Are Your Old Blog Posts Damaging Your Blog? How To Stop It Happening

Should bloggers delete, update or republish old blog posts?

That’s a question I had from Michelle, who blogs at Boomer, Eco Crusader.

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Your old blog posts could be damaging the health of your blog

Here’s Michelle’s questions: 

As I move into my fourth year of blogging, sometimes I look back on my early posts and cringe. It’s great that I’ve come a long way as a writer, but I’d love to refresh some of those old posts. Is it better to delete them and republish as a new post, or just go in and update them? Also, does deleting old posts impact SEO rankings?

I’m going to tackle Michelle’s last question first.

Many blogging professionals agree that keeping old, out-of-date blog posts reduces your blog’s overall SEO (search engine optimisation) rating. Even if you regularly publish new blog posts, your blog will suffer if you have old, out-of-date information on it. Your new blog posts will also receive a lower ranking.

SEOs dislike out-of-date information and will redirect readers to sites that have up-to-date information. This is one of the reasons that I recommend every blogger updates their ‘About Me‘ page at least once every six to nine months, especially if it includes pingbacks and links. 

Old, out-of-date, and irrelevant blog posts and pages (including your out-of-date ‘about me’ page) serve no purpose on your blog or to your reading audience.

I have a clearout of old blog posts at least once a year, usually in December, when I find the blogging world a lot less busy.

Do this first before deleting any blog posts

Before deleting any old blog posts, there are a few things to consider. I’ll cover these in my answers to Michelle’s other question: Should bloggers update old blog posts or rewrite them and delete the older post? 

If a post is still relevant, useful and contains evergreen content, I’d recommend that you update it. More so if it includes valid pingbacks to other live posts on your blog or to other blogs and websites. 

Don’t forget to also check if the post has any incoming pingbacks from other blogs that are still valid (you’ll find these in the comments section of the post).

I recently deleted a pingback from a blogger who had deleted the post that included a pingback to one of my posts. SEOs dislike broken links. They don’t look good on your blog, and if your blog contains too many broken links, readers will probably not come back.

When should I rewrite an old blog post?  

If a post has out-of-date content or is poor quality (including images), but you feel it is still relevant, rewrite it. Don’t forget to delete the older version before publishing your new post.

When rewriting the post, give it a new title. Think of a title that would make you want to find out more or make you want to click the ‘read more’ link.  

If you have content that is out of date, irrelevant and/or poor quality, but you feel it can be salvaged – even if that means a complete post rewrite – then you should do that!

After you delete any old posts, I recommend that you also check for any broken links on your blog.

You can do this by running a report on a free broken link checker site such as Brokenlinkcheck.com. However, beware! If you’ve never performed a broken link check on your blog before, the report you receive could be rather overwhelming. I’d recommend pausing the report once you get to 20 broken links, fix them, and then run another report.

WordPress also offers a broken link plugin, although this will only be available to those on certain WordPress plans or to bloggers that have a self-hosted blog.

Once you have run a broken link check, I recommend you perform one at least once a month, or whenever you delete any old blog posts.

Another good practice is to delete any pingbacks in blog posts you’re about to delete first, before deleting the post.

Can re-written blog posts become successful?

Yes, defiantly.

I have rewritten and republished many of my earlier blogging tips posts. Not only had they received few views, but I felt the quality was poor, and they had poor quality images. As I rewrote them, I updated procedures and added better quality images that did not slow down my blog. I also added pingbacks to some of my other most successful posts.   

Many of these posts have since become my most successful and best-performing posts.

Let’s wrap it up

  • Delete any old blog posts that contain out-of-date information and can no longer be salvaged.
  • Before deleting old blog posts, deactivate any incoming and outgoing pingbacks on the post first.
  • Run a broken link report on your blog at least once a month or whenever you delete any old blog posts.
  • SEOs will rank your blog and new blog posts lower if it contains out-of-date informnation.
  • If a post is still relevant, useful and contains evergreen content, update it. More so if it includes valid pingbacks to other live posts on your blog or to other blogs. 
  • If a post has out-of-date content or is poor quality (including images), but you feel it is still relevant, rewrite it and give it a new title.
  • Always delete older versions of rewrtitten posts before publishing the new post.

Thank you for your questions, Michelle. I hope I have answered them for you.


Photo of Michelle from Boomer Eco Crusader Blog

Michelle is a boomer with a youthful outlook seasoned with a dash of wisdom.

She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada with her husband and one of her two young adult daughters. 

Michelle works full-time in financial services and has a passion for learning new things.

When she’s not working, studying or blogging, you might find her on stage singing rock music, or enjoying a walk in the great outdoors. 

Visit Michelle’s blog for tips on environmentally-friendly living, decluttering and living your best life. 

Connect with Michelle

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Blog: Boomer Eco Crusader

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97 thoughts on “Are Your Old Blog Posts Damaging Your Blog? How To Stop It Happening

  1. Writing containing fresh meat. It’s been a long time not browsing on this cool blog. That’s because I’m in Indonesia very busy with Ramadan worship and other restrictions.

    Read the post above. I have a few questions. I hope you will be happy to answer.

    Regarding old posts. Should it be published new or just by rewriting the content of the article?

    If it is removed it means we have urls for more relevant posts?

    Thank You Btother

    1. Thank you for your questions.

      1. It depends on how old the post is and whether it’s still getting hits and comments. If it’s more than a couple of years old and not getting any hits or new comments, I’d recommend rewriting it and publishing it as a new post.
      If it’s under 2 years old and still getting hits and new comments, update the information in the post.

      2. WordPress always gives every new blog post a new URL address as the date of publication is also taken into account.

      I hope that helps.

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