Search engine algorithms rank content that is relevant to users. Most experts agree that search trends are in a state of constant change. Thus, web content should regularly be evaluated for relevance and new content helps keep your website competitive.
Regularly publishing new content keeps your site relevant to current user interests. This is helpful for rankings because Google is tuned to present the content users expect to see, particularly for trending topics.
Creating new content requires time and resources. Fortunately, updating old blogs and pages can sometimes be as effective as creating new pages.
Rather than investing time in brainstorming topics, you can extend the life of your existing content by keeping it up to date with user expectations.
Here are a few ways a content refresh can help you reach your SEO goals, without overextending your schedule and budget:
Ditch those statistics from 10 years ago. Contextualize your industry-specific advice using current events.
With a rewrite, you can quickly fix mistakes and add new information you’ve learned over time, increasing engagement, and saving potential embarrassment.
Search engine result pages display the most recent publication date next to each listing.
People conducting keyword searches often prefer results with a recent publication date, so if your pages are updated and current they’ll be more likely to select your site from the search results.
The editorial process creates a perfect opportunity for some external link housekeeping. During revisions, replace broken or outdated links with outbound links to more informative and interesting pages. This practice refreshes your outbound link profile, which is another positive ranking factor on search engines.
Ultimately, refreshing old content is a best practice because it makes your website genuinely more useful.
Think about it— would you trust a how-to guide published in 2013 or a similar guide posted last February?
Offering recent information helps establish trust between your website, your reader, and their search engine of choice.
Revamping old articles is only one part of digital content marketing. Promotion tactics like link building expose your content to a wider audience and drive traffic to your website.
When you include content updates in your link building strategy, you’ll be able to secure great backlinks without the added burden of creating fresh content from scratch.
Put briefly, link building is the process of obtaining links from other websites to your own.
The more high-quality backlinks to your website, the likelier your search engine results will be.
Link building also brings visitors to your website by funneling users from related websites to your own content with a single click.
Good content naturally gains links simply by being useful. However, SEO link builders can gain even more backlinks through link outreach, which involves contacting individuals from other companies to request a link placement on their site.
A quick and common method for identifying backlink opportunities is finding unlinked mentions of your company on other websites.
Unlinked brand mentions are ideal for link building because the author is already aware of your company.
The outreach work is basically complete; you don’t have to introduce your brand, and you don’t have to finagle a connection between their content and yours.
Check out this helpful video guide for finding unlinked mentions of your brand across the web.
When conducting brand-mention link outreach, maintaining an updated website with new and refreshed content is critical for success.
Your outreach recipients will hesitate to link to a site with a neglected blog featuring outdated content.
Content refreshing can go both ways, too. If you want to elevate your outreach strategy, consider offering to update the content on the recipient’s website, too.
Often, link outreach messages include an offer of some kind to motivate the target site to place the link.
When you combine your link placement request with an offer to update the recipient’s web content, they will be more inclined to accept because you’re doing them a favor.
Remember, fresh content is good for any website, so by offering your rewriting services, you’re helping the recipient improve their own search engine rankings.
Updating the other company’s page also ensures your link placements are high-quality.
If your brand is mentioned on an outdated page, you could discredit your website by requesting a link placement from questionable content.
Instead, offer to update their content to ensure your link is placed on a useful, authoritative page.
Perhaps most importantly, updating the other company’s content will help your newly-linked brand mentions look more natural to Google.
Sites that are relevant to users can pass that SEO value to sites they link to. So if you offer to update the external page, you may give your own rankings a small boost.
Plus, an observant reader might find it strange if an article published in 2016 links to your 2018 blog from the future.
For seamless brand-mention link building, make it your goal to refresh most of the pages that agree to link back to your page.
Though it requires a bit of effort, this method can still be more efficient than writing all-new content for a guest post, and it will ensure your link placements generate results.
When someone else mentions your brand, you have the perfect excuse to reach out and ask for a link.
When the content that mentions your brand needs some improvement, you have the perfect opportunity to incentivize your link outreach message.
Here are a few easy ways to spice up someone else’s content, and earn a fresh backlink in the process:
If you find your brand mentioned in a short, 400-word blog post, offer to bring new depth to the post in your link outreach email.
Is there a missing caveat to the post’s argument? Could the author go into greater detail?
An extra paragraph takes only a few minutes to write, but the effort can earn you a link placement and make a simple article more robust.
Sometimes, old or hastily-written content can unintentionally mislead readers.
If you notice inaccurate information, politely reach out to the publisher and offer to correct their content.
Make sure that you have accurate sources before trying this approach, and be ready to present proof!
Spelling and grammar errors are easy to spot, and often even easier to fix.
