otherwise, you’ll have two of the same content failures.
Don’t waste your effort!
But as I said in the previous statements above, every topic can be cut into sub-topics if you use your creative content mindset. Focus on creating sub-topics from the failed topic that might help generate interest because it’s more specific and centers around a more niche topic.
And as for the old topics that don’t do well, unpublish and add them to your drafts folder. That way, you can come back later on and come up with sub-topics from them to write about in the future. There is no need to delete it altogether.
So, there you have it – the main reasons and instructions on how to update old blog posts. You don’t need to do this with every post. Focus on the old posts where they’re getting little to no more visits. I wouldn’t update any content that isn’t older than a year or even longer if your blog has been around for longer. After you update, be sure to reshare it on social media and the works to generate some interest in it again. Thank you for checking out this article – I hope it helped give you and your blogging friends a new idea!
About the Author
Shawn Gossman has created content, blogged, ran online communities, and shared a passion for digital marketing for over twenty years. Shawn believes the best way to help content creators, businesses, brands, and marketers is to give away more than you sell. The same advice is recommended for the readers that follow this blog. Shawn also offers a variety of services for extra help in the area of content creation, blogging, forums, and digital marketing.