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Do old pages need to be constantly updated to continue to rank in Google search?



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Do old pages need to be constantly updated to continue to rank in Google search?

Matt Cutts has been quoted as saying on one of his videos that not all content needs to be constantly updated and how some older pages are fine with no new addition as they contain relevant content that doesn't change from year to year. However, sites related to topical news such as entertainment, movies or gossip are likely to need fresh content daily and those sites which update constantly (or often) are more likely to rank higher in Google than the ones that don't update often. Do you agree this is true, or do you think that even old pages that are not updated will slide out of search if not updated regularly, to be replaced by newer pages with newer (not necessarily relevant) information?

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Cristian

If it makes sense updating an article once in a while, do it. Don't create another article, just update the old one. You will experience a boost in rank and visits.

Google is getting smarter and smarter and will notice when you offer old/outdated information and a specific subject.
To give you an example. Let's say you write an article about some specific medical condition and eye surgery. Now 3-4 years pass and technology evolved and a different type of surgery exist now. What do you do?

Answer is you go and update your old article and talk about the most recent technology and techniques used for that specific condition. Don't just create a new article as well as having the old one around, you'll fall into keyword cannibalization.



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Lynne

What about writing a new article with new keywords but focusing on the new technology, you can still update the old page and refer to the new page with the information? Surely this would also help ranking?

Yes I agree not to use the same keywords for different content, that would certainly work against you!



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Cristian

That may work, but if the content is related it would be the same deal. Google started to value articles that contain all the answers as well as additional related topics. You can also post a new article and just 301 the old article on the new, transferring the authority.

But I personally would do the update thing.



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Lynne

Thanks for clearing that up Cristian. How would this work then if you wanted to do a series of posts on one topic but dealing with a different point in each post? There are some things that are inter-related but there is so much information you might possibly never be able to cover it all in one post... or you could but it would be like a book!



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Cristian

Think about it this way:

Would all the information into 1 post feel the natural thing to do? Would you as a user be glad to have everything in one place?

If the answer is yes, you don't need multiple articles.
If the answer is no, do it separately but be careful not to repeat yourself on the same subjects.



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Lynne

Thanks Cristian, yes that makes sense. I've come across some blogs that just have the same information just about on loads of posts. I can see how that is going to turn into a nightmare for rankings....

I like updating old content, it is a nice way to keep everything fresh!



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Corzhens

This is just my opinion and I have no basis except for the logic in my head. I am referring to a website that is not a blog, not a forum and not even an e-commerce site. It is just a website to showcase anything new like pictures or snippets of current events. When there is a new page as a result of a new post, that is the current status of the website which means the old pages which are already in the archive will not affect the search engine because they are already static. But when you update an old page, it should be on page 1 of your website otherwise the search engine will not find it.



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