If you find your brand mentioned on a page with writing mistakes, point out the mixup and send your revisions in an email (along with your company name included as a link!).
Most websites want to appear credible. This simple trick helps both parties look polished and professional to their readers.
You don’t have to build backlinks from brand mentions alone.
If you find an article in your niche that links to an expired resource, offer to replace the broken link with a link to your own relevant content.
For example, if a chef’s blog once linked to information about types of organic flour, and that page no longer exists, ask the chef to link to your new pros and cons article about organic flour.
You earn a new connection and save them the headache of scouring their site for dead links. Win-win!
Just as some “evergreen” articles will always be useful to your audience, content refreshing will always be an effective approach to link building and general SEO.
Web content begins to age as soon as it’s published, and in some industries, like tech or fashion, articles can become outdated in just a few months.
As a result, offering to update old content will almost always yield new backlink opportunities.
From a writing standpoint, refreshing content can also help spark creativity.
You may find that new ideas flow more easily when you’re building off of previous work and not staring at a blank page.
Why start over when you can take existing content to the next level?
Whether you’re revising your own content or rewriting someone else’s for link outreach, this approach is precisely what readers (and subsequently) search engines will appreciate.
Satya is skilled in SEO, traditional link building, and has sharp knack when it comes to email marketing techniques and deploying email campaigns.
Fun fact: Satya loves shopping and believes in staying stronger together.
Mike Woellert is PureLinq’s digital marketing manager and has several years of digital marketing experience.
Fun fact: Mike is a huge Disney, Star Wars and Marvel movie fanatic.
Richard Cummings has been practicing SEO and online marketing for years. He has set up, analyzed, and optimized countless websites and always looks forward to new, creative challenges to improve website traffic for clients.
Kristie performs business admin and HR tasks for PureLinq.
Fun fact: Kristie loves shopping!
Angela began link building in 2007 and quickly became known as the go-to expert in all things offsite marketing. By combining content marketing, traditional link building, and social media, she was able to set clients up with outstanding programs that delivered results in the form of organic rankings and traffic. Angela joined PureLinq as the Director of Operations in October 2020. Fun fact: Angela is an NFL team owner, as she owns stock in the Green Bay Packers.
Kevin Rowe is one of the top innovators in the search marketing industry, developing industry-leading programs for SEO and link building. He has built world-class programs for a range of companies from fortune 100 to Silicon Valley startups. He is a thought leader with his thoughts being published in Search Engine Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, Huffington Post, and Search Engine Land.
Read Kevin’s latest articles on Search Engine Journal.
Kevin’s personal podcast: the Future of SEO
Kaitlin helps manage freelance writer content, putting her BA in Journalism from Mississippi State University to good use. She also has a minor in French, but don’t ask her to speak it.
Fun fact: Kaitlin was a barista for many years and is on a mission to sip the best coffee in every state.
Jon Lightfoot was founder and CEO of a successful chemical and fragrance company. Upon exiting that role he spent more than a decade agency side and several years brand side wherein he honed robust marketing, strategy and data intelligence acumen. Jon’s strategic marketing initiatives have stewarded healthcare providers, agencies, learning and education based companies, eComm and Fortune 500 companies alike in meeting or exceeding their SEO, branding, performance and audience expansion goals.
Lindsey manages the day-to-day management of freelancer writers and editors as well as content production. In addition to holding two BAs in History and English from Binghamton University, she has a Masters in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Fun fact: Lindsey has traveled to 11 countries and it’s on her bucket list to visit every continent.
James is the PureLinq Developer. He is responsible for building and maintaining the client portal.
Fun fact: James lived in Japan for five years.
April’s position at PureLinq has her overseeing all content production, managing a team of freelance writers and editors, and building out our content guidelines. She has an MA in print and digital journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and a BA in Communication Studies and Marketing from Cazenovia College.
Fun fact: April basically runs a zoo with a pet rabbit named Lily and two Australian Shepards named June and Hank; chickens coming soon. She also likes to refurbish furniture in her spare time.
If it needs to get done, Marcus can figure it out. He has worked on e-commerce and lead generation programs for a variety of digital marketing projects. These experiences include SEO, PPC, web analytics, minor development, and email marketing.
Fun fact: Marcus, otherwise known as Larabee Live, is a one-man-band that plays all around Central New York.
Joseph helps to scale up the PureLinq database through blogger research and outreach. He builds white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.
Steve has over a decade of SEO and link building experience. He focuses on building white-hat links for high-value content and pages with niche audiences.
Colin performs link mining and outreach for PureLinq’s clients and brings a high level of organization to manage a large number of link placements each month.
Fun fact: Colin loves techno music and playing video games.