Should I Link To my Older Articles?

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When I first saw this question pop up in my email my immediate reaction was “Yes! Of course you should!” But then I started thinking about it. In most cases you should link to your older articles. However, if it were that easy, I wouldn’t have had to write this article, now, would I?

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Look Before You Link

If you have a technology blog then you’ll want to check that older article before you link to it and make sure it’s still relevant. There was less than a 12-month time span between the introduction of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5, so you can imagine how fast all types of technology change these days.

If that older content is seasonal then you may not want to link to it. Let’s say you have a recipe blog and you’re telling readers about this awesome chocolate cake you made for a Fourth of July party. You and I know that if you’ve seen one basic chocolate cake recipe you’ve seen them all. But your readers might not. Send them to an older article that has the recipe to the Best Christmas Chocolate Cake and they might think they’re on the wrong page.

There are all sorts of reasons that older post might not be appropriate. People change their titles, scientific theories are dis-proven every day, one day caffeine’s good for you and the next day it’s bad. Just be sure to read over your older articles before you add that link – just to be on the safe side.

Publish A New Pillar Post

In the case of that chocolate cake recipe, why not create a new pillar post for the Best Basic Chocolate Cake Recipe. Then, each holiday, or each time you have a new variation, you can write a new blog post and you’ll always have a strong pillar post you can link to.

Highlight Older Posts In Your Sidebar

If it’s not quite appropriate to link to that older post but it’s still a relevant article, highlight it in your sidebar with a text link or an image. That way, you still have an on-site link for SEO purposes and your it’s right there where your visitors can see it.

Clean Up Older Articles

It’s a good idea to take a look at the older articles on your site on a regular basis. You’ll want to make sure links are working, and maybe freshen up the content to make it more timely and relevant. This clean-up process also keeps those older articles fresh in your mind so you’ll remember them when it comes time to build your links. Plus, you’ll learn to recognize when you have weaker categories that need more content, or when it’s time to publish another pillar post.

I try to link out to at least one older article in every blog post and, when that’s not possible, then I know what I’ll be blogging about tomorrow, that’s for sure!

Stéphane Kerwer
Article written by Stéphane Kerwer (1995 Posts)
Bonjour from a french guy. My name is Stéphane Kerwer and Dukeo is my blog. I do most of the heavy lifting in here but from time to time, you may see some guest posts. To receive updates from Dukeo, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
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6 Comments (Add one)

  1. Andi the Minion

    Interesting post, internal linking is good but as you have rightly highlighted, a lot of what we write about is old and usually it goes old very quickly these days.

    The example of the iPhone is a great example, and as we know content is king and that both Google and our readers want to see new content, why link to an old post simply for the sake of it when you can write a newer updated and better post?

    Choose wisely is a great tip. If it isn’t an evergreen post then don’t link. One could say that a new post which has links to outdated posts could in fact damage your credibility, if readers go through those links and read a post that is no longer valid but attached to a new post the reader could start to question your judgement and knowledge.

    Go for the rewrite and create new content I say.
    Andi

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Hey Andi, you get it right… When a post is outdated but can still be related, in a way, to your latest blog posts, it’s a good idea to write an updated version of it.

  2. mindy
    mindy

    You’ve been reading my mind! I handle some social media, and I’ve recently begun to go through older articles and reTweet or link to them. The pillar post and sidebar suggestions are great, and I will definitely keep them in mind for next time.

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Mindy, going through older posts to give them some fresh exposure is a very good idea!

  3. Jude Banks
    Jude Banks

    You make valid points about linking to older articles. The same goes for sharing or tweeting them.

    I’ve linked to them, mostly through the “You might also like this” feature, but I have not always checked the links in the older articles. Good point!

    Just goes to show that sometimes what we think is a good idea might need further consideration before we act on it.

    Regards,
    Jude

    1. Sté Kerwer

      Thanks for your comment Jude! Remember that linking in the body of your post is better both for SEO and for your readers.