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Update Older Articles To Improve Rankings & Traffic


Update Older Articles To Improve Rankings & Traffic “Best social media platforms” Friendster? MySpace? Google Plus? What’s this? I’m going to Bing. Yep, if I’m Google, I wouldn’t like that. I’ll keep my search results Up-to-date, accurate, and relevant. Putting yourself in the shoes of Google, you have a different perspective.

So if your site traffic is coming down, the rankings of your once popular articles are coming down, do the thing that will help Google, “update your content.” We are not saying go to your older pieces and, oh, there’s an update button, press it, and that’s it. You need to take some time to review and ensure that the information in your older articles is relevant and up-to-date.

Do more than focus on writing new content. You know that Google rewards websites concentrate on quality over quantity. So any articles that are more than a year old, you want to make it a habit to visit it once a year to FactCheck the information. I know it’s easier said than done. If you have a massive team of content writers, it will be easy for you to update all your content. But if you are a one-person show, it will be challenging. So this video is dedicated to you if you are a one-person show or have a small team to update a ton of content on your website.

Let’s go. Hey, it’s Shahzad and Maham from Maheretv, the one WordPress SEO plugin that constantly strives to provide you with the fastest and the most cutting-edge SEO tools. And on this channel, we strive to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date SEO information and knowledge.

So if this is your first time on our channel, consider subscribing. We all have limited resources and don’t put them to good use. We waste time and money. Let me ask you a question.

If one of your articles ranked for a trendy search term and generated a ton of traffic for you, but now it has lost all its traffic because the search term has lost its fame and nobody’s searching for it, would you still spend time updating the content? No. Right. So the first thing we have to do in this process is identify the correct articles.

Identify the Right Articles to Update

If your article is new, you published it three to four months ago and could have performed better. Be patient. Give it time. Wait to do any significant updates to it. But once it passes the twelve-month mark, it’s time to look at it, and that’s the first qualification.

Then, you next want to identify articles that have lost traffic but are still crucial to your business goals. Update Older Articles To Improve Rankings & Traffic. If your business sells dog products and you have essential articles that fetch several sales for you in the past, but now it is not performing well, you want to note them.

If you are using Rank Math Pro, you want to go to your analytics module and select the SEO Performance tab. From there, you want to expand the data to the maximum. And as you scroll down, you’ll see a list of all your contents. The column that you’ll be most interested in is the position.

Take note of the graphs. If you see a nosedive in the position, like this article “Best Bamboo Sheet.” We were on the first page, but the situation has plunged to the third page. If this article is essential to your business, and if this article was published more than a year ago, we want to update that article. Now, you can use the Google Search console as well.

You want to select pages and change the search results or Page Performance date range. Select Compare and choose to compare the data of the last 28 days, year over year. Click Apply. And from here, you want to sort by the clicks difference and see articles with harmful clicks, meaning the data from the past 28 days compared to the data a year ago.

And Wow! This site needs an update, but if you are a one-person show or a small team, you want to pick more important articles for your business. You want to grab those underperforming articles and consolidate them into a list where you will sort them by their importance to your blog or business.

But before we go any further, we want to ensure that those articles at the top of the list are ranked differently than the top three positions of your main targeted keyphrase. You don’t want to waste resources on articles that are already ranking. So, for example, just for the sake of explanation, let’s say that I used to rank highly for the keyword “Friendster marketing.” And this is the article from my site.

The article generated several clients interested in Friendster marketing, but it is no longer the case. The traffic is down, and the sales are down too. Update Older Articles To Improve Rankings & Traffic. What gives? I’m ranking at the top, but nothing is happening. Now, you and I both know that Friendster is dead. So nobody is searching for Friendster marketing right now.

And if you are updating this article, it is not worth your time and resources. I hope this makes sense to you. To recap this section on selecting pieces to update, you want to use Rank Math’s Analytics module or the Google Search Console to identify articles that are beaten down in position and traffic. And then, you want to consolidate all the poor-performing reports in the list, for example, in a spreadsheet. Then you want to sort the articles by importance to your website or business.

Next, you want to search on Google to ensure that the beaten-down articles are not ranking in the top three positions on the primary targeted vital phrases. If they are, take them off the list, and you’ll be left with a list of articles to update in sequence.

How to Update the Content

Now that we have decided on what articles to update, let’s discuss how to update the content. It is best if I walk you through the entire process. Imagine I own a guitar school, and I have a website, and I used to rank highly for the key phrase, “do you need the talent to play the guitar?” But now I realize the article needs more traffic.

So I went to Google and searched for the keyword, and this website has gotten the rich Snippet. Let’s click through it. And now, I want to visit my article, and this is an article, and it is ranked 10th position. Now, before we go any further, can you tell me the search intent of the key phrase? What is the searcher thinking, and what do they want from this search?

