Best Ways to Update Old Content

15 replies
I'm doing some research to better understand the process around updating old content. I know google cares if your content is fresh. Updating old content seems like a cost effective way to increase freshness of content, improve rankings/click through, and isn't as much work as creating new posts.

I have a few questions:

Are you regularly updating old content? If so, what is your process?

Are there any agencies that specialize in updating old content?

Any software we can use to make this easier?

Thanks for your help!
#content #update #ways
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Is your website a news website?


    If no, why would you need fresh content all the time?


    I do not update old content. I create new pages with new content at times but I rarely update old content. I've updated 4 pieces this year, to add a keyword I was ranking at the bottom of page 1 for.



    That means, I changed some words to their synonyms.


    I do not have news websites.


    Originally Posted by michaelm123 View Post

    I'm doing some research to better understand the process around updating old content. I know google cares if your content is fresh. Updating old content seems like a cost effective way to increase freshness of content, improve rankings/click through, and isn't as much work as creating new posts.

    I have a few questions:

    Are you regularly updating old content? If so, what is your process?

    Are there any agencies that specialize in updating old content?

    Any software we can use to make this easier?

    Thanks for your help!
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  • Profile picture of the author shanaly2020
    Hi,
    you can set a time frame to update content like after every week or month. Analyze your competitors .how they are updating their contents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Scott Jr
    The idea is to add new content. Why update old content when you can create new content. Google can see if you are adding new content and if it's quality it can help with your rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author milliejack
    No, it is not a clever idea to regularly update your old content. Even if you have to, try to do it less often.

    for your second question, I would suggest you get content writing services from freelancing websites in case you are out of budget to hire a permanent content creator for marketing. I have personally seen a lot of work demands regarding "updating old content" over Upwork.

    As far as the software is concerned, you can find some online tools for rewriting your articles, but you have to compromise on their quality.

    I hope it will help you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by michaelm123 View Post

    I'm doing some research to better understand the process around updating old content.

    Thanks for your help!
    Google's Martin Splitt, SEO Mythbusting, recently answered your question in an interview:
    Is more content better? SEO Mythbusting Sep 09, 2020:

    Here is the transcript:

    Is more content better? SEO Mythbusting
    Sep 9, 2020

    LILY RAY: So what would you say for a publisher
    type of website, that might talk about the same topic
    every year, maybe the content is a little bit different,
    but it's largely the same conversation?
    Like, let's say they're talking about a certain type of skin
    care treatment.
    And they talk about it in 2017 and 2018 and 2019.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Right.

    LILY RAY: Do you think they should
    take the same piece of content and update it each year,
    or should they have three different pages for that topic?

    MARTIN SPLITT: Well, if it's -- it depends
    on if it's an incremental change that happened, as in, like,
    if the skincare routine is pretty much the same as it was
    last year, you can maybe rephrase it a little bit.
    But I would say you update the existing page
    and maybe just reposition it somewhere more
    prominently on your website for the visitors to see.
    But I wouldn't create a new page that basically
    says the same thing, because, especially when they're
    really similar, we might just think
    one is a duplication of the other
    and then canonicalize them together,
    no matter what you're doing canonical tags.


    Hello and welcome to SEO Mythbusting.
    In this episode, my guest is Lily Ray, SEO director
    at Path Interactive, and we're going
    to discuss an interesting topic that you
    might want to learn more about.
    What is it that you brought for us today?

    LILY RAY: We're going to talk about if too much content is
    a good thing for SEO or not.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Hmm.
    All right.
    So what is it that people believe about this?
    What is the questions that you keep hearing and wonder about?

    LILY RAY: Yeah.
    I think a lot of companies think that maybe content is
    good for SEO, so we should produce a lot of it,
    because it will help us rank for a lot of different keywords.
    And maybe we should put out a new blog post
    every single week.
    To the point where their website has thousands of blog posts
    and maybe they're not performing really well.
    So I think a lot of people have a question
    about how much content should I really have and to what extent
    does this actually help my performance.

    MARTIN SPLITT: That's a really good question.
    So I think, just going back to the basics,
    your key is to provide information to your users,
    right?
    How much content is good for that
    depends a little bit on what you're doing.
    If you're a news site, then sure,
    cover as much of the happenings that you can,
    but if your website is about a specific product,
    then there is only so much you can say about it.
    And just keeping rambling on in a single page
    is not helping you much.

    LILY RAY: Right.
    So you would think that maybe having a blog
    that talks about industry updates or things
    that are relevant for that company is worthwhile,
    but maybe not to just produce content
    for the sake of producing content.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Not for the sake of producing content.
    If you have something like, if you
    have a product that is very versatile, and different users
    or different customers are using it in very different ways,
    then this would be an interesting thing to provide,
    basically say, like, oh, look, our product
    can be used for this.
    Our product can be used for that.
    But just for the sake of content,
    that's basically the same as having light content or useless
    content, really, and then you're just spending--
    crawling, and you're spending resources
    on things that are not performing much.

