Time for Something Cringe-Worthy; Update Old Content

So, I figured since I was revamping some content to see if I can get a better ranking in search, I’d start with WriterSanctuary. After looking back at my articles from 2012, I can see just how far I’ve come. It’s always a good idea to update old content. Even if it’s from nearly a decade ago.

And a lot of the posts I’ve been looking over are extremely cringe-worthy.

It’s hard to imagine how I became such a successful freelance writer. But in a way, it makes me feel good. I’ve accomplished a lot over the years, and these older pieces are a testament to that.

Why Update Old Content?

As a blogger, it’s always a good idea to periodically go through your older posts. This gives you a chance to clarify points, add or remove segments, and keep the content relevant.

After all, the more articles you have in Google search, the more likely you’ll acquire an audience. And if every piece covers a different topic regarding your niche, it’s worth the time to go back and update old content.

Facts and Information May Have Changed

One of the more important reasons to go back over old content is to make sure the facts and information are still the same. Even if you focus on writing evergreen content, certain things become obsolete after a time.

By going back, you can ensure you’re always providing the best information possible. No one wants to read out-dated materials or incorrect facts. At least no one who values honesty and actual knowledge.

And it doesn’t hurt to include current statistics to demonstrate that your blog post isn’t abandoned.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep an eye on your links. The last thing you want are broken links to sites, external or internal, that can confuse visitors. Plus, Google hates broken links in your posts.

Google De-Indexes Abandoned Posts

The longer a piece of content goes untouched in Google, the more likely it’s going to be de-indexed. This is when Google removes it from search results.

Well, this is assumed, anyway. Google isn’t very forthcoming when it comes to how the algorithm works. But I’ve read over several expert topics that demonstrate how older content often gets buried or removed from search results.

Still, whether this is fact or fiction, updating older pieces of content only works in your favor. If you can generate some interest in those older pieces, you may get a boost in visitation.

People Are Still Reading It!

What brought my attention to update the old content, to begin with, was seeing how a visitor read one of my articles from 2012. Curious, I decided to see what it was because I had forgotten.

Needless to say, I was shocked to see how much of my older articles are still viewed by people. And, I was shocked to read some of those older posts as a shiver went down my spine.

The way I figure it, if people are still reading, I might as well give them something worthwhile to read. Some of my beginner stuff was quite awful.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

As a professional freelance writer, blogger, and editor, I need to put my best work on the website. I mean, who’s going to take me seriously if they come across some of that cringy writing from 2012?

In an age where any mistakes of your past will be thrown in your face, it’s best not to give anyone ammunition.

I want people to know that I do know what I’m talking about, and I have succeeded in my areas of expertise. But after reading one of the posts earlier this morning, I can see why some may have doubts.

Keeping the Content Relevant

As I mentioned earlier, when you update old content, it gives you a chance to keep it relevant. Information can easily change over time, or there may be additions you’ll want to put in for today’s society.

Seriously, what would you think if you went on a first date and he or she was rockin’ a mullet?

My point is that you want old articles to be as relevant today as they were when you wrote them. Well, that is unless you’re writing time-sensitive pieces such as the news.

Expanding on the Topic

There are a lot of times when I’ll go back over semi-older pieces to expand on the topic. I did that this morning when I added a step to installing sitemaps in WordPress.

This is because the newest version of WordPress supports built-in sitemaps. I also had to retake a few new screenshots and change some information since Search Console has changed over the past two years.

And that’s my point; sometimes you need to add more information so it’s understandable today.

Besides, it doesn’t hurt to add a bit more meat to your posts later on. It’s all about giving visitors what they want. And if expanding on an answer helps them, then all the better.

Updating Old Content from 8 Years Ago!

So, I’ve decided to start revamping content on WriterSanctuary starting with the oldest pieces first. It looks like I was trying to provide information about specific topics in most of them.

However, many seem more of a journal of sorts. So, I’ll probably just spruce up the text a bit and leave the content as is.

What I really need to do is revamp the categories and remove the dates from the URLs. But with nearly 500 articles, that’s going to be a bit of a pain.

Still, reworking the older pieces might help improve visibility while actually engaging today’s audience.

A lot of the earlier pieces were written back when I was using Joomla. When I moved the content over to WordPress, a lot of the old URL structures and links stayed the same. This will give me a chance to fix those elements as well as add newer images to the articles.

Cross your fingers for me and wish me luck. It’s going to be a long road to walk.

It Pays to Update Old Content on Your Blog

The bottom line is that it’s always a good idea to go back and update the old content on your site. Because you never know who’s going to read what. And you want to make sure you’re providing the best information possible.

From search engine optimization to just making sure you don’t look bad, revamping is important for success as a blogger.

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About:

Michael Brockbank

I've been a freelance writer since January 1, 2012. I've worked with a myriad of clients and currently the Content Marketing Team Lead for GreenGeeks web hosting. My fingers are also in a lot of different industries such as gaming and fitness.

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