The Prompt: Do you ever go back and update older content on your blog? For instance, after getting new graphics or going self-hosted? Why or why not? Do you sometimes curate/clear out old posts that you no longer want published, or rewrite/update them? Do you think people should periodically clean up their old content and update/delete things that don’t align with their current positions/beliefs?? (Suggested by Nicole @ Thoughts Stained With Ink)
If you’ve ever done research into getting more blog traffic or improving your blog’s SEO, you’ll see a lot of recommendations to update old blog content. Search engines like to prioritize content that’s relevant, so that often means content that’s long AND content that’s fairly recent. Updating a post from 2018 can possibly get you more search engine traffic to that post.
So do I update posts? Yes, but not all of them. I occasionally update posts that were doing well for search engine traffic but seem to be doing less well, and sometimes that brings the traffic back up. I will also update a post if I want to link to it from a new post I am writing, and I realize the formatting of the old post isn’t great or doesn’t match the current formatting Krysta and I use on the blog. No sense in linking readers to a post that looks bad!
I don’t update every post though. We’ve been blogging here for about ten and a half years now, and we post nearly every single day, and we changed the whole aesthetic of the blog at one point years ago, and we changed the formatting of posts a couple times and . . . it would be a lot to update every single post in our back catalogue. I update the ones I think people are actually looking at or that I want to direct people to look at, and that’s it. So it you go back in our archives and read a post from 2014, yes, there is a chance it’s going to look weird!
There may be some marginal value to deleting old posts (which I have very, very rarely done) and to updating more posts than I have but, as I like to point out all the time (maybe it’s even annoying by now!), I blog for fun, not money, here. So I’m not on a quest to make my blog perfect and get the absolute best SEO and traffic possible if the time commitment involved is going to be high for only small returns.