    LILY RAY: Right.
    Is, like, the presence of a blog and showing Google
    that you're producing new content something that
    helps your performance overall, as a kind of site-wide factor?

    MARTIN SPLITT: Not necessarily.
    I mean, it is not a site-wide factor,
    but if, again, your blog or your website
    is about something that is basically happening
    on a regular basis or it has a lot of updates to it,
    then that can help you bring relevant content to users that
    would otherwise maybe not find your website, especially
    if your users don't know about what you're doing,
    then the blog that reports on current events or developments
    can actually help people understand
    that, oh, there's this company that
    does this interesting thing.

    LILY RAY: Right.

    MARTIN SPLITT: But it doesn't change your search performance
    or ranking or anything.
    It's just providing something relevant and useful
    to users that is going to help you.
    If you're just putting it out to have a blog
    or if you're just like, hey, we will just
    have content that keeps updating and changing without actually
    giving value to the user, then that's not helping much.

    LILY RAY: So if you have an older piece of content,
    would you recommend that if it's a high quality
    piece of content, do you need to go back in there
    and make updates?
    Or should you only do that when something significant
    has changed?

    MARTIN SPLITT: I think you should update it
    if something significant has changed for sure.
    If nothing has really changed, what
    you can do instead is you can write something different,
    new content, have a fresh piece of content,
    and just link that other piece of content
    to say, like, hey, by the way, this
    is referring00 this is not about, necessarily,
    search relevancy or anything, but it's more
    helping the user understand that there
    is other interesting content for them.
    And it's keeping them on your website,
    making sure that they get the information they
    were looking for.

    LILY RAY: Definitely.
    Is there any way that Google tells us
    if there's too much content, or maybe
    that content's underperforming?
    Can we look at our crawl stats to figure something like that
    out?

    MARTIN SPLITT: So crawl stats are a bad place
    to look at this.
    Because the fact that we are not crawling something again
    does not mean that we are thinking it's bad
    or it's good if we're crawling it often.
    What's more interesting would be to look at the Performance
    Report, for instance, in Search Console.
    If you are seeing that you get a lot of impressions
    but not that many clicks, you might want to change something
    about the content.
    If you are getting a lot of clicks through it,
    but then you see in your analytics
    that actually not much action happens,
    then you can ask yourself, is the traffic worth it?
    Or do I need to change my content there?
    There's no such thing as too much content.
    It's just-- again, think from the user's perspective.
    What is the thing that I want the user to understand,
    and is the user interested in spending time
    on a page where they need 27 minutes to read everything?

    LILY RAY: Right.

    MARTIN SPLITT: You get to decide.

    LILY RAY: Definitely.
    If there's a lot of content that's not necessarily
    performing well on the website, could that
    be something that kind of brings down
    the overall trustworthiness or authority of the website
    from Google's perspective?

    MARTIN SPLITT: That depends a bit
    on what is the reason for it not performing.
    If it's spammy content, if it's very thin content,
    then that can bring you down a little bit in terms of,
    we might just spend crawl budget on pages
    that are not performing or not even being indexed anymore.
    And you might actually want to avoid having
    spammy content and bad content, especially
    if you get penalties or manual actions,
    you want to definitely clean up there.
    But besides that, it is usually a good idea to see,
    oh, this piece of content really does not perform well.
    Let's take it down or at least change it, right?

    LILY RAY: Sure.
    And what would you think for companies
    that have something like a help center,
    where there's a lot of content that
    answers very specific questions, but maybe it's only one or two
    sentences per page, and maybe they
    have 500 pages of that nature?
    Would you say that's something that they should remain indexed
    on Google, or how does Google treat those types of pages?

    MARTIN SPLITT: That's a really good question.
    That might be treated as light content,
    as like thin content and not necessarily useful.
    I would try to group these things
    and structure them in a meaningful way.
    If it's a question about a specific range of products,
    then you can group all these questions together to one page.
    Or if you have questions in the category of troubleshooting
    or operating the thing that you're trying to sell,
    try to group this together to have
    more dense and helpful pages in one go.
    Because how likely is it that I have exactly one question?

    LILY RAY: Right.

    MARTIN SPLITT: If I have one question,
    I might have a follow-up question
    or I might have a similar question.
    So putting these all together is a good idea.

    LILY RAY: So grouping it together.
    I think that's one common theme that we
    talk about a lot in the SEO world now,
    is kind of consolidation.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Yes.

