Should You Delete Old Blog Posts?

Should You Delete Old Blog Posts?

search engine placement

When it comes to maintaining a website or blog, there are always things that need to be done to keep your online marketing strategy as powerful as possible.  Some SEO consultants are recommending that you not only continue to add new content to your site, but that you should periodically review old posts to ensure that they still convey the right message, as well as accurate information.

Keeping It Evergreen

Depending on your niche, you may have different needs for content addition.  Some sites will require state of the art information, things that are newsworthy and notable, and constantly changing.  In this type of situation, you will definitely want to remove old news as it becomes outdated or changes.  You would never want to give your visitors incorrect or inaccurate information.  Your SEO consultants can help you establish the guidelines that you need to help you determine what stays and what goes.

Evergreen information is the kind of content that basically never changes.  Facts, steps to complete a process and historical information generally are evergreen content.  What this means is that it always stays fresh.  To keep evergreen content flowing on your site, you would have to avoid discussion of trends or current events, as this type of information “dates” a post.  For example, reading about current SEO trends and having an article make a pop culture reference to a popular song or performer or another event that most people would be familiar with could minimize the validity of the post later on when readers are looking for information.  They may not interpret the information as being as valid as information they can get elsewhere.

Old content will still find its way into the search engine results.  If the content contains images or video, it may have a higher search engine placement.  This could be a problem if you are trying to improve the search engine ranking of your site and get more recent content and articles noticed.  Having your old posts rank higher than new posts can be a problem for your business—you can actually outrank yourself, and not be showcasing your best work or your current products and services in the best way possible.

Liability Issues

There are times when SEO consultants get called in to help remove old information.  Consider this:  You are offering a special promotion on a product or service.  While your intent is to have this special offer run for a certain period of time, if you have not explicitly stated that there is a limited time to take advantage of that offer, then if someone comes across it years later they may be able to cause harm to your business by claiming that you are using false advertising online if you do not honor the special offer.  You have to be very careful with pruning your content regularly just to make sure that these issues do not arise.

Similarly, there may be changes in how products or services are used.  What if there has been a recall?  What if a particular product has been found to be harmful?  What if cleaning, repairing, etc. of an item has had a major recommended change?  You really need to ensure that you are not going to cause anyone any type of harm by having outdated or incorrect information on your site.

What to Do With Old Information

There are several choices when it comes to handling old or outdated information.  One way to handle it is to remove it entirely if you want.  Although this will eliminate the possibility of the information popping up in the search engine placement, SEO consultants often advise that you keep the old information in archived form because it helps to validate the longevity and activity of your site.

Another option is to add a note to certain posts that the information has expired.  This is an opportunity for you to lead your visitors to another part of your site with an updated link.  This also keeps the information visible to the public, yet shows that you are reviewing old information and that you are committed to providing updated and accurate information.

A third option is to mark the posts as private or hidden.  This will keep them in your files, but your visitors will not be able to see these posts and they will not be exposed to the inaccurate or old information.

Freshen Up!

Any SEO consultants will tell you that it is important to keep your site fresh and relevant.  You should know by now that in order to improve search engine ranking and get a good search engine placement, your content must be frequently posted and current.  You should take a little time, perhaps every six to nine months, and review all of the information that is contained on your site to make sure it is the best representation of your company that you can make.

Josh Rich is a technical writer and blogger on topics related to the utilization of and best practices in digital marketing and technology.

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