Let’s Talk About Old Content And Redirect Chains

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While looking through some questions submitted to SEJ after a recent webinar, 2 of them protruded to me as related and similar.

That indicates you’re in for a treat, gentile reader, since today’s an unique 2-for-1 variation of Ask an SEO.

Here are the questions:

Ines asked: What do you make with old sites that have numerous URLs with really little traffic to most of them. Do you get rid of the bad content first? How much should I remove at a time? Is there a guideline? Should I take internal links into account?

Christina asked: Is it better to reroute old material to brand-new content if that results in a redirect chain? Or should I simply erase that content?

Let’s Talk About Old Material

There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s dive into it.

I’ll get my pet peeve out of the way first: Ideally, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do come across it know that it’s old and outdated.

There are a number of methods you can take here, and a great deal of it depends upon your keyword research and data.

The first concern I ‘d ask myself for any piece of content is: Is this useful? Or is it damaging (out of date, bad advice, no longer pertinent, and so on)?

If it’s damaging or no longer appropriate, like an article on how to grow your Google+ following, you can just go on and delete it. There’s absolutely nothing pertinent to reroute it to.

If it’s useful, you’re entrusted a couple of choices:

  • Re-write it or combine it with other content to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you currently have actually more updated or more relevant content, go ahead and 301 redirect it to that content.
  • If it no longer uses to your website or service, proceed and delete it.

A lot of SEO pros will tell you that if it utilized to be a very popular piece with lots of external links you ought to 301 it to protect those links.

I’ll tell you to either find out why it’s no longer incredibly popular and upgrade it or keep it up for historical functions. It’s incredible how much of the “old” web no longer exists.

The secret here is to figure out why the content isn’t popular.

When you do that you can follow the below advice:

– Does it resolve a user need however is just poor quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Erase it.
– Is there more recent or much better content elsewhere? Reroute it.
– Should I protect it for historical factors? Or is there just little volume for that now, but I’m still getting traffic? Leave it alone.

OK, Now Let’s Discuss Redirects

Redirect chains get a great deal of bad press in SEO.

There utilized to be a ton of dispute about whether they pass PageRank, how much PageRank they pass, how much decays, how many Google will follow, and so on.

For 99.9999925% of individuals, none of that matters.

If these are things we require to stress over, they’re so minimal that they don’t have much of a result. The fact is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “worth” through them.

There’s no negative impact or charge from having redirect chains however aim for not more than 5 hops as Google may drop from following the redirects.

Sure, they aren’t ideal. They will include a few milliseconds of load time for your page, and they may not send 100% of the PageRank value through to the destination, however all that is minimal and, honestly, over-thinking SEO.

When deciding if you need to redirect or erase material, utilize the rubric above.

And as a best practice, if you have rerouted chains, bring them to a minimal by upgrading redirects to point straight to the last location.

For instance, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), produce A-> C and B-> C (two redirects) instead.

Hope this assists.

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