Should you update old blog posts for SEO? How do you decide?

Simple SEO Podcast, SEO

Have you ever found yourself wondering if your old blog is helping or hurting your website’s SEO? Have you wondered if it was worth updating old blog posts for SEO or if you should delete them and start over? You want to ask yourself several questions about your blog and business before keeping and updating or deleting old blog posts. 


Listen to the podcast episode here.

Are your old blog posts worth updating? 

Is your old blog related to your current business? Sometimes, we switch niches or move around a bit as we find our way in business, and when this happens, we have old content that’s really not super related to what we’re doing today. Other times, we’ve stayed in the same niche or served the same customer the entire time, so the content closely relates to what we’re doing today.


Before you can decide if it’s worth updating old blog posts for SEO, you want to determine if the old blog posts in question are in alignment with your current business and serve the needs of your Ideal Customer. If they are, then it’s probably worth considering updating them. If they’re not related to your current business, are outdated, or are no longer relevant, then it’s probably better to get rid of them because they could be hurting your SEO.


How should you update your blog posts for SEO? What matters today?

Today’s most current Google algorithm, the Helpful Content algorithm update, focuses heavily on sharing helpful and valuable content with the reader. Google wants to ensure the content they’re ranking high and sending people to will answer their questions and help them. If your content isn’t good in Google’s eyes, they’re not going to want to rank it high in the search results. 


Google looks at all content today through the E-E-A-T lens. It’s Google’s own grading system for websites and blogs.


E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authority, and trust. Google is looking for each of these four items in your content. They want you to highlight your experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness within your industry in your content. They want to rank websites from experts within the industry, not just websites that can rank high because they’ve built up their authority. This is good news for us as small business owners because our sites are not going to be as authoritative as big businesses, but we can still stand out in our niche thanks to our background and experience.


E-E-A-T example – Google wants to rank a chocolate chip cookie recipe from a baking website because the baking website should have more experience baking than a bank’s website. If a bank were to create a blog post on how to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie, Google should rank the baking website higher thanks to E-E-A-T. This wasn’t always the case in the past, where sometimes less relevant but more authoritative websites were the ones that ranked for searches, which isn’t as good for the searcher. As a business owner, this is good as long as you stay focused on your niche and essentially stay in your lane. 


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What do you do with your old blog posts if they’re worth updating for SEO?


You’ll want to review the old blog posts and determine which ones you should remove and which you should update or refresh. Compile a list of any outdated or no longer relevant and remove them because they won’t help your SEO. I’d add a 301 redirect for those blog posts to your category landing page in case anyone has the posts bookmarked or has old links that someone could land on. It’s not completely necessary from Google’s standpoint, but it’s a good thing to do for your reader. Landing on a 404 error isn’t a great user experience. 


If you’re going to refresh your old blog posts for SEO, you’ll want to start by doing fresh SEO keyword research. Look for a keyword your Ideal Customer uses that your website has a good chance of ranking on Page 1 of Google so you can get traffic to this updated blog post. Then, you’ll want to use that SEO keyword in all of the places that Google will look for information as to what the post is about. If you’re not sure how to do SEO on your blog, read this blog post here on blog SEO. It will walk you through the process.


If you need help choosing the right keyword, be sure to check out my mini-SEO course – Simple Keyword Research, and I’ll walk you through how to do SEO keyword research for your website in under an hour. If you’re not sure what to do for SEO on your website, take my SEO Starter Course today, and I’ll walk you through that, too.


If you’d rather work 1:1 with me and create a plan for your old blog posts, I’d love to help you, too. Check out my packages, and let’s chat. 


Should you update old blog posts for SEO -Podcast Episode Transcript


Hi, welcome back to the simple marketing and SEO podcast. I'm your host, Rachel Lindteigen. And today we have a really great topic.


This was a question that was submitted through our Google form. If you have a question you'd like me to address on the podcast, make sure you're clicking that link. I'll put it in the description or the show notes so that you can find that question link and submit yours.


So the question today came from Heather and she wants to know do old blog posts hurt my website or blogs, SEO.


So. Maybe. Potentially. It depends. And I know that's not the best answer.


But let's dig in because I want you to understand how you can determine whether or not you're in a situation where your old blog posts are beneficial. Or they're hurting you because if they're hurting you, there were some things that you need to do to take care of the situation so that you don't damage your website's ability to rank for more keywords, to drive more traffic, to help you make more money.


