Why You Need To Edit Old Posts on Your Blog : Practical Tips

Blog posts are like wine: the older they get, the better they become!

One of the lesser known things about any popular blogger is; that they spend as much time editing old posts as they do write new posts.

Particularly after the Google Panda algorithm rollout it’s essential to keep all posts of your blog relevant and up-to- date.  Personally, Every month I update at least 20+ old posts to make the posts ready for today.

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In this post I will list the reasons why it is so important to edit old blog posts, and the benefits of doing so. You will learn practical tips on how to keep editing your old posts & what other things you should take care along with it.

So let’s go ahead and first understand why you need to start working on your old posts now.

Top 5 Reasons for Editing Old Blog Posts:

Your blog could be a news blog, a tech blog, a fashion blog or a blog in any niche. Your visitors can land on any of your posts from search engines or via referral. If you have a post which might be a year old or more, it may contain information that is not currently relevant.

The visitor who lands on the outdated or irrelevant information will hit the “close” button and move on to other options. You just lost one valuable visitor who could have become your reader or even your subscriber. At the same time you also missed an opportunity to earn money. Moreover, your blog’s bounce rate will increase and the average time-on-site will be low.

By keeping your old posts updated, you not only turn a visitor into a reader or subscriber, but you also improve one decaying part of your blog. (And your blog is your personality, after all!)

Let’s look at the sorts of things that need to be edited in old blog posts, and why they needed refreshing.

Typos :

It is always important to proof-read an article to make sure that it is error-free.  Most of the time we proof-read after writing a post, and then we publish it. When I look at a post that was written a year ago, and I sometimes find that they are full of silly mistakes, such as those related to grammar or spelling.

Typos are a big turn-off to anyone reading your article, and when you revisit your old posts and read them with fresh eyes after time has passed, you are more likely to find those silly typos. You can also use this free Chrome add-on call Grammarly to help you in proof-reading.

Here are few more resources which you can open in a new tab for further reading:

Images :

“An image is worth 1,000 words.”  I have followed this mantra from day one of my blogging career.

Back in 2009-2010, I used to use any image from sites like Flickr or other similar sites. Now it is important to me to have an image that aligns with the topic of my post. A relevant image will encourage readers to read and share the post on their favorite social media platforms.

Additionally, my old images are usually of excessively large (ex: 1024*768), and my post content width is only 670 Px. Having an oversized image also affects the loading time of the post as well as the search engine ranking. What I do now and suggest that other bloggers do is download the image and re-size it to the size I need for my post, and use ImageOptim (or another image compressor) to reduce the overall size of the post.  The idea here is to make the picture web-ready.

Make sure you also rename the image to make it relevant and search engine friendly.

These steps will help you to significantly improve the overall SEO score of your post.  You can refer to this guide to learn about how images improve the SEO of your post.

Additionally, if you have used a screenshot of a website or anything else in your old post, it might now be outdated. Adding a new and updated image will give new life to your old post.

So here is the takeaway:

  • Add relevant images.
  • Make sure images are re-sized and compressed before uploading.
  • Take a new screenshot and use it.
  • Rename the image to make it relevant.

Just to let you know, I use Snag it! For taking screenshots and editing them. You can watch this free video learn how to use Snagit!

Update with new information:

One of the reasons Google may penalize your site with algorithm updates like Google Panda is thin content. Thin content could be in any form as I have previously covered in detail here.  If you have a post that requires an update of information, you should do it right away. Treat your blog like a store where only relevant things are displayed, and outdated things are thrown away.

If an article is completely outdated and its information is of no current use, you should no-index it or remove it completely. I prefer to remove such content.  In fact, in the past three months I have deleted over 300+ thin content from ShoutMeLoud. That’s more than 11% of published content, and I have noticed a significant increase in the site’s search engine ranking as a result.

Moreover, when you edit your old posts, you link out to new posts, and this increases the internal linking of your blog and helps with improved ranking as well.

Search engine ranking:

Sometimes one of your posts falls among the first search engine results. Make sure to maintain and add more value to such posts to lower your bounce rate and increase the ranking of other pages. You can use a service like SEMRUSH or GA JS bookmarklet to find what keyword your post is ranking for, and further optimize and target your post for certain keywords. I do this often, and it helps me to drive traffic to those posts that were formerly sitting idle and attracting no traffic at all.

Recently I discovered Analytify that shows me Google analytics data as post edit sections, and this allows me to determine if the post in question is getting any traffic or not.

If your post is missing a meta description, you should write one and add it to improve the SEO score further.

You should also read these two guides to learn more about making your article SEO friendly:

Comments:

When you started your blog for the first time, you may have made the mistake I made by accepting comments that do not add value to your blog. Or perhaps you accepted some spam comments that are submitted by automated commenting systems. Once you re-visit comments on your old posts, you will find it easier to see those comments and at that point you should delete them.

