Let’s Speak about Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While looking through some concerns sent to SEJ after a recent webinar, two of them stood out to me as associated and comparable.

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

Here are the concerns:

Ines asked: What do you make with old sites that have numerous URLs with extremely little traffic to most of them. Do you get rid of the bad content first? Just how much should I remove 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 content if that results in a redirect chain? Or should I simply erase that content?

Let’s Discuss Old Material

There’s a lot to unload 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first: Hopefully, you have dates on this old content, so that the readers who do come across it know that it’s old and outdated.

There are a number of techniques you can take here, and a lot of it depends on your keyword research and data.

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 Or is it hazardous (out of date, bad suggestions, no longer appropriate, etc)?

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

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

  • Re-write it or integrate it with other content to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you already have more updated or more pertinent content, proceed and 301 redirect it to that material.
  • If it no longer applies to your website or organization, go ahead and delete it.

A great deal of SEO pros will inform you that if it used to be an incredibly popular piece with lots of external links you must 301 it to protect 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 historic functions. It’s amazing just how much of the “old” internet no longer exists.

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

When you do that you can follow the below recommendations:

– Does it resolve a user need but is just bad quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Is there newer or much better material in other places? 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 Speak about Redirects

Reroute chains get a lot of bad press in SEO.

There used to be a lots of debate 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 need to stress over, they’re so very little that they don’t have much of an effect. The truth is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

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

Sure, they aren’t perfect. They will include a few milliseconds of load time for your page, and they may not send 100% of the PageRank value through to the location, but all that is very little and, honestly, over-thinking SEO.

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

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

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

Hope this helps.

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