Does Old Expired Content Hurt Your Site?
As with many aspects of Inbound Marketing, the answer is “it depends”. In this case it depends on specifically which content on your site is old and expired.
To illustrate the point, I visited the home page of a website yesterday (25 Feb 2015) where had a large World Cup banner and a phrase indicated we were in the middle of the world cup. Since the World Cup final was 13 Jul 2014, that website home page is 7 months out of date.
This caused me to suspect the business is not viable so I moved on.
Outdated Home Pages, Landing Pages, Offer Pages, Etc
These types of pages definitely need to be up to date. If they’re not, your visitors will have an experience like the one I reported above.
When one of these pages is out of date, it looks as if you either don’t care to update your website, or lack the resources to do so. Either way, people will move on.
Blog posts on the other hand, do not necessarily need to be updated. They’re generally dated so your visitors can see when they were published. Instead of updating old blog posts, your time will be better spent in creating new ones.
An important search signal is how many pages are indexed on your website. Sites with more pages tend to rank higher.
Types of Pages Y0u Definitely Need to Update or Redirect
First let me explain why I say redirect, rather than remove. If a page has been indexed by Google it will show up in a SERP (Search Engine Result Page). When someone selects your page from the SERP and the page isn’t there, they see a 404 error. Excessive 404 errors hurt your search ranking.
For this reason old obsolete pages need to be either updated or redirected, even if the redirect is to the home page.
Very Old Events
How old is too old is a judgement call, but if your website shows events that occurred years ago, it’s probably time to remove them.
Products Your No Longer Carry
Doesn’t matter what it is, if you no longer carry it, get it off your website.
Sales and Promotions that Have Ended
This is an obvious one too. Redirect them to sales and promotions that are current.
Look at this as an opportunity. When you publicize a winter event, product, etc and it’s now spring, segue into a summer event, product, etc.
Then do the same when fall comes around.
Reviews That Are Old and Outdated
If you review products and services on your website and some are no longer available, the review needs to be updated.
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