    LILY RAY: So do you think there's
    a case to be made for one--
    maybe you have two pieces of pretty similar content
    and they would be better as one single article.
    So doing a lot of merging and redirecting.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Definitely.

    LILY RAY: That's something that Google's
    kind of appreciative when we do those types of things?

    MARTIN SPLITT: We have less crawling to do.
    That's great.
    We also know where to send the users, then.
    And there's a chance that if you have similar things,
    that these come from organizational reasons.
    Like it's one department thinks about it
    and another department thinks about it and none of these two
    talk to each other.
    So if you consolidate that, you bundle more relevancy
    and information in one place, and that makes it easier
    for us to figure out, oh, yeah.
    This is a good site.
    Check this out.
    And get the user this information,
    rather than cannibalizing each other or just
    like being duplication.

    LILY RAY: And what about word count?
    SEOs are always asking, is word count
    a ranking factor, which I think Google's talked about
    quite a bit recently.

    MARTIN SPLITT: We've talked about this quite a lot.
    And it's not a ranking factor.
    If you can say what the user needs to know in 50 words,
    that is fantastic.
    If you need 100 words, that's cool.
    If you need 2,000 words, that's also absolutely acceptable.
    It's, again, about trying to figure out
    what's the intention.
    If you see yourself repeating yourself multiple times
    and saying the same things over and over again
    in the same document or on the same page, what's the point?

    LILY RAY: Yeah.
    Well, let's say you're in a situation where you've
    written 500 words for a specific topic
    or keyword that you're trying to rank for,
    and you see all your competitors have 4,000 words or something
    like that.
    Even though word count's not technically a ranking factor,
    that's probably a good indication
    that you need longer content, right?

    MARTIN SPLITT: I mean, it depends.
    Just because other people are doing
    it doesn't mean that they're doing it right.

    LILY RAY: Right.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Right?
    So if you see them rank high, that
    might not continue to be that way just because they
    have a high word count.
    Again, try to understand what is it that the users need.
    Maybe the larger word count just accidentally
    hits the right bits of information
    that people are looking for, and actually
    fits the query intention of the user
    better than what you're writing.
    In this case, if you can reformulate it
    so that your 500 words are better, then go with that.
    Don't be the school kid that goes like, furthermore,
    as I was saying, just, like, to fill in--

    LILY RAY: Unnecessary language, yeah.

    And what's the criteria for determining if something
    is spammy or auto-generated?
    So take, for example, if you have 50 location pages for 50
    states and you want to talk about the business, which
    is largely the same in all those places,
    but you basically just swap out the name of the city
    and maybe add a couple of facts about that city, for example,
    how does Google perceive those pages?

    MARTIN SPLITT: That's a really tricky one.
    Because either they work or they don't.

    LILY RAY: Right.

    MARTIN SPLITT: So generally speaking, if you are using
    generated content and that is really relevant and good
    and a human sees this and goes, oh, I like this,
    you're probably on the right track.
    That can work for these pages where
    you have different information for different cities,
    but it's pretty much the same kind of formula behind it.
    If you have enough facts around it
    and there's relevant information in there
    that changes city to city, that might really work.
    It might also not.
    If it's too similar, and you basically--
    we see that in places like Germany,
    sometimes, that there are literally two sides of a river.
    And then they are having two different pages for this,
    but they say pretty much the exact same things.
    Maybe, like, five words are different
    or something like that, and maybe a few numbers
    here and there, like a different number of people
    there, or whatever.
    Then we might just consider one a duplication of the other
    and not put it in the index.
    We might de-dupe it and eliminate it from the index.
    And then there's not much you can do.
    If we think it's the same kind of content, then
    what's the point?
    Why would we show the same content on multiple URLs?
    Then we come back to canonicalization, really.
    But if you have information that is
    good enough and different enough from the other bits and

    pieces,
    go for it.

    LILY RAY: OK.
    So you would encourage businesses
    that are in that position where they do need to target highly
    localized keywords, that it's OK to have those pages,
    but really invest in making them as unique as possible.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Make them relevant and helpful
    for the user.
    The user is the key here, really.
    And if you're just copying data over from one place to another,
    is that that helpful?

    LILY RAY: Not exactly.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Not exactly.

    LILY RAY: Can you talk a little bit more
    about how Google treats, or how does Google determine
    what duplicate content is?
    What's the threshold for duplication?

    MARTIN SPLITT: I'm actually not sure what the threshold really
    is, but I know that we are basically fingerprinting
    the content, and the fingerprint is
    done in a way that allows us to say how similar is it.
    We use different similarity metrics
    and figure out, OK, so this is pretty much--
    95% of this is the same thing.
    We see-- again, we see that in the German speaking countries
    a lot where, for instance, a shop operates in Switzerland
    and Germany and Austria.
    All of this is in German, and then
    they have the same products, and the price
    is slightly different due to whatever reason.
    Switzerland has a different currency,
    but that's pretty much the entire difference.
    Maybe they use a few different words
    because the local dialects are different.

