Your September 2017 Search Engine Bytes Digest
What's the best way to manage old blog posts when refreshing a long running WordPress blog site?
We've had our WordPress blog up and running for over 10 years. We'd like to do some clean-up and reorganizing, but we don't want to hurt our SEO efforts. So, we need some questions answered before we proceed;
Can we re-publish older articles that are still relevant today? Do we delete the old post?
Should we delete older posts that have no traffic? Is there a benefit to doing that? ... and how do we properly do it without creating 404 'not found' errors?
Any other suggestion you might have for an older blog like ours.
Yes, absolutely you can re-publish relevant articles. No, you should NOT delete any post, you should UPDATE the post with new information, being very careful not to change the URL, and then republish.
Yes and no. Use the Search Queries report in Google, sort by pages, then sort by traffic. If the post shows no traffic in the last month and for several months, then consider updating and republishing for a better result.
And, if this isn't practical for some reason then consider redirecting it to a related resource while bearing in mind that it has to be nearly an IDENTICAL resource in order to avoid being penalized by Google for using a deceptive redirect.
And finally, if neither of those choices are workable then just remove it and let it 404. It won't hurt your site's rankings.
- We also suggest you do a full content audit. How is the page speed? Have you optimized these posts with quality information and graphics with unique ALT Tags? Does the content ask and answer questions? Do they load fast? Are you using a quality sharing plugin like Social Warfare?
Formatting on a blog post is important. You should avoid starting the post with a large image. Instead, you should begin each post with a title. Then provide a brief 1-3 sentence summary of the post at the top o...