So. First things first. I want you to look at those old blog posts, and I want you to determine, are they still relevant to your business? If you have pivoted, if you've switched, you've shifted and you have a bunch of content from an old business or from an old blog that really isn't relevant today. It's potentially hurting you. And so we need to do something with it.


Now, if they're still aligned with your current offers, they still align with your products and services, but maybe they're outdated.


Maybe they link to freebies that you don't have any more, or they mentioned products or services that you don't sell anymore. These could be hurting you as well. 

So we need to do something with them to make them so that they're going to work better for you.


The next thing I want you to think about, and I want you to look at them and read them and make sure are they helpful?


Does your blog post truly tell your ideal customer, your reader, something of value. Is there insight and information in there that maybe they can't get somewhere else or. Did you potentially just write it? To rank, you know, five years ago you wrote this blog post because you wanted to rank for a certain keyword. And you really don't provide much value to your ideal customer. If you're answering no to any of these, it doesn't really align with my product or service anymore. It has an outdated. Call to action. It links to an outdated freebie or an outdated product. It's from a different era in my business. It's not really super helpful. Then. The answer here to your question to old blog posts hurt. My SEO is probably.


Google has changed and gotten more advanced over the last decade. And Google's had a number of algorithm updates and they have all been centered around the quality of your content. Google today really wants you to provide value for your ideal customer. They want your content to be helpful. They want it to be written. People first content is what they're asking for. Meaning you write it for your ideal customer or your reader, not the search engine. So you really need to make sure that the content you have is super valuable. The other thing I want you to understand. As that. E a T experience, expertise, authority, and trust. This came out from Google maybe a year or so ago. And this is how Google is now grading every individual page on your website or blog.


And what Google is looking for is to make sure that it's ranking pages and blog posts and websites from a thorough potato of sites, trustworthy sites, ones where the person who's writing it actually have experience working on this.


They have expertise, they have background in it. So. If you have content. That really. It doesn't align. Let's just say far extreme example. Okay. Your food blogger. You focus on desserts and you have a post on. The best microphone for recording a podcast. You're not really an expert in that, even if you're a podcast or even if you have a podcast about baking, you're still not really an expert in that because. Your whole blog is about baking, not podcasting. Google really wants you to kind of stay in your own lane. So, if you have content that Google might feel is very irrelevant, this could potentially hurt you.


So what do you do if you're finding that you're listening to this and you're like, Okay. I do have old blood posts. They aren't really relevant to what I'm doing now. They maybe aren't great. They may be, are super outdated. You may be wondering, what do you do?


So you have three different things that you can do if you're in this situation. And I want you to think about. What's going to be the best course of action. Now I do teach. An entire module on how to do things like this within simple SEO content. So if you have a big blog that you've had for years, and you're not really sure what to do with it, And you want to be able to come in and take the class, join me in simple SEO content or schedule some one-on-one consulting sessions and you and I can go through this together.


But if you need. You know, you're listening to the podcast, you're doing this on your own. What I want you to understand is you have three options.


Basically one is to remove. So whatever the old outdated content is, you can remove it. You can delete it. More likely more appropriate would be to do a redirect, especially if maybe you've had pins on Pinterest or people have shared links to that blog post in the past. Uh, 3 0 1, that's a permanent redirect. Uh, 3 0 1 redirect to a landing page or to a different blog post or to just your blog homepage could be a good option.


The other thing you can do. Is to update it. If it is. Outdated, but it's still relevant. It's still ties to your business. It still ties to your products and services. It just needs to be refreshed, refresh it, my friend, that old blog, if you refresh and you update, and then you update your optimization and you choose a new keyword and you do your SEO on it, those old blog posts can actually be revived and can help you to grow your business today.


So if you're in a situation like that, you're not sure how to go about this. Let's work together. Join me in class schedule some one-on-one consulting sessions, whatever it is, I can help you figure this out. And I would love to help you figure this out. I'm here to help you succeed. That really is my biggest goal is to help you. 


So if you've got old blog posts and you're wondering if they're hurting your SEO, There's a good chance. They are. And there were steps that you can take to turn things around so that they will actually help you in the long run. All right. If you have any questions, you know how to find me. Um, DME on Insta at etched marketing. Academy or reply back to your weekly email, or just send me an email through the website and let's talk because I would love to be able to help you with this. All right. Thanks for being here. I will see you next week. Bye. For now.