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Many blogging professionals agree that keeping old, out-of-date blog posts reduces your blog’s overall SEO (search engine optimisation) rating. Even if you regularly publish new blog posts, your blog will suffer if you have old, out-of-date information. Your new blog posts will also receive a lower ranking.
SEOs dislike out-of-date information and will redirect readers to sites with up-to-date information.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Old, out-of-date, and irrelevant blog posts and pages (including your out-of-date ‘about me’ page) serve no purpose on your blog or your reading audience.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, consider a few things. 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 check if the post has any incoming pingbacks from other blogs that are still valid (you’ll find these in the post’s comments section).
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 it contains too many broken links, readers will probably not return.
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If a post has out-of-date content or is poor quality (including images), but you feel it is still relevant, rewrite it.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!
How to check for broken links
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, fixing them, and running another report.
WordPress also offers a broken link plugin, although this will only be available to those on certain WordPress plans or bloggers with 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 before deleting the post.
Can re-written blog posts become successful?
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 containing out-of-date information that can no longer be salvaged.
Before deleting old blog posts, deactivate the post’s incoming and outgoing pingbacks first.
Run a broken link report on your blog at least once a month or whenever you delete any old blog posts.
SEO will rank your blog and new blog posts lower if it contains out-of-date information.
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 rewritten posts before publishing the new post.
Thank you for your questions, Michelle. I hope I have answered them for you.
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 is passionate about 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.
After you have solved the mystery of the puddles, why not write a short story for Story Chat? Your story will be read by a new audience who will interact with you. It’s your chance to promote your writing, your blog and yourself.
Continuing my series of true stories, I’m delighted to welcome Liesbet Collaert, who shares her story of how life changed the direction she was travelling.
Although Liesbet leads a different life to me (read and follow her blog to find out more) her true story is one I gasped at even though I’ve had similar experiences. It makes me believe in fate even more and why we find ourselves in certain situations for a real purpose.
Will her story bring back memories of a familiar position when you read it? Has fate played a part in your life?
San Francisco. A fascinating city I only know from movies and guidebooks. So close now! I can almost see the Golden Gate Bridge, smell the salty air of the bay, and feel the breeze in my light brown hair. The promise of a new adventure causes my ear-to-ear grin as I hop into our small camper to grab a CD of dEUS, my favorite Belgian band.
After crisscrossing the United States, Western Canada, and Alaska in our truck camper for the last year and a half, my boyfriend Karl, his dog Caesar, and I landed in California. Karl’s friend Nik, a DJ, had invited us to share his studio-apartment in Oakland, as a base to explore SF. Nik also rents out two apartments in his house.
CD in hand, I enter the yard again and stop dead in my tracks. Two gorgeous dogs with fluffy tails had run up to me. I smother them with cuddles and praise.
“Hi, I’m Mark. And these two are Kali, the white one, and Darwin, the grey one.”
I look up from admiring the wagging furballs.
My eyes meet those of a tall, skinny, short-haired, and attractive man in the doorway of apartment #1.
“Hello. I’m Liesbet. My boyfriend and I are staying with Nik for a week to visit San Francisco. Our home on wheels is parked in front of the house.”
“Home on wheels? Why are you living in a camper?”
“It lets us travel around with our own bathroom and kitchen and plenty of storage and provides much more comfort and security than dingy hostels and a backpack,” I tell him with an unfaltering smile and raised voice; telltales of the excitement I always feel when elaborating on my pursuit of freedom.
“I detect an accent. Where are you from?” he asks, after I had described a handful of places I visited while backpacking for almost two years on the other side of the world.
“I’m from Belgium, but I haven’t been back in a while.”
Mark seems entranced, which encourages me to ramble on about my passion. After some time of telling stories and trading questions and answers, he exclaims, “That’s incredible! I need to travel and find myself a Belgian girlfriend!”
I blush. It dawns on me that we’d been chatting for a while.
“Do you know what time it is?” I ask. An hour has passed. I rush to Nik’s place next door.
“Where have you been?” Karl asks.
“Talking to a neighbor, the one with the big dogs. He seems like a nice guy.” I hand my CD to Nik, who is always eager to discover new music.
Our planned week in the Rockridge area of Oakland turns into four, as all of us become friends and Mark unintentionally draws me closer and closer. Karl encourages my contact with the neighbor. “Soon we’ll be out of here and it’s just you and me again,” he says. “Enjoy the company!”
I embrace Mark’s presence until I crave it.
One night, the Hollywood-moment arrives… our first kiss. An arm around my shoulders. A fluttering body. Touching of lips. Mutual desire. He loves me back!
We never allow anything more to happen. Mark is a realist. He knows I am leaving Nik’s place shortly and that I am in a serious relationship.