Is the searcher looking for easier ways to play the guitar? Or is the searcher doubting themselves and needing validation? Is it A or B? Leave a comment down below. I’ll wait. Okay, if your answer is A, why wouldn’t the person search for “how to play the guitar easily” or “simple tricks to play the guitar?” Wouldn’t that be more appropriate? So the answer is B, and Google already said it.

Old way vs. New way of Content Creation

It has awarded this website with the rich Snippet. So comparing the top results with the article in question, can you see that the ultimate consequence answered the question in the first line? Looking at the other piece, it feels like the writer is writing a storybook.

You can see the difference between articles written in the past and right now because the standard of writing an article in the past, at least the way I was taught, was to connect with the reader through stories. That way, we as writers can build trust and rapport, which was the acceptable norm. And searchers are okay with it.

But nowadays, assess your behavior when searching for information. Do you care for those stories? No. I feel more connected with the writer when I’m fed important information first instead of a story. I want information fast, and I won’t tolerate fluff.

#1: Satisfy Search Intent Within 3s

So the first tip I have for you is to go through your content and see if your articles have any fluff, stories or anything that prevents your readers from getting,g the information they want within the first 3 seconds of visiting your article. I’m not saying you can’t add any personal stories to your writing.

You must first build rapport with your readers through immediate information before sharing your experiences. To identify the search intent and provide information that satisfies the search intent right at the top. Remember, put all the essential information right at the top.

#2: Properly Remove Outdated Info

That’s the first audit point. Now, let’s say that you have written a review article about software and that the article is about Rank Math. We had this feature where one of the SEO checks was the Flesch ease score. But it is no longer necessary after Google’s BERT update, and Rank Math has since removed it.

What should you do with it if you have an entire paragraph about how Rank math is incredible because of the Flesch ease check? Should you add strikethroughs to keep the content there and signal that the information is outdated? That is not a good idea. Should you cut this section, paste it at the bottom of the article and blend it with the background, thinking that Google would see value in the paragraph? That’s not a good idea either. Should you remove it entirely?

But if people search for Rank Math Flesch Ease Score because its competitors have that check, you will want to add a line at the top that blends in with the introduction or wherever you deem appropriate. I would write a sentence saying, “One great thing about Rank Math is that they are always on their toes with SEO.

A great example is that after Google’s BERT update, the Flesch ease score seemed irrelevant to SEO and may seem counterproductive. Hence, they have removed it.” That way, when somebody searches for “Rank Math Flesch Ease Score,” “Why is there no Flesch score in Rank Math?” Or any key phrases that are related to Rank Math and Flesch Score, you still have a chance of ranking for it instead of completely deleting the paragraph.


This audit point is to remove whatever is outdated or irrelevant and replace it with something that could be evergreen for your article. Anyway, are you already getting value from this? If you find this information helpful, remember to smash that thumbs-up button.

#3: Satisfy Secondary Search Intent

Now, let’s go to something even more valuable. Our next audit point is to identify secondary search intents and optimize your article for them. But the question is, how do you find secondary search intents? The key is finding queries your report ranks for other than the main focus keyword. And then again, how do you find them?

There are two methods. The first method is to use the Google search console. On the search results, select the queries tab instead of the pages we have used just now. And then, you want to add another attribute.

Let’s choose “page.” Under the filter, you want to select either URLs containing or exact URLs. Let’s say that the article we are updating is this that targets the primary key phrase zero waste makeup brands. And from there, you will see a list of keywords this article is ranking.

There may be a few crickets. It is getting impressions, which means Google is trying to rank your articles on these key phrases, but it still needs to be put up to par. Update Older Articles To Improve Rankings & Traffic One thing that could be helpful is if you know how far down your article is ranking for these keywords.

But anyway, this is good enough. Before optimizing the article, let’s discuss the other method for Rank Math Pro users. On the analytics module, remember we were on the “SEO Performance” tab. Go to the article you’re updating, scroll down, and see a list of keywords for which this article ranks. It is similar to what you get from the Google search console, but we have the position history.

Let’s put the key phrases side by side with the article. You see, we have the intro and then a table. Not the most helpful table, honestly. And we’re trying to squeeze people to buy products through the buttons. How about we optimize the contents to match the secondary search terms? People are searching for vegan, nontoxic, plastic-free, chemical-free, etc.

To optimize this table, I would do something like this. I would add more columns, a column for vegan, nontoxic, cruelty-free, plastic-free, and whatever the categories people are searching for, and then match it with the brand. I would tick or cross out those that are relevant to the brand. Is this so much better than the table above?

I think so. And then, if we go down further, this is where the writer describes the makeup brand. If I were to optimize this, I would put them in point forms, either in a list or table, instead of the wordy text. So is EcoCert a vegan makeup brand?

