You are currently viewing Creating new content material vs. optimizing outdated webpages: Which is healthier for Search engine marketing?

Creating new content material vs. optimizing outdated webpages: Which is healthier for Search engine marketing?

Ought to the bigger focus of your Search engine marketing efforts go towards creating new content material or updating present content material?

In my view, it’s best to dedicate about half of your Search engine marketing efforts to updating outdated content material, and the opposite half to creating new content material.

Right here’s why.

Webpages construct worth over time

The content material in your web site can stay related for years to come back.

Pages which have been revealed for a while have presumably constructed up hyperlinks and visibility. That creates a variety of web page worth.

Meaning these pages can nonetheless present up within the search outcomes for the queries your target market is utilizing at the moment.

Freshness is mostly much less of a priority for Web page High quality score. “Stale” pages can have excessive Web page High quality rankings.”

Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines

What does this imply?

Older content material can nonetheless be related and thought of top quality.

Suppose: An informational web page concerning the American Civil Struggle.

Nonetheless, different forms of outdated content material can solely stay related if the fabric is taken into account “evergreen” and updated.

Over time, any given web site may have tons of or 1000’s of outdated webpages.

Google could not belief a website the place two-thirds of the pages are, say, three years outdated or older and have outdated data on them. Particularly if these subjects are being refreshed by your competitors.

You are able to do a fast test in your older content material and see for your self. Whenever you revealed the web page years in the past, did it rank on Web page 1 in search outcomes? And is it on Web page 2 or decrease now?

Normally a refresh of the content material can carry it again to Web page 1.

Recently I’ve been requested concerning the worth of a webpage – notably the right way to present worth as an asset. Regular issues depreciate over time, and I imagine that occurs to webpages. If not maintained, they ultimately rot away and grow to be ineffective. However nicely maintained, they continue to be an asset.

If a webpage is designed and researched, outlined and written, edited and optimized – and engagement objects like pictures and video are added – that may take eight hours for high quality work. That point has a major value.

You possibly can ignore it and primarily write it off, or you may hold it contemporary. We favor the latter as a content material technique and tactic.

What Google says

Google says it’s best to spend time sustaining your web site so as to guarantee high quality:

… unmaintained/deserted “outdated” web sites or unmaintained and inaccurate/deceptive content material is a cause for a low Web page High quality score.

Google’s Search High quality Rater Pointers


  • An outdated or unmaintained webpage could also be thought-about low high quality. That is very true for “your cash or your life” pages – these that may influence an individual’s well being, funds, and so forth.
  • A webpage that incorporates inaccurate data is low high quality, interval. You may must replace your webpages incessantly simply to maintain your information present, relying in your material.

In a 2019 “Workplace Hours” session, Google’s John Mueller talked about evergreen versus contemporary content material:

” … We do attempt to discover a stability between type of displaying evergreen content material that’s been round and type of being seeing extra as reference content material and type of the more energizing content material and particularly once we can inform that individuals are in search of the more energizing content material.”

You possibly can hearken to that reply right here:

Mueller is probably going referring to the idea of “question deserves freshness” – the sorts of search queries whose outcomes must mirror new content material. You possibly can learn extra about that in a 2011 Google weblog publish here.

In one other Workplace Hours video from 2021, Mueller addressed the right way to deal with outdated content material:

” … if it’s one thing that you simply suppose is sweet content material that you simply need to publish along with your web site, along with your title, then I’d hold it. Simply because it’s outdated doesn’t imply it’s dangerous. However for those who take a look at it and also you say, oh, that is embarrassing for me now, I don’t need it to be on-line. It’s like so dangerous. Then that’s one thing the place I’d say both enhance it or take away it.”

You possibly can hearken to that reply right here:

What to do? A content material audit

Along with creating new webpages in your Search engine marketing program, an online content material audit goes to be key to prioritizing the way you refresh outdated pages.

A content material audit identifies weak and underperforming content material in your web site so that you could enhance it.

Utilizing Google Analytics and a instrument like Screaming Frog, Semrush or our SEOToolSet, you will get all the info it’s essential perceive the webpages in your website.

When you’ve compiled the mandatory information, you’ll divide your webpages into three classes. People who:

  1. Garner probably the most rankings and site visitors (e.g., these on Web page 1 of the search outcomes).
  2. Have the potential to get higher rankings and site visitors (e.g., these on Web page 2 of the search outcomes).
  3. Carry out poorly and aren’t in both of these classes.

Then, you may:

  • Deal with strengthening the content material within the first two classes.
  • Work out what to do with the remainder, which is the poor-performing content material. Some webpages may have a content material refresh, others may have optimization. And a few content material may want a 301 redirect to a extra present URL on the identical topic.

Develop and keep your content material

The fantastic thing about Search engine marketing is that your webpages construct worth over time by means of visibility and hyperlinks. So all the good work you place into them can proceed to repay in site visitors and, hopefully, income.

However you do want to keep up your web site all through its total lifecycle.

So to strengthen your Search engine marketing program, be sure you spend 50% of your content-focused time creating new webpages and 50% of the time refreshing the outdated.

As a final encouragement … Your web site may have already got tons of and even 1000’s of outdated pages, and getting a deal with on it may be a giant venture.

Construct refreshes into an everyday schedule simply as you do with creating new content material.

Get right into a rhythm of figuring out present pages associated to every new web page, and both replace or consolidate them as a part of your content material creation course of.

Opinions expressed on this article are these of the visitor creator and never essentially Search Engine Land. Employees authors are listed here.

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About The Creator

Bruce Clay is the founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a worldwide digital advertising and marketing optimization agency offering SEO, PPC administration, paid social media advertising and marketing, Search engine marketing-friendly website structure, content material growth, and Search engine marketing instruments and schooling.
Clay authored the guide “Search Engine Optimization All-In-One For Dummies,” now in its fourth version, and “Content material Advertising Methods for Professionals.” He wrote the primary webpage-analysis instrument, created the Search Engine Relationship Chart® and is credited with being the primary to make use of the time period SEO. Bruce Clay’s famend Search engine marketing coaching course is accessible on-line at

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