It’s difficult to generate content that will strike gold time and time again, so we’re tempted to reuse posts that proved successful. Fortunately, Google agrees with this approach, in fact, even encourages it. We explore the question to whether or not you should recycle your old content.
Republishing Old Content
Online activity is the key to user engagement, and companies try to stay relevant by frequently publishing various kinds of content, ranging from totally commercial (brochures, product catalogues, promo banners…) to educational or socially responsible (blogs, manuals, how-to guides…). The pressure to produce high-quality content that is regarded as appealing by potential customers and rated high by search engines is constant, and companies are perpetually hunting for new topics that could be covered.
As it turns out, veteran website owners also have a great weapon on their hands in the form of old content that performed reasonably well at the time of its original publication. Simply republishing the same piece again, or even better building upon it in some way, is a course of action that might sit well with the customers and also earn you a nice boost with search engines. Content republishing should be treated as an essential SEO technique capable of producing quick and cheap results, and used in well-measured doses whenever an opportunity presents itself.
If you are still unsure whether this technique could work for you, take a look at the following key facts that are applicable in almost every case of content republishing:
Google has a long memory
It is often said that everything on the internet is stored forever and you never know when and where it might pop up again. Apparently, search engines store a huge amount of data and employ very complex formulas to rate its value, so links that were once very popular retain some amount of authority even years later. When the same website publishes another piece that contains very similar keywords, it automatically receives a boost based on the success of the older one, which basically equals free publicity for the site owner. Perhaps the advantage gained in this way won’t be overwhelming and the results greatly depend on the quality of the first piece, but why would you forfeit any boost, no matter how small, when the competition for every click is so fierce?
Recent publication date matters
Most people go online to seek for fresh info, and Google is well-aware of this tendency. That’s why newer links usually end up near the top of the page on most queries, where they have the greatest impact. Revisiting an old topic with a well-timed update or a meaningful extension might be a good way to continuously challenge for a high ranking while relying on a proven formula. The risk of failure is minimal here, since the audiences are already known to react positively to the item in question, while there is a significant chance of striking gold with your new piece. Basically, you should be trying to maintain your online presence by developing successful content further at all times, while periodically also using old stuff to fuel new activities.
Multiply your opportunities
Every link you put out on the web is a signpost for your business and you never know where the traffic will originate from. Republishing helps your cause simply by opening another avenue for lead generation, even before accounting for the aforementioned SEO boost. It’s a very simple logic – if you write a serial blog in five instalments on a single topic, you are increasing the chances that someone might catch it midway through the publication process and then go back and read it all. The more clues you leave out there for the customers to follow, the more likely it becomes they will trace them back to your website and learn more about your business and product portfolio. The multiplication principle also works with Google’s algorithms, as repetition might persuade them to associate your site with the predominant theme found in the repeated content.
Practice makes perfect
When you take a first crack at a particular subject, the depth you can reach is somewhat limited, especially if you are working a bit outside of your core business line. With repetition, you tend to learn more details about the topic and to master the technological framework needed to create the content. For example, if you regularly publish photos from an important annual sales event on your site, after a few years you will have enough data to tell you what kind of images are most popular with the visitors of your site and can be counted on to stir interest in the event itself. This knowledge can be used to instruct the photographers the next time around, adjusting the new content in line with customer’s expectations.