Let’s Talk About Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While looking through some concerns sent to SEJ after a current webinar, two of them protruded to me as associated and similar.

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

Here are the concerns:

Ines asked: What do you finish with old websites 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 rule? Should I take internal links into account?

Christina asked: Is it better to redirect old content to brand-new content if that results in a redirect chain? Or should I simply delete that material?

Let’s Speak about Old Content

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

I’ll get my family pet peeve out of the way first: Ideally, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do come across it understand that it’s old and outdated.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 couple of approaches you can take here, and a lot of it depends upon your keyword research and information.

The very first concern I ‘d ask myself for any piece of material is: Is this useful? Or is it damaging (out of date, bad guidance, no longer appropriate, and so on)?

If it’s damaging or no longer pertinent, like a blog post on how to grow your Google+ following, you can simply go ahead and delete it. There’s absolutely nothing appropriate to reroute it to.

If it works, you’re entrusted to a few options:

  • Re-write it or combine it with other material to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you currently have more upgraded or more relevant content, go on and 301 reroute it to that material.
  • If it no longer applies to your site or company, proceed and delete it.

A great deal of SEO pros will inform you that if it used to be a super popular piece with great deals of external links you must 301 it to protect those links.

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

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

Once you do that you can follow the below advice:

– Does it fix a user need however is just poor quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Exists more recent or much better content elsewhere? Reroute it.
– Should I maintain it for historical reasons? Or is there simply little volume for that now, but I’m still getting traffic? Leave it alone.

OK, Now Let’s Talk About Redirects

Redirect chains get a great deal of criticism in SEO.

There used to be a ton of debate about whether they pass PageRank, how much PageRank they pass, how much decays, the number of Google will follow, etc.

For 99.9999925% of people, 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 an effect. The reality is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no negative impact or charge from having redirect chains however go for not more than five hops as Google might drop from following the redirects.

Sure, they aren’t perfect. 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, honestly, over-thinking SEO.

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

And as a best practice, if you have actually redirect chains, bring them to a minimal by updating 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 (two redirects) instead.

Hope this helps.

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