If I dramatically improve old blog posts, is there a chance I'll kill their Google rankings?

25 replies
  • SEO
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I have some old blog posts that are getting decent Google traffic despite them being fairly short and mediocre.

They're not converting well, but since they're getting good traffic, I think it makes sense to make better use of them.

If I rewrite them entirely, increasing their length and improving their quality, do I risk losing my decent Google rankings despite my good intentions?

I guess my concern is that I may wreck whatever magic is happening with them now in terms of SEO.
#blog #chance #dramatically #google #improve #kill #posts #rankings
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Most likely; though not necessarily.

    Why are your pages ranking?
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    Being short is not bad. First make sure that the posts are actually serving their purpose or not. Its your opinion that they are inadequate but maybe they are not!!
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    I personally would not touch them if they are ranking. I would create a NEW post that is re written. I would place a link towards the top of the page that the post is a re-write for and then I would see how the new content ranks.

    There is nothing wrong with ( I actually suggest ) writing multiple articles on the same topic once you find it ranks easily. The greater percentage of the 10 organic listings you can consume.. the better in my eyes.

    IF you do end up with 2 pieces of content in the SERP top 10 for terms.. I would then be looking at creating a youtube video on the exact same topic. And creating a 3rd piece of content for the site that includes the video as content of the post. You could then easily pull 4 positions out of 10 with your sites content.
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    Success is an ACT not an idea
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  • Profile picture of the author amjadshuvo
    That's good. This types of dramatic chance happen normally after an update. Converting is a fact. The rate of conversion is also well when the call to action implemented perfectly.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      No, it is not good.

      0.3% conversion on a page that gets 100 visitors a day is lousy but still better than 10% conversion on a page that gets 100 visitors a year. An example.

      The op has some traffic and some conversion; changes he proposes can kill the traffic.

      It is, technically, possible to make the changes and keep the rankings, but it is likely, almost 100% sure, that he will not. Because you would have to replicate everything that worked. Miss one little thing, and your rankings slip. Most people do not know all the things that made a page rank.

      Far less risky to just publish the new content pn a new page.




      Originally Posted by amjadshuvo View Post

      That's good. This types of dramatic chance happen normally after an update. Converting is a fact. The rate of conversion is also well when the call to action implemented perfectly.
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  • Profile picture of the author King Manu
    Updating old content is not only a good idea, but a common advice for increasing SERP rank.

    Having 2 lousy articles on the same topic is much worse than having 1 good article.

    How well your audience like the content is a ranking factor, therefore making the content better is going to add to your already ranking factors, which will increase your organic traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by King Manu View Post

      Updating old content is not only a good idea, but a common advice for increasing SERP rank.

      Having 2 lousy articles on the same topic is much worse than having 1 good article.

      How well your audience like the content is a ranking factor, therefore making the content better is going to add to your already ranking factors, which will increase your organic traffic.
      I suggest going back to your sources and investigating a bit.. they will "Update" content that is either dated ( IE best of 2017 ) or that has lost rank... you will NEVER find an instance where the content is ranking and pulling views that they go in and "Update". Is it suggested to update content, sure it is.. BUT knowing WHEN to do it,is more important.

      Change to content that is working will do one of 3 things. 1) it wont help or hurt you. 2) It will increase your rank. and 3) it will decrease your rank. This would be the equivalent of Gambling in the SEO world.. and as DABK points out the odds really are not in your favor.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      If you have 2 lousy articles that get visitors, you can add a banner, a link, that directs you somwhere else on your site.

      If you have a great article that gets no visitors, you lost.

      Originally Posted by King Manu View Post

      Updating old content is not only a good idea, but a common advice for increasing SERP rank.

      Having 2 lousy articles on the same topic is much worse than having 1 good article.

      How well your audience like the content is a ranking factor, therefore making the content better is going to add to your already ranking factors, which will increase your organic traffic.
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  • OP traffic that's not converting well, or not at all is not really anything to go on. What will you do to make your articles convert better, should you rewrite them?

    What was the initial purpose of your articles? Was it to convert the traffic to click through to your affiliate links or to a product you've created?

    If your traffic is not targeted, not converting to sales, then it seems you are beating a dead horse. Are those articles optimized to get qualified buyer traffic to your offers?

    Make sure that your articles are congruent with the offers that you are trying to promote in them.

    I suggest writing or dramatically improve new search engine optimized (thoroughly researched) articles on your niche topic, and use buying keywords in them, to ensure that you are optimizing your articles to attract qualified buyer traffic. This will increase your conversion rate, if your articles are congruent with the offers you are promoting.
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  • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
    A lot of people for and against the move, so I will remain silent on that.

