What to Do with Outdated Content: Update, Redirect or Rewrite?

By Andrew Garberson

For better or worse, we are witnessing a race to fill the Internet with information. Millions of pages are added each day at a rate far greater than they are removed, leaving lots of outdated content for people and bots to crawl through. Old info provides an unfavorable user experience, but is simply removing it from the website or search engines the best alternative?

The answer is no. And if the old page in question has inbound links, social shares or other SEO value, the answer is NO! For starters, deleting a page with oh-so-valuable links turns them into orphans because they point to a nonexistent address. Any SEO benefit derived from them is gone, leaving them to wander the world alone (and unlike Annie, they’ll never find their Daddy Warbucks).

Another option is to de-index the pages so search engines do not display them in the search results. That doesn’t exactly get me giddy, either. De-indexing old pages keeps them away from visitors, but it also keeps them away from potential visitors! See the problem? Cutting away at organic search traffic is never good for business.

If deleting the page is not an option, and neither is removing it from the index, what’s a webmaster to do? Well, you have come to the right place. Here are three healthy alternatives to consider.

Update the information. Perhaps a page has been live for several years and it is starting to show its age. The dates have long since come and gone and procedures and price points reflect different times. After all, a lot has changed in the business world since 2008.

Simply revise the content to reflect current happenings. Small corrections do not impact on-page metrics so no need to fear a fall in ranking. Search engines will barely notice. Unless, of course, those little corrections are, say, in the title and headers. If that’s the case, it is probably best to consider a 301.

Apply a 301 redirect instead of making big changes to title tags or large portions of content. 301 redirects automatically shuffle visitors to a more applicable page and send with them most of its predecessor’s page authority.

A redirect is perfect for a retired executive’s profile. It likely accrued lots of links over the years and it would be a shame to let them go to waste. A 301 permanent redirect to the directory of managers or the executive’s replacement would serve the website (and all of its visitors) very well. For more general pages, however, a redirect might not seem appropriate. It would make more sense to simply create all new content under the existing URL.

Write new content. Widgets were not selling well so the company decides to go in a different direction. These big changes can’t be made by updating tidbits, but the URLs and brand can be left as-is. It’s time to rewrite. Wipe everything clean but the URL, leaving the inbound links intact, and start from scratch: newly optimized title tag, appropriate Meta description and fresh content. It might not be the best option because search engine results and ranks will change, but all of those authority-building inbound links are spared from the orphanage, which is better than what would happen if you delete entire pages.

Moral of the story: don’t abandon accrued SEO credit. Never ever. Condemning links to a life of solitude on the street is neither good for you nor society. So, do your part and keep this world a better place.


Andrew Garberson is a Search Manager at LunaMetrics. When not reading, writing or embodying SEO, Andrew enjoys to travel, which means he speaks Spanish like a kid, writes Chinese like a child, and comprehends French like a toddler.

This article courtesy of SiteProNews.com

Q and A: How do I leverage Social Media to improve my SEO?

QuestionHello Kalena

What do you think is the future of SEO as it relates to Social Media?

I’m really interested in convergence/intersection of Social Media and SEO.  I’d like to select my next set of Search Engine College courses with this in mind.  Do you have any suggestions? For example, I know the importance of blogging etc., but how do you go about creating a network of bloggers that can be used to help increase social media signals?

Toni

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Hi Toni

Social media has been a vital piece of SEO for a couple of years now. The amount of exposure that Social Media Marketing provides can contribute not just to traffic to a web site, but also to a site’s SEO strategy and long term success.

Web sites that are using successful social media strategies will almost always benefit from better visibility in the search engines. Why is this? For a few reasons:

  • Cross promotion of content between various social media channels and a web site usually means more links pointing to that web site. This contributes to a site’s link popularity. Higher link popularity and more relevant incoming links generally increases the *trust rank* of a site and results in higher rankings on the SERPs.
  • Regular posting via a blog or via social media channels consistently creates new content. Search engines LOVE fresh content and will be more inclined to index your site more often if you keep it fresh.
  • New content will attract more visitors and more page views, which in turn will improve your *trustability* with Google and other major search engines.
  • The more people talking about your brand, the better. Social media lends itself to brand discussion and product comparisons. If you make sure to take advantage of that, it can give you insights into new product development and customer satisfaction. Consistent mentions of your brand and/or products should naturally boost your product pages in the SERPs for related search queries.
  • When people are viewing and sharing your content via various social media channels, they are creating yet more links back to your site and this will have a flow-on effect to your link popularity and traffic levels. In effect, they are creating new content for you, without being on your payroll.

