Why and How to Properly Update Old Blog Posts

Update old posts

Optimizing older blog posts matters a lot when you want to prevent your blog from being the victim of Google panda update.

Optimizing blog posts for better visibility makes sure that your previous hard works are bearing fruits for you. Especially if your niche is timeless.

If you do not reconsider your old posts, then those old posts are no more timeless posts. It will stop getting organic traffic. Updating those old posts according to present scenario and observations, helps a lot in passing some traffic juice to them.

Why update old content on your blog?

As you might have come across, Google displays the freshness of the content in its SERPs to help users determine the freshness of the post. If you update the older blog posts, Google will take the modified date and display it in the SERPs. Thus, your blog post will get higher CTR in SERPs.

Last updated date

Like this, editing your old blog posts ruthlessly has many of the advantages like increased readership, the effectiveness of images, and organic traffic. It also prevents your older blog posts contributing to the overall bounce rate of your blog.

These are the some of the benefits of reconsidering old blog posts.

Getting rid of amateur blog posts

As an amateur blogger, you might have committed many mistakes.

Sometimes, you might have written shallow posts without knowing about the topic. At the beginning of your blogging career, when you write about things you don't know, your blog posts may have wrong information.

As your blog becomes older, so your experience.

There are even scenarios when I look at my older blog posts and laugh shamefully!

Change in your way of interpretation

While writing your older blog posts, you may have a different mindset and thus your opinions might have been different.

But now you have changed your opinion on that particular topic according to the current trend.

Your advice in that old blog posts may not be valid or effective in the present scenario.

Updating old blog posts helps you to update your fresh opinion in the blog post.

Spark conversation

No one bothers to comment on your blog if there is no call to action. Most of the older blog posts do not have enough conversation.

Updating the older content with fresh new content makes a way for conversations.

If possible, put an updated label in the title or republish the blog post on the homepage. Is'nt it simple?

Conversation and comments add value to your blog posts.

Retain visitors

The moment your visitors notice that your blog content is outdated, they bounce off the blog. They don't bother to dig up further.

Guess what? You will miss loyal readers!

Updating old content helps to keep those visitors intact with your blog.

Visitors will be disappointed with the old content on your blog.

Get an instant Google boost

Boost

Google clearly loves fresh, updated content. Google Caffeine update stresses this.

As soon as you add insightful stuff to your older content, and update the "last updated date", be ready for the organic spike. As soon as the Google crawls your blog post next time, it will notice that your content is updated and gives you a boost.

How freshness matters to Google?

Google determines how fresh the content should be, based on the type of the user query.

A webpage is given a freshness score based on its inception date. Older the blog post or a webpage becomes, it will become stale in the eyes of Google for some niches.

Google also takes account of the frequency of updating of web pages and gives freshness scores accordingly.

A document whose content is edited often may be scored differently than a document whose content remains static over time. Also, a document having a relatively large amount of its content updated over time might be scored differently than a document having a relatively small amount of its content updated over time.
– Document scoring based on document content update

By the above statement, I can say that – " Google also analyzes the extent of upgradation of web pages over time". In simple words, if the nearly entire webpage is edited on upgradation, then it may rank differently in Google.

By this, I can say that updating the "modified date" in byline after the webpage has been updated, matters a lot. It is essential to tell Google that the webpage is updated.

The Freshness of the links pointing to the webpage

Document S may be considered fresh if n% of the links to S are fresh or if the documents containing forward links to S are considered fresh.
– Document scoring based on document content update

Some content has a special nature that it will be evergreen even when the time lapses. In order to determine that type of content, Google looks at the freshness of the links pointing to the web page.

If a high authority site points to a webpage that is 10 years old, then Google concludes that the old piece of content is still relevant and fresh.

By considering these points, you should update existing content. It is explained step-by-step from now onwards.

How to update old content

Infographic on updating old blog posts
Infographic on updating posts (use it with credits or link back)

Just go to the old blog post. Make it insightful. Add value to it.

Examine the way in which the trends have changed. Change the older blog posts so that it does not look like generic blog posts. Be different. Everyone loves unique content, even Google also.

Search for the new blog posts that published on the same topic. Get new ideas, update your existing content.

Correct typos, grammar and improve readability

Even though you proofread your articles before publishing, there are the chances of typos. You may even have committed grammatical mistakes earlier in your blogging career.

Correct them while updating your old blog posts.

Finally, proofread your updated blog post. If you have updated your content, then there may be again the chances of typos or grammatical mistakes.

Also read: 7 Free Online Proofreading Tools for Better Blogging

Proofread the updated blog post MANUALLY, it is effective.

You may also not have properly used the formatting tags. On the other hand, you may have included cliches and unwanted sentences in your blog posts. Do remove them and update the blog post.

In WordPress, blog posts are arranged chronologically. So simply changing the publish date of the updated blog post to today's date, brings up that post to your blog's homepage.

Links on the homepage will get more exposure.

Now it's time to get some exposure for your updated blog post.

  1. Search for interlinking opportunities in other blog posts, interlink the updated blog post in other blog posts.
  2. Interlinking helps in passing some SEO juice and authority to the recently updated blog post.
  3. The moment the post gets some traffic, Google automatically takes up the updated blog post.
  4. Reshare your updated blog posts on social media. Use plugins such as Revive Old Post
  5. Sharing posts on social media, send new visitors to the updated blog post. Your updated content will get some exposure.
  6. Include related posts
  7. Including related posts in all the posts helps to drastically reduce bounce rate. It tells readers clearly where to go after reading the current blog post.
  8. It also gives some exposure for older content.
  9. Send emails to your list, pending them about the updated blog post on your blog.
  10. Send emails to your list and old commenters. Send personal emails to commenters of that old blog post about the updated blog post. As they were interested in the old blog post, they surely will visit the updated version of the same blog post. Plugin: Commenter emails plugin.