    But I remain confused on this part.

    Originally Posted by philraymond View Post

    They're not converting well, - I may wreck whatever magic is happening with them now in terms of SEO.
    Exactly where is there any magic in something that does not work?

    With that here is option 3 to confuse us all, place a tracking pixel on there then hit them with more accurate ads/information to improve your conversions. Use that lukewarm traffic as your base to market to correctly.
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  • Profile picture of the author kulwantnagi
    Adding more value in those blog posts would definitely help you to improve the ranking and rank it for more keywords.

    The minimum wordcount of the top-ranking blog posts is around 2000 words now.

    We recently removed 300+ low-quality blog posts from our blog and combined all same topic low-quality blog posts in one mega article.

    Rather than publishing any new articles, we are just updating the old blog posts right now and it's working pretty awesome.

    Here are the stats of one of those blog posts.



    You can say that the number of keywords are increasing.

    So go for it and add more value in those blog posts.
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  • Well ther is a hot discussion going on about pro and cons of changes. I would say, take 2 or 3 posts and improve what you think should be done, than see what happens traffic wise. But at the end of the day, besides being laser focused on a topic that targets the right keyword, what will help you most is writing content what your visitors like.
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  • Profile picture of the author pheonix44
    I think it's better just to leave it alone. When you make drastic changes like this it can certainly make things worse. My advice would be for you to just find different ways to package your content and spread it around the net for more exposure. You just have to be serious. You can convert posts to pdfs using a conversion site and then uploading it to pdf file sharing sites. You can convert it into audio and share it on certain sites as well. Convert all your posts into one ebook and upload them to free ebook sharing sites. Figure out a way to utilize Youtube for your posts and optimize properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ecwon
    You need to Bookmarking
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  • Profile picture of the author codyhay
    I guess you can, but why. Although you can update them with some more content.
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  • Profile picture of the author levandau
    If the articles do not rank, then rewrite with long content and better for users. Will definitely improve your rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author buildsworthseo
    Yes, there will a 80% chance that you will lose your ranking.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      .
      Originally Posted by Ecwon View Post

      You need to Bookmarking
      Why on earth?

      Originally Posted by levandau View Post

      If the articles do not rank, then rewrite with long content and better for users. Will definitely improve your rankings.
      Read before you reply: they are ranking; they are not converting well.

      Originally Posted by buildsworthseo View Post

      Yes, there will a 80% chance that you will lose your ranking.
      80%, huh? Not 82.47?
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  • Profile picture of the author chuckholmes
    I try to update every post on my blog once a year. It's hard because I have about 1,500 articles. I believe it does make a difference. I don't just add stuff to make the post longer. Instead, my goal is to make it better. I add new pictures, try to embed a video and make it a better user experience. It's worked well for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author innateseo
    Updating and improving blog posts will always lead to better rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author tbriandavis
    I wouldn't mess with the old post. Just create a new (updated) version of it. People love that. The old post can remain.
    The only reason I would remove the old post (if it's getting traffic) is if you fundamentally believe the content should change and you don't want the out-dated info to give faulty advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author RuskinF
    Dramatically changing anything can result in either of the two things.

    1. The decrease in Google rankings
    2. Increase in Google rankings

    So wisely improve your blog posts and be aware of what you do.
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  • Profile picture of the author xtrapunch
    Making changes and updates to the page is unlikely to have any negative impact UNLESS you change the focus of the webpage. If you retain the focus and simply improve the content, it will not have any negative result. On the contrary, updating old pages often translates into improved rankings for me.


    If your pages are ranking and you do not want to risk changing the content, you can try updating the page structure and design elements to achieve the desired conversion or results.
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  • Originally Posted by philraymond View Post

    I have some old blog posts that are getting decent Google traffic despite them being fairly short and mediocre.

    They're not converting well, but since they're getting good traffic, I think it makes sense to make better use of them.

    If I rewrite them entirely, increasing their length and improving their quality, do I risk losing my decent Google rankings despite my good intentions?

    I guess my concern is that I may wreck whatever magic is happening with them now in terms of SEO.
    If you change the Title, H1 Tag, or any part of the URL of the blog posts, you will most likely risk losing your Google rankings. If you want to increase the length of the articles, that should be fine. However, I don't recommend modifying any important on page SEO factors.
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  • Profile picture of the author XenG
    In my opinion, the best thing for you to do is to add information rather than deleting some. Some keywords in there should be the ones bringing you traffic. Just let the phrases and sentences be.
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