Updating Your Old Articles Can Boost SEO Rankings, Here’s How

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SEO is a complex process which requires a website owner’s undivided attention. Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, which means you always have to stay informed and modify your website accordingly. Your written content, in the form of articles, remains your most valuable tool. Old articles and blog posts tend to get out of fashion rather quickly, simply because of their age. However, they can still be very useful, which is why SEO experts often recommend updating them from time to time. Here’s how you can do this to get a boost in SEO rankings.

The effectiveness of updating content

There’s always a need for fresh and informative content. Website visitors want to be greeted with content that will answer their questions and give them guidance in areas that they are unfamiliar with. Your website probably has a lot of useful written content that is slowly declining in popularity, despite still containing relevant information. However, this is a problem that is easily addressed. Updated articles get more page views alongside better rankings, and this is something many Australian websites are taking note of.

Updating blog posts and freshening up the website design can do wonders for page views and rankings, while not costing you a lot in terms of resources. The content itself is something that requires very little changing, but it can be beneficial to add something to the layout of the page.

It would be helpful to apply the newest in website features and SEO strategies to your updated pages. This would not only give visitors a better user experience, but it would also register as a plus for search engines. The fresh new look is something designers can take care of, but SEO is a bit more complex. To improve search rankings, you might have to look into outside help with SEO Sydney experts before launching your new and updated pages. The refreshed articles themselves will also boost search numbers and rankings, but this requires a bit of planning. 

When should articles be updated?

Making your content fresh for the sake of it won’t do you much good. There’s a certain amount of time that needs to pass before you update a piece of content. For written articles, this time may vary, depending on a couple of factors? How large is the demographic that needs to read a specific piece of content? Is the content highly-specific, or can you expect a lot of similar articles to come out that are sourced by other websites? There’s a lot that you need to figure out before you make the decision to update.

Generally speaking, there are a few concrete criteria that your article needs to meet in order to be worth updating. If the article matches search intent, but the content isn’t all that fresh, it’s high time for a makeover. This also goes for articles that have more than enough backlinks to compare to competitors’ website. Why let those backlinks go to waste when you can drastically improve the article? It’s a lot simpler than just creating more content and hoping that it gets the same reaction.

When it comes to exact timeframes, your mileage may vary. It’s generally considered appropriate to update an article after around nine to twelve months. This allows you to freshen up on your sources and create a little something that even long-time readers can enjoy. 

Researching keywords for the update

people working on a whiteboard

Once you’ve decided which article needs to be updated, it’s time to get down to optimizing it for search engines. As always, you’re going to be starting with a rich collection of keywords. As you may already know, keywords tend to come in and out of style, depending on how the market is evolving and what people are searching for. 

Researching your keywords is a big step that allows you to increase the page’s views and attract the right kind of website visitors. Improving the effectiveness of your articles starts with some keyword research and application. You need to seek out relevant keywords that will attract users to these specific article pages. At the same time, you have to update old keywords if there are more effective versions currently out there. The good news is that inserting new keywords is relatively easy, and reshaping the article to fit this need won’t take you very long. 

Not every article is in need of a keyword update, however. Articles that are already in the top three spots of relevant searches won’t need new keywords, as they are already very effective. Best case scenario, you simply keep the article in the same spot, despite your best efforts. Instead, take a look at the articles that are in the top fifteen results on search pages, but they aren’t close enough to reach the very top. These articles could use a small update that gets them ahead of links before them.

Lengthening articles 

Content is still considered king, but what makes content king has changed somewhat. The length of articles is one factor that determines the popularity and success of articles. While long articles may not have had all that much of an advantage compared to short ones before, search engines have started valuing them more and more.

Long articles rank better, but that isn’t a free invitation to lengthen articles out of the blue. You need to have a concrete strategy in mind before you start adding words to your articles. Randomly stuffing them with words or unnecessary paragraphs doesn’t do the trick, and isn’t likely to improve their rankings.

Looking into SERP is the best way to gauge the quality of articles. The top results from your article categories should be looked at to give you an idea of the kind of articles people and search engines want. Expert marketers currently recommend taking a look at your top articles and increasing their word counts by roughly fifteen per cent, depending on the format and topic that is covered. 

While increasing the word count, you need to make sure that the keyword to text ratio remains the same. Otherwise, a mismatch in numbers will be quickly noted by search engines. At the same time, you can take the opportunity to improve other aspects of the article. Add a table of contents that will allow visitors to get to specific points. It could help them keep reading the article if they aren’t sure that the topic interests them.

Merging pages

Oftentimes, you’ll find that you have way too many articles that cover a single topic to know what to do with. Lengthening and optimizing each and every single one of them is a good idea, but there’s an even better way to turn them into a better resource. If they all include relevant information that is in some way connected, you could always merge the articles and create one all-encompassing resource that covers the whole topic. 

The length of the article would be justified due to the wealth of useful information it can provide to visitors. All you have to do is combine all of your current resources in that field in a way that will attract more curious visitors. 

These larger articles will require a more cohesive website design to accompany them. You’ll have to make the most of your highly specialized article. Web Design Sydney experts will tell you that with the right blend of informative content and sleek design, your new pages will be even more popular than the previous ones were.

Repairing broken or miss functioned links

man highlighting text on paper

One of the great things about the internet is that it’s always changing. New articles and links are constantly popping up, which gives visitors a wealth of new content to browse. This is only a benefit for the visitors, as website owners have to crank out new and improved content at a steady space. This often means getting rid of old pieces that are unsalvageable or irrelevant. As time goes by, businesses will move on, websites will crumble, and links won’t lead to functional pages anymore. This is something that will affect the quality of your articles over time.

Article pages will often have tons of links that lead to reliable and valuable content, or things that are necessary for the page to get its point across. After some time, many of these links will become dead ends as their sources are deleted. This means you’re going to have a less effective article which will not be favourable for your SEO.

Repairing these broken links should be one of your priorities. Doing so manually for any article that you feel is worth updating will work, but it won’t solve the problem completely. Automate your link repairs by utilizing search and replace processes in the databases.


Visitors will consistently enjoy your website’s quality content, no matter what form it takes. To make your content stand out, you have to keep it looking and feeling fresh. This helps both search engines and visitors find your most desirable pages and keeps your website high in the result pages. Keep updating articles and you’ll find that it will have very beneficial results.