Should You Rewrite Your Old Blog Posts?

  • Comments: 3
  • Written on: January 21st, 2009

In a bit of nostalgia, I wondered what my first post on my blog was about.  I dug back in time to read a post about Scott Richter that I could have sworn was not written in 1999.

As I thumbed through a couple of pages of posts I was stunned by my poor writing, misspellings, broken links, and utter lack of an understanding for SEO.

Most of my old posts probably didn’t rank for anything organically as a result, so I decided to rework them a bit to at least have a shot at bringing new visitors in through the search engines.

The whole time I was working I was wondering if editing my old blog posts was some kind of blogging sin, or if it was innocent and made no difference to my readers.  Here are some of the changes I made.  Tell me what you think.

Corrected Misspellings

I can’t imagine this is a big deal to anyone except my wounded pride.  My old posts were littered with simple misspelling from my pre-FireFox days when I did not enjoy instant spell checking in my browser.

Removed Dead Links

Again, probably not too controversial.  The links were in the posts in the first pace to provide context and support for my post.  If the links are dead, they can’t do either.

Rel=”nofollow” on Old Links

This is a little more on the edge.  The links in my blog posts were placed there for the convenience of my readers, not to influence search engines.

It is no mystery that Google penalizes website for too many outbound links, so I decided to rel=”nofollow” links more than 1 year old in my blog to minimize my PR leak.

While the recipients of these links probably won’t appreciate this, I don’t think my readers will object to it either.

Added META Tags to Old Posts

I started my blog on the Nucleus platform and then migrated to WordPress.  Once on WP, I started using the All-in-One SEO Pack to better control my posts’ ranking in the search engines.  My old posts had no title, description, or keyword meta tags, so I added them.

Again, this should have no impact on my readers, but it could impact other websites that are displaced in search results because of my effort.  Good or evil?

The Benefits of Re-Writing Old Blog Posts

By rewriting my old posts last week I have seen a 12% increase in organic visitors on my old content.  Because they are organic visitors, they also tend to bounce back out again.

As a result and I have seen a corresponding increase in my bounce rate, but I am going to try to compensate for that by cross linking my older posts where possible to draw readers deeper into my blog.

Questions of Page Rank impact will have to wait until a future update, and some readers may argue about the value of Google’s PR metric at all.

So a Good Call or Revisionist History?

The editing I did on my older content is not making it any less valueable to my readers, and is boosting my traffic.  On my end it’s a win.  What do you think?

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