So how do you take advantage of all this and leverage your social media networks to boost your SEO strategy? Here’s a short checklist of things you can do when you publish new content on your web site or have something important to share:

  1. Upload it to your web site – This the starting point. Make sure the new content is uploaded here before any of your other marketing channels. This establishes your site as the original source and you can then point your social media posts to this source.
  2. Write a press release about it – If the new content or announcement warrants a press release, create one! Then upload it to press release syndication sites such as PR Web to ensure it gets maximum media coverage.
  3. Blog about it – If you write a regular blog, whether it is on your site or elsewhere, blog about it and link back to the original source on your site. Encourage other bloggers to link to it, blog about it or re-post it on their blogs. You mentioned this in your original question submission and YES, having a network of reliable bloggers either in your employ or in your social network can definitely help spread the word about your new content and contribute to your social signals.
  4. Bookmark it – Make sure your new content is submitted to smaller social sites and bookmarking services like Stumble Upon, Digg, Reddit and Delicious.
  5. Tweet it – Make sure you post a tweet on Twitter about your news, with a link back to the original source on your site and encourage your followers to share with their followers.
  6. Facebook it – As above, post a status update on your company/personal Facebook pages with a link back to the original source. Encourage your Facebook friends/fans to discuss it and share it with their friends.
  7. Pin it – If you have a Pinterest account, you might consider pinning it, particularly if the content is visual in nature.
  8. Google+ it – If you haven’t already set up your Google Plus account, do so quickly. A lot of people are already ditching Facebook and embracing Google+ as their favorite social media hangout. There are also other advantages to using it – if you use AdWords, you can have your ads show up with a little Google+ icon and link to your Google+ page. If you write regular articles/posts, you can also use Google+ for your Google Authorship annotations and track these in Google Webmaster Tools.
  9. Create a video about it – You might consider creating a short YouTube video talking about your news, or create a video version of your blog post. This can work particularly well if your content is a *how to* article or just educational in style.
  10. Create a slide-deck about it – As above, if your content is visual or educational, it would probably make a fantastic slide show. You could create a simple slide-deck about it ready to go for conferences or corporate presentations on the subject at a future date. Be sure to share the slide deck on slide hosting services like SlideShare.
  11. Create an eBook about it – If your content is a white paper or tutorial, you might consider creating an eBook and give that away via your social media channels. eBooks are a great way to solicit permission from people to sign up for your mailing list (in exchange for the free eBook).
  12. Send an email about it – If you publish a regular newsletter or Email broadcast, make sure you link to your new content within your campaign. Encourage people to share the news via their own social media networks.

Want more? Read Marcus Maraih’s article Improve Your Social SEO for more ideas.

Kalena

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Sick of paying others to SEO your site? Download my Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

 

Search Industry Job of the Week – Web Search Evaluators

Job Title: Web Search Evaluators
Job Reference #: Unknown
Position Type: Freelance Contract
Name of employer: Appen Butler Hill
Location: Global (one in most countries)
Date Posted: 20 October 2012
Position description:

Be part of a global team to evaluate and improve search engine results for some of the world’s top internet search engine companies!  Appen Butler Hill offer a competitive pay rate and flexible work schedule while working online remotely.

Who They Are

Appen Butler Hill is a language technology solutions and consulting firm, recognized as a global leader in the quality, range and caliber of its expertise. They are focused on helping their clients reach international markets by leveraging their expertise in over 50 languages and dialects.  Their clients are amongst the world’s top internet search engine companies and they are currently seeking internet-savvy freelance Web Search Evaluators.

Description

Web Search Evaluators work on interesting projects that are geared to improve search engine results for their country. The work generally includes reviewing and evaluating internet search results based on specific search terms and providing a rating. The evaluation work is typically done using online automated tools.

Web Search Evaluators work 4 hours per day (Monday-Friday) and have the flexibility to choose the hours they wish to work each day. This project requires a commitment to work 20-22 hours per week. Project work is expected to extend through August 17th, 2013, with a possible further extension.

To qualify to be accepted onto the project, Web Search Evaluators must first complete a rigorous qualification process that requires successfully completing a review of qualification materials and a series of exams. The qualification process may involve up to 25-35 hours of commitment over 1-3 week period.

Web Search Evaluators accepted onto a project will need to consistently meet service levels measuring the accuracy of their work in order to remain on the project.

