Let’s Speak about Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While looking through some questions submitted to SEJ after a current webinar, two of them protruded to me as related and comparable.

That indicates you remain in for a treat, gentile reader, because today’s a special 2-for-1 version 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 content initially? How much should I get rid of at a time? Is there a guideline? Should I take internal links into account?

Christina asked: Is it much better to reroute old content to brand-new material if that leads to a redirect chain? Or should I simply erase 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 animal peeve out of the way initially: Ideally, you have dates on this old content, so that the readers who do come across it know that it’s old and outdated.

There are a couple of methods you can take here, and a great deal of it depends on your keyword research study and data.

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 Or is it damaging (out of date, bad recommendations, no longer appropriate, and so on)?

If it’s hazardous or no longer appropriate, like a post on how to grow your Google+ following, you can simply go on and erase it. There’s nothing relevant to redirect it to.

If it’s useful, you’re entrusted a couple of alternatives:

  • 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 ahead and 301 reroute it to that material.
  • If it no longer applies to your website or business, proceed and erase it.

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

I’ll tell you to either determine why it’s no longer incredibly popular and update it or keep it up for historic purposes. It’s amazing just how much of the “old” web no longer exists.

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

When you do that you can follow the below advice:

– Does it fix a user requirement however is simply poor quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Erase it.
– Is there newer or much better material in other places? Redirect it.
– Should I preserve 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 Discuss Redirects

Redirect chains get a great deal of criticism in SEO.

There used to be a lots of argument about whether they pass PageRank, how much PageRank they pass, just how much decays, the number of Google will follow, and so on.

For 99.9999925% of individuals, none of that matters.

If these are things we need to stress over, they’re so very little that they do not have much of a result. The fact is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no unfavorable result or charge from having redirect chains but go for not more than 5 hops as Google might drop from following the redirects.

Sure, they aren’t ideal. They will include a few milliseconds of load time for your page, and they might not send 100% of the PageRank worth through to the location, but all that is minimal and, truthfully, over-thinking SEO.

When choosing if you must reroute or erase content, use the rubric above.

And as a best practice, if you have redirect chains, bring them to a very little by updating redirects to point directly to the final location.

For example, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), create A-> C and B-> C (two redirects) instead.

Hope this assists.

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