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 comparable.

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

Here are the questions:

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

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

Let’s Speak about Old Material

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

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Hopefully, you have dates on this old content, so that the readers who do stumble upon it understand that it’s old and out-of-date.

There are a number of approaches you can take here, and a lot of it depends on your keyword research and data.

The very first question I ‘d ask myself for any piece of material is: Is this useful? Or is it harmful (out of date, bad suggestions, no longer relevant, etc)?

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

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

  • Re-write it or integrate it with other content to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you currently have actually more updated or more pertinent material, go ahead and 301 reroute it to that material.
  • If it no longer applies to your site or company, go on and erase it.

A lot of SEO pros will inform you that if it utilized to be an extremely popular piece with lots of external links you ought to 301 it to maintain those links.

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

The secret here is to find out why the material isn’t popular.

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

– Does it fix a user need but is just poor quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Is there more recent or much better material somewhere else? Reroute it.
– Should I maintain it for historical factors? Or is there simply 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 ton of debate about whether or not they pass PageRank, just how much PageRank they pass, just how much decays, how many Google will follow, and so on.

For 99.9999925% of people, none of that matters.

If these are things we require to worry about, they’re so very little that they don’t have much of an impact. The fact is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no negative result or penalty from having redirect chains however aim for not more than 5 hops as Google might 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 location, but all that is minimal and, truthfully, over-thinking SEO.

When deciding if you need to reroute or erase material, use the rubric above.

And as a finest practice, if you have redirect chains, bring them to a minimal by updating redirects to point directly to the final destination.

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

Hope this helps.

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