Republishing Content: How to Update Old Blog Posts for SEO

Republishing Content: How to Update Old Blog Posts for SEO

It’s only sometimes the case that search engines rank every blog post you write. Even if you’ve conducted search engine research and created excellent blog posts, it’s only sometimes possible to do it right from the beginning.

We, for instance, published an article about “What is SEO” in the latter part of 2018. It was not a complete failure. However, it didn’t rank at or above the first page or receive more than 500 organic views monthly.

In August 2019, we wrote and published a new version of the blog post. Traffic almost increased by a third overnight and continued to grow.

Data via Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

We’ve done this several times with good results. If you examine the number of posts republished on our blog on Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, You’ll notice that we’ve republished at least 75 of our more than 200+ blog posts at least once.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to reuse old blog posts to boost organic traffic in three simple steps.

  1. Check pages that are not performing due to content problems
  2. Update the contents
  3. Republish the article

Step 1. Locate pages that aren’t performing and have content problems

If you want to increase your site’s organic reach, there are other options than publishing an older post isn’t. You must identify the ones that arena could be performing better due to problems with content.

To accomplish this, follow the steps of this flowchart

Let’s look at each step in greater depth.

  1. Find underperforming pages
  2. Make sure that it’s not a brand-new page.
  3. Block backlinks
  4. Make sure that it’s an ‘informational’ query
  5. Find underperforming pages

If your article is among the top three results in terms of the keywords it is targeting If it’s in the top three, it’s probably not a good option for republishing since the risk is greater than the benefits. It’s already doing well, and republishing it could be more harmful than beneficial.

To do this, it is essential to search for articles that rank lower for their primary keyword.

These keywords can be found within Google Search Console. Go over to this page, open the Google Search Console report, turn on the selector for the average position, and then sort the search results to find keywords with a middle class in the four or more rankings.

Go through the keywords list relevant to the subjects you’re targeting for blog posts.

For instance, we wrote a blog article on hosting guest blogs, and I’m sure the term we’re aiming at.

It’s important to note it’s true that Search Console only shows average ranking positions, meaning it’s typically not an exact representation of your rank. To get more accurate ranking information, add your blog’s URL to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and then visit the Top Pages report to view the pages that receive the most traffic.

It’s a matter of looking through the list of posts that aren’t needed to be ranked better on your primary search term. The most efficient method is to check columns like the URLTop keyword, and Position columns.

For example, if you browse through the blog report for blogs, we will see our guest blog guide in the fourth position in the section titled “guest blogged.”

It’s evident in the URL that our primary keyword will be “guest blogging,” But since the primary keywords are something other than “guest blogging,” it’s doubtful that we’re within the top 3 spots in the search results for “guest blogging.”

If we click “Keywords” or the “Keywords” caret, we can confirm this by searching for the keyword and then examining the position of that keyword in the rankings.

If the content doesn’t target a meaningful phrase that could generate traffic, it’s probably not a suitable option for republishing. For instance, our post on how to start a link-building campaign quickly does not target a particular term. Therefore we shouldn’t duplicate that article to receive more visitors via search engines.

  • Check to make sure that you’re not creating a new page.

There’s no reason to republish content that was released recently. There is a time frame for articles to get hyperlinks and for Google to recognize their worth ranking.

This is why we generally only republish blog posts if they’re at least twelve months old.

You can quickly determine the age of a post by looking at the post’s publish date.

This guide to guest bloggers was written about two years ago, and this guide is due to be updated.

  • Remove the backlink factor.

Content isn’t one of many reasons your blog posts don’t rank. It’s often because the websites who rank higher than you have quality backlinks and have more authority.’

To determine if this is the case, type your keyword on Keywords Explorer, go to the SERP overview, and look at your Domain Ratings (DR) and URL Ratings (UR) of the websites and pages that rank higher than you.

If we apply this to “guest blogging,” we notice a few less-authority sites with lower authority websites outranking us.

This suggests that this is likely a content issue. If we were to update and publish the article, It’sit’s likely we’d rank at most one or two spots higher.

If we try similar things for the phrase “how to improve SEO,” we will see the reverse. The articles that outrank us have more UR scores, indicating more authority at the page level. Therefore, in this case, it’s likely an issue with link authority rather than a content-related issue.

  • Be sure that it’s an informational query.

If there are pages that rank higher than you but with fewer backlinks doesn’t mean that there’s a chance to gain more visitors by publishing your article. If category, product, or landing pages outrank you, it could be that people don’t need to search for blog posts.

For instance, it’s evident by the title and URLs that the top pages in the search results for “guest blogging” are blog posts. This is a positive indication. The kind of content that people want to read is blog posts.

But it’s entirely different in the case of “website traffic.” All pages that rank higher than the rest have landing pages using free tools.


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