Let’s Talk About Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While browsing some concerns submitted to SEJ after a current webinar, 2 of them stood out to me as related and similar.

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

Here are the concerns:

Ines asked: What do you make with old websites that have hundreds of URLs with really little traffic to the majority of them. Do you get rid of the bad content first? Just how much should I remove at a time? Exists a guideline? Should I take internal links into account?

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

Let’s Speak 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 initially: Hopefully, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do stumble upon it understand that it’s old and out-of-date.

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 beneficial? Or is it harmful (out of date, bad advice, no longer relevant, etc)?

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

If it works, you’re entrusted a few options:

  • Re-write it or combine it with other content to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you currently have actually more upgraded or more pertinent content, go ahead and 301 reroute it to that content.
  • If it no longer uses to your website or business, go ahead and erase it.

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

I’ll inform you to either find out why it’s no longer extremely popular and upgrade it or keep it up for historic functions. It’s incredible how much of the “old” web no longer exists.

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

When you do that you can follow the below guidance:

– Does it fix a user need but is simply poor quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Is there more recent or better material elsewhere? Redirect it.
– Should I maintain it for historic reasons? Or is there just 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 or not they pass PageRank, how much PageRank they pass, how much decays, the number of Google will follow, etc.

For 99.9999925% of people, none of that matters.

If these are things we require to stress over, they’re so very little that they don’t have much of a result. The fact is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no unfavorable impact or penalty from having redirect chains but aim for not more than five hops as Google might drop from following the redirects.

Sure, they aren’t ideal. They will include a couple of milliseconds of load time for your page, and they might not send 100% of the PageRank worth through to the location, but all that is minimal and, honestly, over-thinking SEO.

When deciding if you must redirect or delete material, use the rubric above.

And as a best practice, if you have rerouted chains, bring them to a minimal by updating redirects to point straight to the final destination.

For instance, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), create A-> C and B-> C (2 redirects) instead.

Hope this helps.

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