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Second Life: Here’s Why You Should Edit Old Posts On Your Blog

Steven 2 responses Blogging

Some bloggers don’t like to update old posts on their blog at all. They look at them more like journal entries and they like to be able to look back in time. Other bloggers have “Update old posts” as a permanent item on their Things-To-Do lists. Should you or shouldn’t you. Let’s take a look.

Why Some Bloggers Like To Update Old Posts

Accuracy – There will be times when you just make mistakes. You misquote someone or your source wasn’t as reliable as you thought and none of your “facts” are right. Correcting those errors makes your content more useful for those readers who take the time to go through your archives and that just makes your blog stronger.

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Improve Value – Maybe you skipped a step in a How-To post, or maybe the software you were blogging about is now outdated and it’s been replaced with something else. It’s also a good idea to check for and update broken links. I think every blogger on the planet could probably do something to increase the value for the reader on just about every post he’s ever written.

What’s Better – Update or Delete?

The main reason bloggers update posts instead of just deleting them is because the URL has some value. It’s getting a lot of traffic or it has a lot of incoming links, or both.

But it’s also important to consider your online reputation and your reputation with the search engines.

Bloggers frequently publish their opinions, that’s why people like to visit blogs. If, in the past, you wrote a controversial opinion and you’ve since changed your mind, you might want to take a look at that old post. If it’s not getting any traffic and has no incoming links, it might be best just to delete it.

After the last few Google updates a lot of bloggers are making it a point to go through all their old posts and review who they’ve been linking out to. You definitely don’t want to be associated with poor-quality, spammy blogs.

How To Update Old Posts

Fix it and move on – If it’s just a quick fix like replacing a broken link or correcting an error, it’s fine to just fix it and move on.

Include and “Updated” notice – If you’re adding new content or changing a large portion of the post, it helps to make a note on the post telling readers you’ve updated the content, especially if it’s the type of post readers return to again and again as a reference. It’s also a good idea to publish a brief new post letting your readers know you’ve updated the older post.

Write a New Post – If the older post needs a complete overhaul it’s better to write a completely new post and link to it from the original. Put a notice on the older post telling your readers that there have been substantial changes in the content and send them to the new, updated post.

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  1. Steven, I’ve been updating many of my old ones from Blogger and I haven’t put an update notice, great idea! Especially on one that I added some new stuff, I will go back and do that. I’m always afraid of sharing my own stuff too much so I don’t think I did that either :) Thanks for the advice here. Is there ever a time when you would delete an old post? I have a couple that I’d love to.

  2. Paul Shapiro

    I put an “update” notice, but these aren’t huge changes. They are little notes about news developments typically or something a reader has indicated to me. If they were bigger updates, I would write a new post. I think updating old post adds a freshness signal to the search engines, and this is good especially for older content that has performed well in the past.