Let’s Speak about Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While checking out some concerns submitted to SEJ after a recent webinar, two of them protruded to me as associated and comparable.

That indicates you’re in for a reward, gentile reader, because today’s a special 2-for-1 version of Ask an SEO.

Here are the concerns:

Ines asked: What do you do with old websites that have hundreds of URLs with very little traffic to the majority of them. Do you eliminate the bad material first? 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 better to redirect old material to new material if that leads to a redirect chain? Or should I just delete that content?

Let’s Talk About Old Material

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

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first: Ideally, you have dates on this old content, so that the readers who do come across it know that it’s old and outdated.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

The first question I ‘d ask myself for any piece of content is: Is this helpful? Or is it harmful (out of date, bad guidance, no longer appropriate, etc)?

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

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

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

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

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

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

When you do that you can follow the below recommendations:

– Does it fix a user need however is just bad quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Exists newer or much better content in other places? Redirect it.
– Should I maintain 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 Speak about Redirects

Reroute chains get a lot of bad press in SEO.

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

For 99.9999925% of people, none of that matters.

If these are things we need to fret about, they’re so very little that they don’t have much of an impact. The reality is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no unfavorable effect 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 few milliseconds of load time for your page, and they might not send out 100% of the PageRank worth through to the destination, but all that is very little and, truthfully, over-thinking SEO.

When deciding if you should redirect or erase material, use the rubric above.

And as a finest practice, if you have actually redirect chains, bring them to a minimal by updating redirects to point straight to the final location.

For example, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), produce A-> C and B-> C (2 redirects) rather.

Hope this assists.

Have a concern about SEO? Submit via this type.

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