Our dreadful last evening together eventually arrives. We hug strongly and kiss tenderly.
“I’ll come pick you up wherever you are, whenever you’re ready to leave Karl.” Mark’s parting words sound sweet. Is he serious?
That night, I lie awake, heart racing. By morning, it’s time to pack up the camper and leave.
I exchange glances with Karl. His eyes beam with excitement about continuing our adventures; mine reflect trouble and sadness.
I take the plunge.
“I can’t be with you anymore. My attraction to Mark has grown too strong.” I sound more determined than I feel.
Karl stares at me with intent. “We’re driving to Mexico. We both looked forward to this.”
Did he not notice my enthusiasm to continue our overland journey had diminished these last weeks?
I swallow hard.
Can I really give all this up? Our past explorations on the road? The year and a half before that, where he tried so hard to fit into my Belgian life? How about my American visa that will run out if I don’t leave the country soon?
The consequences of my impulsiveness finally trigger some brain activity.
Karl continues, “I love you. Caesar and I will miss you so much.”
We both cry. Three years together is not nothing. I think about the good times we shared. Karl and his dog – and me, too – had been ecstatic when I showed up at his Maryland apartment, ready to roam North America. That was the summer of 2003. I had thrown a goodbye party at my parents’ house in Belgium and hopped on a plane. Little did I know I was never to return.
I remain quiet. My heart bleeds for him. Karl is a sensitive man who understands me and cares about me. We have the same passion: traveling the world on a budget. Yet,I crave more romance in a relationship…
Am I seriously giving up my travels for a man?
That would be a first. It’s usually the other way around. My gut knows how this predicament will end. My mind has nothing to add.
I face Karl and finally utter, “If I leave with you, I will want to come back here at some point.” It is the only conclusion I can muster.
I have fallen in love with another guy, the “guy next door.”
“If that’s what you want,” Karl replies with a sigh, “then you should just stay.”
In the hours that follow we split the money from our communal account; I gather my belongings; and we discuss a contingency plan for the truck camper. I pet Caesar goodbye and give Karl one last, heartfelt embrace. Then, misty-eyed, I watch them drive away.
I close the door of Mark’s apartment behind me. Unlike other times when Karl and I returned his dogs after walking them with Caesar – today, I don’t leave.
My pile of clothes and gear clutters the corner of the bedroom. I settle on the bed with Kali and Darwin. My tears soak their fur within minutes. Mark has found his Belgian girl without having to travel; she appeared right on his doorstep. He probably thought he’d never see her again. Surprise!
What will he say when he comes home from work?
What if he doesn’t want me here?
As usual, I don’t have a back-up plan.The rest of the afternoon, I cry. I feel bad for Karl.
I’m such a selfish bitch.
The front door opens. The dogs jump up and run towards their human. I stay behind in the bedroom.
“Hi, guys,” Mark greets Kali and Darwin with a sad voice. “I guess they’re gone, huh? You two don’t seem too excited to see me. What’s up?”
I walk into the hallway. My eyes sting.
Mark looks up.
“What the hell are you doing here?” His words crush me. I shuffle towards him. We hug. I don’t want to let go.
“I’m staying with you,” I whisper, as if he doesn’t have any say in this. Mark’s face relaxes into a smile. His grip tightens. I guess that means it’s okay.
Liesbet Collaert’s articles and photos have been published internationally.
Born in Belgium, she has been a nomad since 2003 with no plans to settle anytime soon. Her love of travel, diversity, and animals is reflected in her lifestyle choices of sailing, RVing, and house and pet sitting.
Liesbet calls herself a world citizen and currently lives “on the road” in North America with her husband and rescue dog. Follow her adventures at www.itsirie.com and www.roamingabout.com.
Liesbet’s true story is taken from her new book, Plunge.
Tropical waters turn tumultuous in this travel memoir as a free-spirited woman jumps headfirst into a sailing adventure with a new man and his two dogs.
Join Liesbet as she faces a decision that sends her into a whirlwind of love, loss, and living in the moment. When she swaps life as she knows it for an uncertain future on a sailboat, she succumbs to seasickness and a growing desire to be alone.
Guided by impulsiveness and the joys of an alternative lifestyle, she must navigate personal storms, trouble with US immigration, adverse weather conditions, and doubts about her newfound love.
Does Liesbet find happiness? Will the dogs outlast the man? Or is this just another reality check on a dream to live at sea?
Just a word of warning – you may like to read the story during daylight hours.
Marsha is looking at doing a follow-up discussion post about what readers’ think is happening in my story. After you’ve read it, leave her a comment and let her know what you think is really happening.
My thanks to Marsha for inviting me to share one of my new stories with her readers.
While there, check out some of Marsha’s other posts too.
Comments are closed here. Please leave any comments on Marsha’s blog.