Let’s Discuss Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While looking through some questions submitted to SEJ after a current webinar, two of them stuck out to me as related and comparable.

That suggests you’re in for a reward, gentile reader, since today’s an unique 2-for-1 variation of Ask an SEO.

Here are the concerns:

Ines asked: What do you make with old sites that have hundreds of URLs with really little traffic to the majority of them. Do you remove the bad material initially? How much should I eliminate at a time? Is there a guideline? Should I take internal links into account?

Christina asked: Is it better to redirect old material to brand-new material if that causes a redirect chain? Or should I simply erase 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: Hopefully, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do come across it understand that it’s old and outdated.

There are a couple of approaches you can take here, and a great deal of it depends upon your keyword research and information.

The first question I ‘d ask myself for any piece of content is: Is this beneficial? Or is it hazardous (out of date, bad guidance, no longer relevant, and so on)?

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

If it’s useful, you’re left with 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 appropriate content, go on and 301 redirect it to that content.
  • If it no longer uses to your site or business, go ahead and delete it.

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

I’ll tell you to either find out why it’s no longer super popular and update it or keep it up for historical purposes. It’s fantastic how much of the “old” web no longer exists.

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

Once you do that you can follow the below recommendations:

– Does it resolve a user need however is just bad quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Is there more recent or much better content somewhere else? Reroute it.
– Should I preserve it for historical 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 criticism in SEO.

There used to be a ton of argument about whether they pass PageRank, 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 stress over, they’re so minimal that they do not have much of a result. The reality is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “worth” through them.

There’s no unfavorable effect or charge from having redirect chains however go for not more than 5 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 may not send out 100% of the PageRank worth through to the destination, however all that is very little and, honestly, over-thinking SEO.

When choosing if you ought to redirect or erase material, use the rubric above.

And as a finest practice, if you have rerouted chains, bring them to a minimal by updating redirects to point directly to the last location.

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

Hope this helps.

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