Let’s Talk About Old Material And Redirect Chains

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While browsing some questions submitted to SEJ after a recent webinar, two of them protruded to me as associated and similar.

That indicates you remain in for a reward, gentile reader, due to the fact that today’s an unique 2-for-1 version of Ask an SEO.

Here are the concerns:

Ines asked: What do you make with old sites that have hundreds of URLs with extremely little traffic to most of them. Do you remove the bad material first? How much should I remove at a time? Is there a rule? Should I take internal links into account?

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

Let’s Discuss Old Material

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

I’ll get my family pet peeve out of the method initially: Ideally, you have dates on this old material, so that the readers who do stumble upon it understand that it’s old and outdated.

There are a number of methods you can take here, and a lot of it depends on your keyword research and information.

The first concern I ‘d ask myself for any piece of content is: Is this beneficial? Or is it hazardous (out of date, bad guidance, no longer appropriate, etc)?

If it’s damaging or no longer relevant, like a post on how to grow your Google+ following, you can simply proceed and erase it. There’s nothing relevant to redirect it to.

If it works, you’re entrusted to a few choices:

  • Re-write it or combine it with other content to see if you can get more traffic to it.
  • If you currently have more updated or more pertinent content, go ahead and 301 reroute it to that material.
  • If it no longer applies to your website or service, go on and erase it.

A lot of SEO pros will tell you that if it utilized to be a super popular piece with lots of external links you need to 301 it to maintain those links.

I’ll inform you to either find out why it’s no longer extremely popular and upgrade 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 find out why the material isn’t popular.

When you do that you can follow the below guidance:

– Does it resolve a user need however is just bad quality? Re-write it.
– Is it no longer relevant/useful? Erase it.
– Exists newer or much better material in other places? Redirect it.
– Should I preserve it for historic factors? Or exists simply little volume for that now, but I’m still getting traffic? Leave it alone.

OK, Now Let’s Discuss Redirects

Reroute chains get a lot of bad press in SEO.

There used to be a lots of debate about whether or not they pass PageRank, just how much PageRank they pass, how much decays, the number of Google will follow, etc.

For 99.9999925% of individuals, none of that matters.

If these are things we require to worry about, they’re so very little that they do not have much of an effect. The fact is Google will follow redirects and will pass some “value” through them.

There’s no negative effect or penalty from having redirect chains but aim for not more than 5 hops as Google may 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, honestly, over-thinking SEO.

When choosing if you need to redirect or erase material, use the rubric above.

And as a best practice, if you have rerouted chains, bring them to a minimal by upgrading redirects to point straight to the last destination.

For instance, if you have A-> B-> C (one redirect chain), develop A-> C and B-> C (2 redirects) instead.

Hope this helps.

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