We will give a direct answer. This looks much better than before and allows the reader to get immediate answers instead of reading through paragraphs and trying to figure things out themselves. If you make your readers’ lives easier, they will stay to consume your content longer, which gives a positive signal to Google and other search engines.

As a result, your article may rank highly on these secondary search terms. I love this audit point. What do you think? Leave a comment down below.

#4: Trim the Fat

Now, the following audit point is subjective about trimming fats. If you have two to three paragraphs describing one thing, but you can trim it down to one to two sentences while keeping the information intact, you have a winner. For example,

The writer describes why you should focus on your strengths rather than weaknesses. And he has named three guitar legends BB King, Dave Matthews, and Tom Petty. If I were to trim the fat, I would write something like this: “The pros avoids their weaknesses and focuses on their strengths. Do you think the pros are good at everything?

Wrong.” I’ll add a table to list the strengths and weaknesses of each guitar legend and end it with, “So don’t try to be some other guitarist to look cool. Learn to adapt and keep to your strengths. That’s what makes you a better guitarist.” The content is more organized than this, and I’ve trimmed down quite several words while keeping the information intact.

Of course, this is subjective. You may think your content is lean, and I may think you need to trim the fat. But what’s important is if your content gives your audience the information they want in the quickest way possible. 

So have that thought in mind when going through your content? As you read your content, you should read it from your readers’ point of view instead of the writer’s perspective.

#5: Merge Similar Content

It takes some practice, but the more you do it, the better you’ll be in the long run. There will likely be some repetitive articles if you have a large site with hundreds of thousands of articles. You may have written one piece, for example, how to “Make Money Online from Amazon,” a couple of years back.

And maybe you have written another article, “Ways to Make Money on Amazon,” two years ago. And another article, “How to Boost Sales on Amazon,” They are different keywords with different search volumes and competitors. But they can all be merged into one enormous article that covers “Best Ways to Make Money on Amazon.” You’ll share all the tips, tricks, methods, and how beginners can get started. You can either improve one of the existing articles or consolidate all the information into a new one.

And all you need to do is to do a 301 redirect from all the older articles to the new or updated article so that all the SEO juices gathered in the past from those older articles will be retained on the new or updated report. To do 301 redirects, you can use our Redirections module and add a new Redirect. Select the “301 Permanent Move” option, and place your old article links on the source.

As you can see, you can paste multiple URLs simultaneously. Add the new or updated article URL in the destination, hit the Add Redirection button, and you are all set to go. The link is in the description for more information on how to use Redirections. It’s that easy. Rank Math is simply the one-stop shop for SEO tools.

We have a list of modules and features to suit every SEO need, so consider activating Rank Math on your site. Finally, once you’ve updated your content and hit the Update button, there is just one last step.

Submit Updated Content for Recrawling

Now, if you are using Rank Math, you don’t need to do anything after you hit the update button from your article because we do everything for you behind the scenes. But you have to ensure that the correct settings are turned on.

First, when you update your content, Rank Math will automatically update your edited article’s “Last Mod.” column. So the settings you have to make sure that it’s on is the Sitemap module. Next, there are two ways Rank Math will automatically submit your Sitemap to Google. The first way is to go to the Sitemap settings, scroll down and see this “Ping Search Engines.” This setting will do the heavy lifting for you.

Another helpful method for beginners who have trouble verifying their site with the Google Search Console is to connect your site to Google using Rank Math. Go to Rank Math’s Dashboard, hit the Setup Wizard, go through the steps, and you should be able to connect your site to the Google Search Console.

You can check out this video for more details about connecting your site to Google and everything about Sitemap. So aren’t you glad you’re using Rank Math? We spoil you too much, and if you need to start using Rank Math but want to switch to us and you’re worried that you might lose traffic, check out the links in the description to migrate to us properly.

Many of our users claim that their traffic improved after migrating to Rank Math, but I’ll leave it to you to decide. You can also submit your article for recrawling on Google Search Console. On your Search Console, right at the top, you want to place the URL of your updated article and hit Enter or Return.

Then, you only need to click “Request Indexing,” and Google will recrawl your page. If you don’t use Rank Math and didn’t request recrawling on Search Console, that’s fine because Google will visit your site periodically to crawl for updates. But if you want Google to notice your updated content faster, use either of the methods I shared.


With this strategy, updating your older content will help increase your site traffic and sales. If you find value in this blog, please do us a favor and smash that thumbs-up button.

More people need to read this blog, and you’re making it happen with your thumbs up. So thank you! We are constantly looking for SEO, insights, updates, and everything. So if you want the most accurate and up-to-date information, subscribe to our site now, and we’ll bring that value. This is Maham and Shahzad. I’ll see you in the next blog.


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