Requirements

  • Personal PC or laptop that runs Windows Vista or Windows 7 (please note, netbook devices, Windows XP and Apple O/S, including Apple O/S running on virtual environments, are not compatible with project), and a minimum screen resolution of 1280 X 768; desired resolution is 1280 X 1024
  • A high-speed internet connection (preferably unlimited usage; if limited, download cap must not be less than 100 GB per month)
  • Basic aptitude for solving technical/software issues independently
  • Detail-oriented and organized with strong time-management skills and the ability to manage a 20-22 hours per week self- directed work schedule
  • In order to apply cultural awareness to the work, you must be a current resident of the country for which you are applying to do this work, and have lived in this country for at least 10 years
  • Native or near native speaker of the language of the country for which you are applying to do this work
  • Proficient in written and verbal English
  • Strong communication skills
  • Familiar with current cultural, political, business and media affairs, in addition to extensive familiarity with a wide variety of online news sources published in your country
  • Avid internet enthusiast with excellent web research and analytical capabilities

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info about company from: http://www.appenbutlerhill.com/freelance_work
Contact: Send resumes to: recruitment[at]appenbutlerhill.com

For more search industry jobs, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.

Calling All Search Engine College Graduates

Hundreds of students graduate from Search Engine College every year and one of our favourite things is hearing from alumni and finding out what they’ve been up to since graduating.

With students in over 50 countries, experiences are quite diverse. Here are some examples:

  • Gone on to work for a major search engine.
  • Offered 3 jobs in a single week after publishing certification status in online CV.
  • Poached from a high-paying SEM job to another high-paying SEM job with double the salary in just 6 months.
  • Launched a web design and SEO company with sister.
  • Left a high paying job in government to start own SEO/SEM consultancy.
  • Became a freelance online copywriting expert.

Having launched in 2004, the alumni of Search Engine College is rapidly growing and we’ve realized that other former and current students would enjoy hearing from past students too. So we’ve decided to regularly feature a ‘Graduate Profile’ on this blog.

If you’re an alumni of Search Engine College, no matter how long (or short) ago, we are eager to hear from you. We’d love to know:

  • What have you done since graduating from Search Engine College?
  • How have our courses helped your working situtation?
  • Have you started a new business or job as a result?
  • What role are you in now?
  • What do you love best about your job?

We’d also love to know:

  • What made you decide to enroll at Search Engine College?
  • What are your plans for the future?

Please Contact Us with “Graduate Profile” in your subject line and preferably attaching or linking to a photo you’d like used in the profile. We would be delighted to receive profiles in audio or video format if you’re particularly keen!

All graduates profiled will receive a Google AdWords voucher to the value of USD 75 and a link to their web site.

 

 

 

 

Search Industry Job of the Week – SEO Consultant

Job Title: SEO Consultant
Job Reference: Unknown
Position Type: full time
Name of employer: Distilled
Location: New York
Date Posted: 19 October 2012
Position description:

Distilled NYC has been up and running for just over a year. They’re a small office of 7 people but work with some of the largest brands and most exciting startups in the world. Their Union Square office is within walking distance to most of their clients and as an SEO consultant, you will be client facing and working directly with senior managers, and in some cases, CEOs to create SEO and online marketing strategies, while also figuring out how to actually get them done.

Distilled is unlike many other SEO agencies in that they have a strong focus on effecting change for their clients. They don’t spend time writing lengthy reports or doing article submission – they focus on getting shit done and that means an exciting and varied day to day existence including hiring teams, building processes and helping clients figure out how to create, manage and get results from exceptional content.

The role will be challenging and fast-paced; in return they offer:

  • The ability to work with some of the biggest brands in the world
  • World-class training from some of the best in the industry and opportunity to learn from more experts through our conferences & videos
  • The chance to join an established company with a start up mentality
  • A relaxed and fun working environment (beer o’clock and summer hours as standard!)
  • 20 days of paid vacation days a year plus 6 public holidays
  • Individual freedom and responsibility to take ownership of problems and solve them in creative ways

The right candidate will be the rare combination of someone with fantastic communication skills and an in-depth understanding of the internet. Put another way, you will be a sociable geek.

They’re looking for people with plenty of experience and those who are new to the industry – if you think you are exceptional then get in touch! They always want to hire good people.

Salary range: Unknown
Closing date: Unknown
More info from: http://www.distilled.net/jobs/new-york/seo-consultants
Apply online: http://www.distilled.net/jobs/new-york/seo-consultants/seo-consultant-ny-application-page

For more search industry jobs, or to post a vacancy, visit Search Engine College Jobs Board.