Let’s Discuss Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While checking out some questions sent to SEJ after a recent webinar, 2 of them stuck out to me as related and similar.

That means you remain 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 finish with old websites that have hundreds of URLs with extremely little traffic to most of them. Do you eliminate the bad material first? Just how much should I remove at a time? Exists a rule? Should I take internal links into account?

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

Let’s Speak about Old Material

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

I’ll get my family pet peeve out of the method first: Ideally, you have dates on this old content, so that the readers who do come across it know that it’s old and out-of-date.

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

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 Or is it damaging (out of date, bad recommendations, no longer appropriate, and so on)?

If it’s hazardous or no longer pertinent, like an article on how to grow your Google+ following, you can just go on and erase it. There’s absolutely nothing pertinent to reroute it to.

If it’s useful, you’re left with a couple of choices:

  • Re-write it or combine it with other content to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you currently have more updated or more appropriate content, go on and 301 redirect it to that content.
  • If it no longer applies to your website or business, proceed and erase it.

A lot of SEO pros will inform you that if it utilized to be a super popular piece with great deals of external links you should 301 it to preserve those links.

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

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

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

– Does it resolve a user need but is simply bad quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Erase it.
– Is there more recent or much better content in other places? Reroute it.
– Should I preserve it for historic 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 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, the number of 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 minimal that they don’t have much of a result. The reality is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “worth” through them.

There’s no unfavorable result or charge from having redirect chains however aim for not more than five hops as Google may 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 out 100% of the PageRank worth through to the destination, but all that is very little and, truthfully, over-thinking SEO.

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

And as a best practice, if you have rerouted chains, bring them to a very little by updating redirects to point straight to the last destination.

For instance, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), create A-> C and B-> C (2 redirects) instead.

Hope this helps.

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