Let’s Speak about Old Material And Redirect Chains

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

That means you’re in for a reward, gentile reader, due to the fact that today’s a special 2-for-1 version of Ask an SEO.

Here are the questions:

Ines asked: What do you do with old websites that have numerous URLs with really little traffic to most of them. Do you eliminate the bad content first? How much should I eliminate at a time? Exists a rule? Should I take internal links into account?

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

Let’s Talk About Old Content

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

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Ideally, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do come across it know that it’s old and out-of-date.

There are a number of methods you can take here, and a lot of it depends on your keyword research study and information.

The very first concern I ‘d ask myself for any piece of content is: Is this beneficial? Or is it damaging (out of date, bad suggestions, no longer pertinent, etc)?

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

If it’s useful, you’re entrusted to a few choices:

  • Re-write it or integrate it with other material to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you currently have more upgraded or more pertinent content, go ahead and 301 reroute it to that material.
  • If it no longer applies to your website or company, go on and erase it.

A great deal of SEO pros will tell you that if it used to be a very popular piece with great deals of external links you must 301 it to protect those links.

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

The secret here is to figure out why the content isn’t popular.

Once you do that you can follow the below advice:

– Does it resolve a user need however is just poor quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Is there more recent or much better material in other places? Reroute it.
– Should I protect 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 Talk About Redirects

Reroute chains get a great deal of bad press in SEO.

There used to be a ton of dispute about whether they pass PageRank, just how much PageRank they pass, how much decays, how many Google will follow, etc.

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 an impact. The fact is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no negative effect or penalty from having redirect chains however aim for not more than 5 hops as Google may drop from following the redirects.

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

When deciding if you ought to reroute or delete content, utilize the rubric above.

And as a finest practice, if you have actually rerouted chains, bring them to a very little by upgrading redirects to point directly to the final destination.

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

Hope this helps.

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