There is some evidence to suggest that updating your old blog posts with new information, up-to-date references and fresh references, is actually of more value to your website, when it comes to Google, than just going and writing more new articles.

The old days of blogging

Back when we were first told to start writing blogs, say, around 2003 or 2004, the idea was that writing fresh, new content as often as possible meant that search engines like the fledgling Google and others like Yahoo, had more stuff to index. Which meant that it would be easier to find your business. After all, if you’re producing more fresh stuff than your competitors, you’re doing more than your competitors to provide the internet with more information. And that’s good, right?

The internet of too much information

That may have been the case in 2004. But move forward in to the 2020s, we have an internet that is awash with information good, and bad. And even some that is completely false and misleading. Chances are that there is literally millions of articles and pages online containing information about the kind of things you do or sell in your business. After all, you’re not just competing online with others in your town. You’re competing against similar businesses in other cities, states and countries. That means your blogs and articles are also competing for attention with all those options. Everything competes with everything online. Even if your local customers are very unlikely to shop with another kitchenware store that is located in South Africa.

Why refreshing old content is better than producing new content

The problem with all the rubbish content that has filled up the internet since blogging started to be a big thing around the turn of the 21st century, is that it gets written once, indexed in Google once, and falls in to obscurity as newer, more relevant articles begin to push it down and out. And with so much new content appearing every day online, that older content begins that become not just older, but less relevant. It might contain incorrect or non-current information. Or it may just not be very well-written. But if you wrote something about a topic some time ago, and that article got some pretty good traction way back then, there could be some value in resurrecting that old article and refreshing it. You can refresh an article by, first, adding the word “updated” at the beginning or end of the title. And just as importantly, make some obvious changes to the first paragraph of the article. Or even better, make significant updates to the very first sentence. Then move throughout the article or blog post and update any information that has changed or has new features or data that you can add that will make it different enough for Google to consider it worthy of reindexing and reconsidering its position on its index.

Then you can even request that Google reindexes that page yourself using Google’s Search Console. More on that another time!

Choose the right content to update

When you consider how much material is written on the internet every day about every topic, it makes sense that articles that have had good traction in the past, could find new life with some fresh updates to it together with some new information. In fact, with all that new stuff appearing every single day online, your quality existing content is likely to do better with a refresh than a completely new post with no history and no prior context. What next? Go and dig through your old posts and see what you can bring new life to; and perhaps gain some fresh traffic while you’re at it.