How to Update Old Posts for SEO

  June 6, 2022 blogging tips 🕑 7 minutes read

 

After ranking a few old Blogging From Paradise posts on page 1 position 1 of Google I want to explain how to update old posts for SEO.

 

Bloggers typically ignore the goldmine of passive, targeted blog traffic resting within old blog posts.

 

If you are like the old blogging me you probably:

 

  • publish a blog post
  • promote it for a few days
  • forget about it forever

 

Few bloggers know that Google gives a high priority to posts with a seasoned domain age. Basically, once a domain ages 1, 2 or 3 years or older, Google gives the domain and posts published to the domain greater weight. Of course, optimized, long form, timely blog content ranks on page 1 position 1 of Google.  Google never ranks a thin post because it has been around for a while.

 

Since Blogging From Paradise is 8 years old some of my older posts have page 1 potential. When I began optimizing old posts for SEO, updated and republished these posts a few ranked on page 1 of Google quickly for terms like:

 

 

how to update old blog posts for seo

 

I did not optimize these posts for SEO at the original publish date. If anything, I published thin content that could never rank during those days. But updating each old post properly rocketed Blogging From Paradise to page 1 position 1 of Google for multiple blogging keywords.

 

Benefits of Updating Old Posts for Google Traffic

 

As a rule, bloggers discount what they already have in a wild search for more.

 

Bloggers hurriedly publish a high volume of new content but overlook the old content which Google favors.

 

Understanding the potential value of old blog content can make you completely rethink your blogging strategy.

 

Updating old posts for SEO:

 

  • increases targeted blog traffic
  • boosts passive blog traffic
  • directly and indirectly increases blogging profits
  • leverages your blog
  • gives you more free time to enjoy offline

 

Ultimately, when Google sends passive, highly targeted traffic to your blog around the clock you enjoy more time with family and friends offline as your business grows.

 

Learning how to update old posts for SEO may be the quickest way to drive Google traffic to your blog.

 

Follow these steps to drive Google traffic with old content.

 

Select an Old Post with Relevant Keywords

 

Pick an old post to update with relevant niche keywords to drive Google traffic.

 

Select long tail keywords to drive targeted traffic to blog post. Avoid highly competitive keywords.

 

Keyword research methods vary but I prefer to use:

 

 

After selecting your keyword create content to update the post.

 

Reach the 1500 Word Count Threshold with In-Depth Details

 

Write at least 1500 words to appease Google.

 

People who use Google prefer long form content.

 

The Google algorithm favors highly-detailed, long form blog content spanning 1500 plus words.

 

Drill down. Publish in-depth content. Never hold back. Visualize yourself publishing more of a short eBook than writing a blog post.

 

Add as many practical details as possible. Give readers all steps necessary to get the job done.

 

For example, the non native English speaker post noted above contained 8 practical steps broken down into detailed subsections. ESL bloggers have a beneficial guide of simple steps to follow in the blog post.

 

Format the post for easy scanning.

 

Use:

 

  • headers
  • frequent paragraphs
  • short, crisp sentences
  • bullet point lists

 

for the optimal user experience.

 

Cyprus

 

Consider setting aside 2-3 hours to rewrite and update old posts for SEO. Do the job properly. Take your time.

 

Delete All Outdated Content

 

Remove all outdated content.

 

Good SEO depends on publishing timely content. Readers do not trust dated content in a fast moving world.

 

For example, my recently updated post on successful bloggers to follow reached page 1 position 1 of Google in the past week by displacing the prior page 1 position 1 post published in 2018. Even though most of these bloggers are probably still quite successful Google does not instill trust by claiming that the best list of successful bloggers to follow reaches back to 2018. Blogging changed quite a bit in the prior 4 years.

 

Delete references to:

 

  • shut down sites
  • shut down blogs
  • low quality blogs
  • low quality sites
  • news mentions (virtually all news is old news)

 

Save yourself time and energy by updating old posts with as much evergreen content as possible. Focus on principles over ever-changing, mercurial, sprouting social networks and any time-sensitive mention that kills your changes of ranking on page 1 of Google for more than a few days or weeks.

 

Update Content to Keep Current

 

In addition to deleting outdated content update posts with current strategies.

 

Write about cutting edge, practical tips relevant to bloggers now. For example, as of this post publish date people consume a heavy volume of content through videos and podcasts. Google tends to rank blog posts filled with current techniques relevant to user needs.

 

Perform due diligence to find timely strategies. Add current tactics from your personal experience. Updating and re-publishing old content to rank on Google seems to work well for me recently. I published this post based on what appears to be working for me now to help fellow bloggers drive targeted, passive Google traffic.

 

Either find the balance between keeping relevant content and adding new content in naturally flowing fashion or completely rewrite the post if necessary.

 

Completely Rewrite the Post if Necessary

 

Smart SEO dictates that publishing:

 

  • timely
  • relevant
  • detailed
  • in-depth
  • naturally flowing

 

content positions blog posts prominently on Google.

