Google Loves It When You Do This

Last Update: May 09, 2022

I'm sure you've heard or have been told once you have a library of content on your site updating old content can and does give you better results for your efforts compared to creating fresh content - and I'm referring to ranking content.

Yes adding content on a regular basis never changes. But updating old content is a working smart not hard kind of thing.

Lately, I've been updating content that is a year old as well as content that is years old but still relevant and valuable to readers.

In each case, the content has gotten a nice boost in the SERPS. And in many cases back to page 1. Where we all want to be.

Let me share with you the value of updating old content.

II updated an old review I did about iWriter way back in 2018. Totally forgot about this review, along with 100's more. Working on finding those other ones.

Anyway, this review dropped all the way to the 89th spot on Google, so in reality, it was non-existant.

This would be a good update (not all are) because iWriter has gone through some changes. So I did my update.

I added my new content (700 words plus), I added a schema FAQ, and I updated links and images. I updated the publish date which was Friday, May 6th, published the update, and requested a reindex from Google. I did not update the meta description, it was fine.

And on May 8th while I was checking other rankings I thought for the hell of it I would check my updated content about iWriter.

I was expecting nothing because it's only been a few days right. Well, to my surprise my review went from 89 to 38 in the serps. From page 8 to page 4 in just a few days. A position jump of 51 spots in a few days! I take that all day long.

But things keep getting better. Today May 9th just before I wrote this I took another look. And it's moved up 2 more spots.

Sure it's not on page 1 like it used to be, but from these results, it looks like it could be on its way.

So what's my point?

Don't think updating content is a waste of time. Google loves it when you do this. In fact, you can see faster-ranking boosts when it comes to updating your old content than you can when you create fresh content and wait for that content to get indexed and ranked.

And the proof of that is in the results above.

But as I said this does not mean you stop creating fresh content. You want to make sure you include updating content as part of your overall content plan. Remember Google loves this and it sees it as fresh content.

Here are a few tips:

1) Focus on updating content that's gone from page 1 to page 2 or 3 first.

You want that to get that content back to page 1. Now, will it get back? No guarantee - but it will have zero chance if you do nothing.

2) Make sure when you update your content it's a true update. Don't just add a new picture and maybe a few words. When I do an update I make sure I am truly adding value.

For example my iWriter update I added images and over 700 words of new content as well as additional resources. When you do your update you should add at least 500 words of new information. Google (Matt Cutts) says at least 300 words but why do the minimum.

3) Check your links, are they still working, are there better links you can use both internally and externally? If so change them out.

4) Update images if needed and make sure they all have ALT tags.

5) Don't be afraid to change or update your META description.

65) DO NOT change your permalink (URL)

7) Add FAQ schema if you can - you will need the pro version of all-in-one SEO for that. Or if you use rank math I believe that's included with the free version.

8) Request reindexing through your Google Search Console.

9) You can change the publish date when you do a true update. Also, make sure to add the date when you updated your content to the top of your post.

And regarding changing the publish date: John Mueller from Google said if you have made major updates to a piece of content changing the publish date is ok to do.

Alright, that's it for today.

I believe in you
Leo

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SamiWilliams Premium Plus
Updating is how I find new information. I find that spending my writing time updating a post will usually give me a couple of new ideas for new content as well.

Thanks for pointing out how to make the content more valuable. I haven't reviewed Jay's lesson lately. Reviewing lessons adds more to my basic understanding and vision of moving forward.
Sami
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Noteboom Premium
" You can change the publish date when you do a true update."
I have been spending a lot of work on it too, regularly, with the same experience.
But this part I had never thought about. So is it correct for me to change, say 18.11 2018 to today when I update the post?
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leoemery Premium Plus
Yes, you can. But as I said your update has to be significant.
Also, make sure to put the updated date at the beginning of your post too. You can also have the original date posted as well if you like

And if you make updates to content but if they are minor changes don't change the original publish date.

As far as SEO if you are using AIOSEO it automatically outputs the date published and date modified schema so you're good to go and in compliance with Google.

If you don't use AIOSEO there is also a plugin called WP Last Modified Info you can use, which will display the last time a post was updated. It also provides the right schema markup for SEO.
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Rohan34 Premium
Thanks Leo,

I've started updating some older content recently and republishing. Definitely easier than writing afresh!

Just a passing thought ... if an article is languishing on page 10+ and doesn't seem to want to budge, is it worth looking for an easier (but similar) keyword and replacing the H1 etc ?

I'd leave the permalink as is.
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TheAbie Premium Plus
You can edit all except change the URL as you say. If the URL changes to Google it would be a new post, any ranking that has been done would be lost.
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Rohan34 Premium
Thanks Abie. Interesting. I figure it's worth experimenting if the page isn't ranking anyway.
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TheAbie Premium Plus
How do you it isn't, hasn't been published | indexed yet?
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leoemery Premium Plus
Not all posts are worth updating.

But if you want to use a new keyword for a new article. First, don't touch the permalink of your old article.

Create your new content then create a 301 redirect from your old content to your new content.
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TheAbie Premium Plus
Great response, Leo!
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leoemery Premium Plus
Thanks
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Rohan34 Premium
Sorry Abie, I don't understand your question.
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Rohan34 Premium
Thank Leo.
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TheAbie Premium Plus
Is your post published already?
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Rohan34 Premium
Hi Abie, yes I stated it's ranking on page 10+ last time I checked.

Published, indexed and ranked (very poorly ;-))
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rjkennedy Premium
Great info my friend. But I do have a question on #9 about the date. For example, when a person completes a brand new site and publish it, a date shows on the page. (I heard this is the date you should NEVER manually change, the original publish date).

Now regarding the date when a person re-work and update an old site, you should just manually type in on top of the page,
"Updated on _____" Leo, Is this correct?
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leoemery Premium Plus
John Mueller from Google said if you have made major updates to a piece of content changing the publish date is ok.

Of course, you can still make updates to content but if they are just minor changes don't change the original publish date.

And yes that's correct - I always add that to the top of a post when I have changed it. I'll add that to point number 9.

If you like you can always show the original publish date and the updated date at the beginning of your post.

Now if you are using AIOSEO it automatically outputs the date published and date modified schema so you're good to go and in compliance with Google.

If you don't use AIOSEO there is also a plugin called WP Last Modified Info you can use, which will display the last time a post was updated. It also provides the right schema markup for SEO.

Hope that helps
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rjkennedy Premium
Yes, I do use AIOSEO and thanks for the info, my friend
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Fleeky Premium Plus
Marked as top
Ty
👍✨
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