    LILY RAY: Sure.

    MARTIN SPLITT: So you have 1,000 words
    in each of the product descriptions,
    maybe, and reviews and whatnot.
    But the price is different, the currency
    might be different if in Switzerland,
    and there might be like five different words or something
    like that.
    We consider them all to be the same.
    And then you can actually shoot yourself in the foot
    when you are trying to canonicalize all of them,
    because we're like, that's not a helpful signal.
    Because we determined that what you think
    is individual pieces of content is actually
    kind of the same thing.
    But hreflang and help, again, and make sure
    that we are surfacing the right version.
    So we might only be indexing and canonicalizing one of them.
    But we will be showing the different versions of these,
    depending on where the person who's searching is located.

    LILY RAY: Got it.
    So use hreflang.
    There's different dialects and different regions--

    MARTIN SPLITT: Definitely, if that's your issue,
    but if it's literally just the content is slightly different
    because maybe you have different prices or something like that,
    then we would consider that the same content.

    LILY RAY: Got it.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Thank you so much for being here
    and talking with me through all these questions regarding
    content and what is good content and what's too much
    and what's not enough content.
    And this was really helpful and interesting and thanks so much
    for making it here.

    LILY RAY: Thanks for having me.
    I think you answered a lot of questions that I have,
    and my clients have.
    So I really appreciate it.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Hopefully this will be useful for everyone
    out there, and thank you very much for watching.

    LILY RAY: Thank you.
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    In the minute it took me to write this post.. someone died of Covid 19. RIP.
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  • Profile picture of the author 1Williamjames
    I normally don't update previous content as my niche and topics are ever green.
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  • Profile picture of the author daillyprofits
    I tend to only update previous content, if i believe it adds more value to my customers. Updating with a mixture of valuable new content in addition to the foundation of the old content. Keeps the quality high, but gives a new freshness to the old content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Saravana
    Dont try to rewrite completely.

    a simple 10% to 20% of fresh content can be good enough. While writing focus on the latest trends and keywords to get more visibility
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  • Profile picture of the author jimmy359
    If you are using a news website then it is very compulsory to update your content. When you are writing content you should be focus on latest trends. Now a days software development and other technology topics are trending.
    Thank You
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  • Always add fresh content to your website regularly.

    And for old content, you can change the publishing date and months(If used in Title or content somewhere). That's what I do to make my content fresh looking and updated. And if you feel that there are some really good pointers that need to be there in your old content then you can add them manually.
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  • Profile picture of the author Medon
    I use spinner rewrite and I confess it is a fantastic rool for refreshing webb content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by 1Williamjames View Post

    I normally don't update previous content as my niche and topics are ever green.
    Originally Posted by jessica232 View Post

    It's better to add new and fresh content on a website
    Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

    Google's Martin Splitt, SEO Mythbusting, recently answered your question in an interview:
    Is more content better? SEO Mythbusting Sep 09, 2020:

    LILY RAY: So what would you say for a publisher type of website, that might talk about the same topic every year, maybe the content is a little bit different,
    but it's largely the same conversation?

    Like, let's say they're talking about a certain type of skin care treatment.

    And they talk about it in 2017 and 2018 and 2019.

    MARTIN SPLITT: Right.

    LILY RAY: Do you think they should take the same piece of content and update it each year, or should they have three different pages for that topic?

    MARTIN SPLITT: Well, if it's -- it depends on if it's an incremental change that happened, as in, like, if the skincare routine is pretty much the same as it was last year, you can maybe rephrase it a little bit.

    But I would say you update the existing page and maybe just reposition it somewhere more prominently on your website for the visitors to see.

    But I wouldn't create a new page that basically says the same thing, because, especially when they're really similar, we might just think one is a duplication of the other and then canonicalize them together, no matter what you're doing canonical tags.
    Google specifically stated to..
    Update the old content when the information is not substantial.
    and
    "Do not" create a new page when the information is not substantial.
    and states "why".
    Signature
    In the minute it took me to write this post.. someone died of Covid 19. RIP.
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  • Profile picture of the author amber connor
    If your website is new then I will suggest you to update your content according to new trends.
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  • Profile picture of the author Callie Albert
    set a time to update your content
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  • Profile picture of the author tomkos1234xx
    A good team of professional copywriters should be a good solution for this problem. I have one and they always repurpose or refresh bad, stinking content.
    Signature

    The Best Quality SEO Service For All Kinds Of Web developers and App creators. Give us chance on http://seoreapers.com/

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