Let’s Discuss Old Content And Redirect Chains

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

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

Here are the concerns:

Ines asked: What do you do with old websites that have hundreds of URLs with very little traffic to the majority of them. Do you get rid of the bad content first? Just how much should I get rid of at a time? Exists a rule? Should I take internal links into account?

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

Let’s Discuss Old Material

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

I’ll get my pet peeve out of the way initially: Hopefully, you have dates on this old content, so that the readers who do stumble upon it understand that it’s old and outdated.

There are a couple of techniques you can take here, and a lot of it depends on your keyword research study and information.

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 Or is it harmful (out of date, bad recommendations, no longer appropriate, and so on)?

If it’s harmful or no longer pertinent, like a post on how to grow your Google+ following, you can simply proceed and delete it. There’s absolutely nothing relevant to reroute it to.

If it works, you’re entrusted a few choices:

  • Re-write it or combine it with other material to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you already have more upgraded or more appropriate content, proceed and 301 redirect it to that material.
  • If it no longer uses to your site or business, go on and delete it.

A lot of SEO pros will inform you that if it utilized to be an incredibly popular piece with great deals of external links you ought to 301 it to maintain 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 purposes. It’s amazing how much of the “old” internet no longer exists.

The key here is to determine why the content isn’t popular.

As soon as you do that you can follow the below recommendations:

– Does it fix a user need but is just poor quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Erase it.
– Is there more recent or better content in other places? Redirect it.
– Should I protect it for historic reasons? Or exists just little volume for that now, however I’m still getting traffic? Leave it alone.

OK, Now Let’s Discuss Redirects

Redirect chains get a lot of bad press in SEO.

There used to be a lots of argument about whether or not they pass PageRank, just how much PageRank they pass, just how much decays, how many Google will follow, etc.

For 99.9999925% of individuals, none of that matters.

If these are things we require to stress over, they’re so very little that they do not have much of a result. The truth is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” 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 add a couple of milliseconds of load time for your page, and they may not send 100% of the PageRank worth through to the destination, however all that is minimal and, truthfully, over-thinking SEO.

When choosing if you ought to redirect or delete material, use the rubric above.

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

For instance, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), develop A-> C and B-> C (2 redirects) rather.

Hope this assists.

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