The Importance of Keeping Content Up To Date

With this blog about to hit 2 years old, whoop!, I began to think more and more about legacy content. I've posts that haven't changed since they were written since that date - most of the stuff is now out of date ... so I have asked myself a question I always ask my own clients in the same situation. Is the content still relevant? or have things moved on?

The answer is either "yes, it's still relevant content" or "things have moved on" - so lets take a look at the two situations and see what actions you should be taking in each scenario to get the most from your blog.

Things have moved on, the content is no longer relevant

In this case, I implore clients to think as to whether any of the content is still relevant and whether the said content is relevant to their industry still in anyway. for example in SEO, is PageRank still a relevant topic? not really but lots of people still search for it and so content in this area is worth keeping.

Once you've got a list of what could be relevant and what really isn't relevant you need to follow the guide below.

Make a note of any url's that have content that is out dated

Write some new posts about a subject which is now important in the area (eg talking about MSN or Yahoo would now be Bing)

Once you've got the new content use a 301 redirect from the old content to new content

Delete your old posts, or stick them back into draft - so you can refer to them.

Remember if you can put 3 or 4 old posts into 1 new one, do so.

In doing this you won't loose visitors, links or rankings of a page - they are simple directed to the new piece of content. And the same is true of static pages, create a new one and forward it - or in this case simply update the info on that static page.

Yes, the content is still relevant

If this is the case things can become a little more complicated. For instance I have a blog post about the perfect seo page structure, but the format has somewhat changed with the advent of html 5, so should i go back and update this well performing page? well yes and no, is the answer.

If you want to keep a piece of content on a blog such as this then you should update it a little, add a footer note saying you've written a new post and link to it, also do the same in the header. If you visit one of my post over a certain age it comes up with a warning saying the content maybe out of date, the reason for this is that nothing stays the same and pointing out things change means someone isn't going to look into a dead end ...but they are more likely to search your site for another more up to date post.

Then in your new post, remember to link to your old post - saying I wrote this but it's a bit tired now so here is an update, then chuck all the bells and whistles about the subject matter at them. Remembering Content is King.