Also, if there is any comment that requires a reply, you should add it to honor the commentator and reply. Adding a meaningful comment will help you to improve the value of the article, and it may allow the article to rank higher due to improved keyword relevancy.

Here is an article you should read right now to learn more about moderating blog comments:

Apart from all of the points stated above, your blog will become more credible with updated evergreen content.

Here are two resources which will help you to learn more about how to implement these concepts:

Suggested reading:

How often do you edit your old posts, and on what basis do you choose them?

Do you also delete your old posts or you just no-index them?

Share your working style with us, and remember to also share this article with other bloggers in your social networks.

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

48 thoughts on “Why You Need To Edit Old Posts on Your Blog : Practical Tips”

  1. Thought of updating old post regularly,is good seo practice.. but my question is that what if we change, and replace full content,and update it.. will it affect the serach engine ranking or seo anyhow? … @Plugin Yoast.

  2. Great post. I’ve spent this past month doing a lot of reading and was curious if it would be bad to go back to much earlier posts and not only update their content, formatting, etc., but to also tighten their keywords as I’ve finally started to “get” SEO.

  3. Hi,
    Question: what do you do when updating older blog posts that were written by persons who are not with the company anymore? (and the blog is of a company)
    There are 2 situations: when you’d modify a big part of the post, change pretty much everything/ when you’d only update an image or 2.
    So what’s the best angle on this? Leave the initial author?
    Many thanks for your thoughts on this!

  4. Hey Harsh. I started reading your blog from day before yesterday and I found your article best even this article I loved it and I would like to know that if I will change my blog permalink and title while editing posts will it affect seo? Please reply my comment waiting for your reply…

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      @Xaif
      Sometimes it’s good to change permalink & it definitely helps in SEO.
      I would not suggest you to change permalink after publishing. Though if you decide to do that, ensure old link is redirected to new link. You can use redirection WordPress plugin for the same.
      https://wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/

  5. Pavitra Kumar

    Hii,

    These tips are really great, I agree with you that editing in your old post is important part of blogging. I have experienced it before few weeks and it is working good for me.
    I only have a few posts being updated to make it more search engine friendly, after looking at the keyword stats. I should’ve doine it more often!

    Thanks for sharing this useful and effective info with us.

    I hope you’re having a great week. Happy Blogging 🙂

  6. Your Story By max

    Thanks for the tips! I’m going to go over my old blog posts and fix and update them. Great info 🙂

  7. Hello Harsh, I would like to know if I change my blog permalink while editing posts will it affect SEO ?

  8. Hi, will it matter if I change the date on posts? I have some that I would prefer to show first in the categories, eg – city guides over photography diaries. Thanks

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      @Gemma
      As long as you don’t have dates in your permalink, you can. However, ensure you publish before the present time.

  9. Anuradha Chawla

    Do you know Harsh there is one thing that stands out in your Blog posts? They’re always magnetic either the new one or your old blog posts; like one would say “Oh I’ll read that later (about 100 times a day) but I just can’t bypass this because it’s that you. Thanks for all your posts this year.

  10. Hi Harsh
    When I update the old post and add some content again and it does not show in the front page
    I have seen a blog when they update the old post and those will show in the front page please how to achieve that

  11. every time i update a post and fetch it shows updated when i check using site:domain.com but in serp results it is not updated for weeks. What to do in this situation?

    1. @Gagan
      Start publishing regularly if you are not. At the same time when you publish a new post, link it with your old post.

  12. Narinder kumar

    Thanks for sharing the great article. can I change my publish date in the last update post if possible then how?

  13. Hi Harsh,

    Fabulous post and a great reminder to go back and edit old posts! Now, if I could only clone myself! But this would be good work for an assistant. Things are going very well proving that old dogs CAN learn new tricks! lol

  14. Emenike Emmanuel

    Hi Harsh,

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have personally witnessed so much increase in engagement on my blog ever since I took your advice to start editing old posts.

    It gave me the privilege to have posts that are forever relevant to my audience.

    Emenike

  15. This is a very useful post! In this age of pump it & dump it content era, people just churn out articles and blog posts like their disposable – never to be revisited or updated again. Of course some topics are not evergreen such as news articles and may not always call for updating, but for evergreen content, there is always something to add or tweak for sure.

  16. Hari Mohan Sharma

    Hi, Harsh!
    This article will definitely encourage fellow bloggers to revisit the old posts and do required editing. Thanks for the valuable tip.

  17. Awesome post Harsh! I’m trying to revive old posts that are invisible in the top 100(even with some slight SE0 done). How soon will you see will your posts ranking after improving the blog?

    1. Harsh Agrawal

      @Pierre
      Once you revive those posts, the next step is to let search engine crawl them again. You can do that by adding the internal links to those posts from new posts or you can also show last updated posts in your sidebar sitewide and this would help.

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