How to identify and rejuvenate outdated content

Oct 14, 2022 by
How to identify and rejuvenate outdated content

As we begin to approach the end of the year with (yet another) new Prime Minister, we’re reminded of just how quickly things change, particularly in an age of 24-hour news. In such an environment, it’s only natural that content will lose its freshness a little sooner than it might have years ago. For those of us in SEO, this means older work often gets buried and loses traffic and relevance.

But outdated content doesn’t need to be relegated to the scrap heap if it can be given a little love and attention. Updated content not only improves the overall user experience by eliminating irrelevancy from your site but will help maintain more consistent rankings for your SEO while also making the most of your existing link equity.

But before we can do the all-important makeover, we must first identify the ugly ducklings.

Identifying outdated content

Check your rankings – If you have noticed certain pages moving down significantly in the ranking on your Google analytics then it could be due to outdated content. Evaluate your target SERP and see if a more modern page is outranking yours and look at it to figure out why. Chances are that page has recently been updated.

Lost traffic – If your site is particularly large it could be almost impossible to track rankings individually. In this case, look at the traffic levels to see where the problems lie. Compare clicks to the same periods in months or years past (ensuring you choose the same day of the week in each instance) and you’ll soon start to see where the obvious dips are occurring.

Link equity – Use Link Explorer to figure out which are your most and least linked-to pages. If a page is heavily linked and has almost no organic traffic, then the page is probably in need of some updating.

Rejuvenating outdated content

Republish – This is the bare minimum and could be seen as cheating. We also would recommend not doing it if you can as Google themselves state it doesn’t make a difference. It does though. A little. So, if you plan on doing nothing else, you might as well republish the page.

Replenish – Here, of course, is where the meat of the job lies; filling out the content with fresh information that either adds to or replaces the information from before. Include more recent stats, more modern sources and new screenshots and videos, where possible. Also, add more internal links to fresher content and a new CTA. It doesn’t take long but it will make a world of difference.

Redirect – Finally, it sometimes makes sense to consolidate your articles into one page or change the URL. This is especially true when the URL involves dates that could be seen as (literally) outdated. Of course, if you can do without internal redirects then you’ll be all the better for it. But it’s always handy to know that it is an option, at least.

Above all else, you should really be making identifying and updating old content a regular part of your SEO routine. Because it’s a lot less work to make old content sparkle than to create something brand new that’s equally relevant. Trust us.