Let’s Discuss Old Content And Redirect Chains

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

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

Here are the questions:

Ines asked: What do you finish with old sites that have numerous URLs with very little traffic to the majority of them. Do you remove the bad content first? How much should I remove at a time? Exists a guideline? Should I take internal links into account?

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

Let’s Talk About Old Content

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

I’ll get my animal peeve out of the method initially: Ideally, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do come across it understand that it’s old and outdated.

There are a number of approaches you can take here, and a lot of it depends upon your keyword research and information.

The very first question I ‘d ask myself for any piece of content is: Is this beneficial? Or is it hazardous (out of date, bad advice, no longer appropriate, and so on)?

If it’s hazardous or no longer relevant, like a blog post on how to grow your Google+ following, you can simply go ahead and erase it. There’s absolutely nothing pertinent to redirect it to.

If it’s useful, you’re left with a couple of options:

  • Re-write it or integrate it with other content to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you already have actually more updated or more appropriate content, proceed and 301 reroute it to that content.
  • If it no longer uses to your site or organization, go ahead and delete it.

A lot of SEO pros will inform you that if it utilized to be an extremely popular piece with lots of external links you need to 301 it to maintain those links.

I’ll inform you to either determine why it’s no longer super popular and upgrade it or keep it up for historical functions. It’s remarkable just how much of the “old” web no longer exists.

The secret here is to determine why the material isn’t popular.

When you do that you can follow the below advice:

– Does it fix a user requirement however is simply bad quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Erase it.
– Exists more recent or much better content elsewhere? Reroute it.
– Should I maintain it for historical reasons? Or exists 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 criticism in SEO.

There used to be a ton of debate about whether or not they pass PageRank, just how much PageRank they pass, just how much decays, the number of Google will follow, and so on.

For 99.9999925% of people, none of that matters.

If these are things we need to stress over, they’re so very little that they do not have much of an effect. The truth is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no unfavorable effect or penalty from having redirect chains however aim for not more than 5 hops as Google might drop from following the redirects.

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

When deciding if you need to reroute or erase content, use the rubric above.

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

For example, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), produce A-> C and B-> C (2 redirects) instead.

Hope this assists.

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