Include great graphics to your posts

Graphics should be included in a blog post. A single attractive graphic at the beginning of the article increases the chances of people reading your blog post. It gives an impression that post is fresh. You may create graphics in Canva, PicMonkey, G.I.M.P or Photoshop.

One of the easiest ways to create good graphics is to blur the background and write the text on the blurred background. This is one of the methods of creating quote images for social media and content.

You may also produce medium graphics that present information attractively.

Blog posts with more images tend to rank higher in Google.

Graphics appear blog to be professional, well-crafted and it reflects the importance you are giving to your blog posts.

Reconsider keyword

At the time when you are a newbie, you may have targeted a keyword ineffectively or you may not target any keyword itself.

The old keyword may be ineffective.

Redo the keyword research. The target for the effective keyword, according to the trend. Follow Semantic keyword research and include LSI keywords in your blog posts.

Include keywords in the title, Meta description and sprinkle semantic and main keywords throughout the blog posts.

However, do it carefully if your blog post is already ranking for some competitive keywords.

Repurposing content

After updating the blog post, now you are confident that your blog post has the potential to return great value to the readers.

Why not make your blog post reach to a wider audience by repurposing it? You can repurpose your blog content by converting it into slides, videos, and infographics and properly sharing and promoting it.

Here's my complete guide on repurposing existing blog posts easily within an hour.

Must read: Definitive Guide to Content Repurposing Process

Get fresh backlinks to your updated content

As I said earlier, Google patent said that "Fresher backlinks signal that an old web page is fresh and still relevant". After you finish updating and promoting your old blog post, it's very crucial to get fresh backlinks to the newly updated post.

When an authority site links to your old, newly updated post, it gives a fat ping to Google that your content is still relevant.

Also, it is worthwhile to note that, building backlinks to internal pages is highly effective than that of building the backlinks to the homepage.

Up to you…

Try to republish the updated post on the homepage. So that you will treat it as a brand new blog post.

Promote it, as you did for any newly published blog post.

Reach the audience for whom you didn't reach the last time. Ping the existing readers about the updated content.

Make sure that your blog is timeless. So that it will receive passive traffic.

Recommended:

Enjoy the traffic to the updated post.

Do share and comment.

DISCLOSURE
This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). All opinions are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

12 thoughts on “Why and How to Properly Update Old Blog Posts

  1. Hi Akshay, after reading your post i think i agree with with you, first there must be the desire to update old posts before you can successfully carry it out, most of us bloggers dont care about old posts, we just keep shooting new ones.

  2. Akshay, thanks for sharing this.

    I do think that as soon as your experience grows, it is necessary to update the post which is based on our past experience, as readers prioritize the post along with its Update date.

  3. This is a great idea to rewrite your old posts ,as a result it will make your posts SEO friendly and will keep your blog/domain away from Google Panda update Penalty. I do this once in awhile, I thought about going through some of the older ones that I believe would be helpful and plan to reschedule them or post them as newer blog entries. You should change the date to latest date..but don’t dig and bring the oldest article because the user may think you are lagging behind better to update the previous date.

    Also, Interlinking old posts within the new articles will play a major role in proper indexing of those articles. It works most of the time. These old posts have good page rank, so we can share the page rank to other new posts. This will increase the SERP ranking also. I think Related posts and putting them on the sidebar is the best option to get them noticed.

    Really this post will be of great help to make the blog look and behave like a website so that the good content remained evergreen. Thanks!

  4. Hello Akshay,

    These tips are really great, I agree with you that editing in your old post is important part of blogging. I have experienced it before few weeks and it is working good for me.
    all your points and might have to start going back to previous posts to update them.

    Thanks for sharing this useful and effective info with us.

    I hope you’re having a great week. Happy Blogging 🙂

  5. Hi Akshay,

    After reading your post. I tried to Update my old posts in blogger, it got updated but it did not come on the homepage.
    How can i make them appear as latest post after updating the old post?

    Thanks,
    Jatin

  6. recycling posts is a very crucial as we blog on a basis. These old posts have good page rank, so we can share the page rank to other new posts. This will increase the SERP ranking also.

  7. Thank you for writing such an informative post. I'm in the process of reviving a 10-year-old blog that has sat dormant for almost 4 years and this post gave me all the information I needed on how to freshen it up and start ranking again. I had already been freshening up keyword research grammar and spelling errors etc. but I particularly appreciated the idea that I should actually rewrite significant portions of my posts to make them not only look fresher but be more relevant.

  8. I was amazed how even small updates on blog, caused better rank in SERPs. It's really good post because here is answer for "Why". I think updates are better than creating posts like "part 2" or new post with new title.

  9. Hey, Akshay

    Great post and very useful information about the update of old blog post content. Yes updating and optimizing the old post content with proper updated keywords and information will help the post to get higher ranking in Google. By the Google Algorithm, they advised more to keep updating the site or blog content will help you to get increase in Google search engine ranking.

    Awesome share ! Keep Sharing !

  10. Hello Akshay
    thanks for the useful info.
    I am trying to find information on how to change the dates on my 2010 blog posts
    do I just update post without changing the date?

    thanks in advance

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