How to Update Old WordPress Posts

If your blog has been in operation for a year or two, congratulations! You’ve been steadily building your content library. Now scroll all the way to the beginning of your blog. Some of those posts are probably great! Others might make you cringe. After a certain amount of time, you might be thinking about whether to update old WordPress posts, or even get rid of them. After all, you (probably) don’t have bell bottoms hanging around in your wardrobe anymore – why would you want dated, unattractive posts taking up space on your blog?

Can I Update Old WordPress Posts? Should I?

Once you realize some of your content is getting older or (gah!) even becoming irrelevant, you might ask yourself if you can replace or trash it. Few posts are unsalvageable. Even if your content contains some outdated or inaccurate information, a quick edit can usually save it. 

Many of our clients ask if changing published posts will mess with their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a great question, because changes to established posts absolutely can damage SEO value. However, if you conduct post changes in the right way, you can avoid any dings to your post value!

How Do I Go About Updating Posts?

1. When you update old WordPress posts, use the same URL and keywords

Despite changes to the body of your text, try to keep the permalink and original keywords. If you change these, you risk damaging the SEO of your original post. Link structure and keywords are two of the biggest aspects of optimization, and if they are suddenly changed, they can really ding your standing.

2. Add an editor’s note about the update

When you update posts months or years after they are published, it’s always a good idea to include a note to readers for transparency. It doesn’t need to be long or specific. It generally goes at either the very beginning or the very end of a post. It can simply read something like, “Editor’s note: This piece was originally published on June 6, 2016, but it received an overhaul for accuracy and timeliness on May 8, 2019.”

3. Prepare for republishing

Conduct the appropriate revisions to the content to get it ready to go again! Perform any necessary updates to the body and meta description of your post. When you’re finished, remember that you can’t leave the post in draft mode or schedule it for publication on a future day. That will leave anyone who visits the link getting a 404 until you republish, and that could drive away readers and damage your SEO.

Happy updating! Any questions about updating your old posts? Let us know in the comments! Wondering if blogging and SEO are even worth it for your small business? Check out our previous article here.

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Chantelle Gossner

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