Let’s Discuss Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While looking through some questions sent to SEJ after a recent webinar, 2 of them stuck out to me as associated and similar.

That means you remain in for a reward, gentile reader, because today’s a special 2-for-1 version of Ask an SEO.

Here are the questions:

Ines asked: What do you do with old websites that have hundreds of URLs with very little traffic to most of them. Do you eliminate the bad material initially? How much should I get rid of at a time? Is there a rule? Should I take internal links into account?

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

Let’s Speak about Old Material

There’s a lot to unload here, so let’s dive into it.

I’ll get my animal peeve out of the method initially: Ideally, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do come across it understand that it’s old and outdated.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 number of techniques you can take here, and a great deal of it depends on your keyword research and information.

The first concern I ‘d ask myself for any piece of content is: Is this helpful? Or is it damaging (out of date, bad suggestions, no longer pertinent, etc)?

If it’s damaging or no longer relevant, like an article on how to grow your Google+ following, you can just go ahead and erase it. There’s absolutely nothing pertinent to reroute it to.

If it’s useful, you’re entrusted a couple of alternatives:

  • Re-write it or integrate it with other material to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you already have more updated or more relevant material, go ahead and 301 redirect it to that material.
  • If it no longer uses to your site or service, go ahead and erase it.

A great deal of SEO pros will tell you that if it utilized to be a super popular piece with great deals of external links you should 301 it to maintain those links.

I’ll inform you to either find out why it’s no longer super popular and update it or keep it up for historical functions. It’s remarkable just how much of the “old” internet no longer exists.

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

When you do that you can follow the below advice:

– Does it resolve a user need however is just bad quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Delete it.
– Exists more recent or better material elsewhere? Reroute it.
– Should I preserve it for historical reasons? Or is there simply 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 criticism in SEO.

There utilized to be a ton of debate about whether or not they pass PageRank, just how much PageRank they pass, just how much decays, how many Google will follow, and so on.

For 99.9999925% of individuals, none of that matters.

If these are things we need to fret about, they’re so minimal that they do not have much of a result. The reality is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no negative impact or charge from having redirect chains however go for not more than five hops as Google might drop from following the redirects.

Sure, they aren’t perfect. They will add a couple of milliseconds of load time for your page, and they might not send out 100% of the PageRank value through to the destination, but all that is minimal and, truthfully, over-thinking SEO.

When deciding if you ought to reroute or erase material, use the rubric above.

And as a finest practice, if you have redirect chains, bring them to a minimal by upgrading redirects to point straight to the last location.

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

Hope this helps.

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