 

Hold these ideas in mind before choosing to add content to old posts or to completely rewrite old blog posts.

 

I prefer to completely rewrite old blog posts to begin with a clean slate. Everything flows smoothly through old posts I rewrite from scratch.

 

Do not fear:

 

  • deleting 1000 plus words of dated, irrelevant content
  • spending 2-3 hours rewriting an SEO-optimized post from scratch on an aged domain

 

In a sense, rewriting a 1500 word old post over 3 hours on an aged domain is like using a cheat code compared to writing and publishing a new post. In my experience, Google seems to give precedence to an old post from 1, 2 or 3 years ago on an aged domain versus a new post on an aged domain even if you completely delete old post content and rewrite the post.

 

Google cares about a natural, free-flowing user experience versus being concerned about the age of words published via a blog post. Writing a completely new post on an aged domain with an aged URL became the quickest way for me to rank on page 1 of Google.

 

However, if your old blog content is still largely timely, relevant and free-flowing just remove any traces of outdated content and optimize for SEO to rank on Google.

 

Video

 

Rewriting old posts forces you to slow down the blogging process.

 

But slowing down the blogging process actually increases your blogging success quickly.

 

How?

 

Here’s why:

 

Why Does the Quickest Way to Become a Successful Blogger Confuse Just About Everyone?

 

Link to Long Form Content on Your Blog

 

Link to long form content on your blog for effective SEO.

 

Give readers older and newer blog resources from your site to earn credibility. Increase time spent on site. Boost page views.

 

Send a clear signal to search engines by linking to valued, SEO-optimized resources on your blog.

 

Link to External Resources from Your Blogging Niche

 

Link to valued resources in your blogging niche.

 

Improve your exposure on SERPs by gaining credibility through association

 

For example, any time I link to a credible blogging tips resource like Smart Blogger Blogging From Paradise gains trust. Google perceives my blog favorably because I linked to a trusted blogging tips themed blog.

 

Like cooking a fish, don’t over do it but don’t under do it either. Link to a few trusted, relevant resources from your niche to update old posts effectively.

 

Add Multi Media

 

Adding multi media like embedded videos and embedded podcasts to updated posts helped Blogging From Paradise posts reach page 1 of Google.

 

Make content timely by giving readers what they currently want.

 

Most people spend significant time watching videos and listening to podcasts on their phones.

 

Tailor your blog to these needs. Create updated blog content with multi-media to keep readers onsite for a longer time, too.

 

Should You Republish the Post?

 

Republish every old post you completely rewrote because it is essentially new blog content.

 

But before you republish any updated post consider:

 

  • how much new content you added to the post
  • how much old content you removed from the post
  • when you published or last updated and republished the post

 

As a rule, republish only updated posts with substantial changes to avoid wasting your reader’s time.

 

Oman

 

For example, I do not republish updated blog posts involving one added paragraph or a few deleted sentences. Do my current readers need to see the same post on page 1 of Blogging From Paradise again just to read one new paragraph?

 

As an interesting observation, my “blogging income claims” post ranked on page 1 position 1 of Google within hours of thoroughly rewriting and updating but not republishing the post. Google finds detailed, timely, updated content whether or not you republish the post.

 

Keep your readers and not Google in mind before republishing updated posts.

 

Conclusion

 

Stop overlooking old blog content.

 

Leverage these posts to save your time and energy.

 

Set aside some time to update and optimize old posts for SEO.

 

Drive highly targeted, passive Google traffic to your blog.

  1. sayem Ibn Kashem says:
    at 4:20 am

    Updating blog post increase website traffic dramatically. Google always loves fresh and updated content. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kellye Hefner says:
    at 1:46 pm

    As always, I learned something new from you. Thanks, Ryan!

  3. Sam says:
    at 1:28 am

    Thank you for this! I didn’t realize that I can continually update my blog and continue refining it, unlike a video on Youtube or social media. I’m new to the space and learning something every day. Thanks, Ryan!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 10:31 am

      I am happy to help, Sam.

  4. Lisa Sicard says:
    at 11:43 am

    Hi Ryan, this is my favorite thing to do though I often hesitate to delete old posts and pages. However, I recently did as they made no sense anymore. Some of my posts are from 2014. I’ve been updating as many as I can along the way. I’ve noticed some big rankings on the posts I did as well.
    The readers love landing on relevant and timely content too. They don’t want to read old outdated info, I know I don’t.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 4:49 pm

      I literally deleted 100’s of posts Lisa. I finally understood that readers and Google judge the full body of blogging work, meaning the full collection of posts. Trashing individual posts completely outdated, off topic or lacking in quality helps the full body of work. Plus, simply deleting all content from an old post but re-writing and building around a long tail keyword does wonders for driving Google traffic. Google loves old domains and aged permalinks, too, from my experience.

  5. Rob Harrison says:
    at 5:54 am

    I gone through your blog. Its really good.very useful information..Thanks for sharing this Ryan. Looking for more!!

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 7:23 am

      Cool Rob sounds good.