How Frequently Should You Re-Optimize Old Content?

Even evergreen content needs to be refreshed now and then. But how does search engine optimization fit into that? And how can you tell it’s time to revisit?


It’s a word coveted by every content creator in some way or another. Content that transcends the typical news cycle. Content that perpetually delivers value to your audience.

Content that organically remains high on the search engine results page, even long after publication. 

There’s something that you need to understand about this type of content, however. Publishing an evergreen piece doesn’t mean you can simply fire and forget. Even evergreen content needs to be evaluated and revisited on occasion.

The trick is figuring out when you should do that and when it’s better to simply leave something alone.  

If you have the bandwidth for it, it’s generally advisable to evaluate the performance of each page on your site every six months. Examine historical data, and focus on pages that appear to be struggling, particularly those that were performing well immediately after publication. 

A downturn in traffic or a slipping PageRank indicates that a page is due for reoptimization. This could involve anything from fixing broken links and images to improving page performance. With that said, it’s important to understand that a slight decline in traffic isn’t unusual — given enough time, traffic to older pages will inevitably begin to trend downward. 

 It’s also important to understand that declining performance or traffic may not be a search engine optimization issue but rather a problem with the content itself. 

Your content, after all, does not exist in a vacuum. As a content creator, you need to pay attention to emerging trends in your niche as well as the wider world. Consider, for instance, how much things have changed as a direct result of COVID-19. 

A blog post published prior to the pandemic may well contain outdated information or factual inaccuracies. It’s advisable to always keep an ear to the ground so that you can update old content accordingly. How extensive these changes should be largely depends on the nature of the content. 

In some cases, you might need to completely rewrite or revise an old piece, as it’s no longer relevant or accurate. In other cases, it could be as simple as adding a sentence about quarantine to an article on remote work or mentioning travel restrictions when giving advice on business trips. It’s something you’ll need to evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Beyond the two scenarios described above, the old adage applies — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There’s no need to fiddle with the SEO of a page that’s performing well.  Trying to revise a piece without good reason is not only a waste of time and effort, but could actually end up being an act of self-sabotage. 

Ultimately, just use your best judgment, and you should be fine. 

Is It Even Possible to Create Original Content Anymore?

There’s been a glut of content for some time now. Coming up with something unique has been difficult for a while. Soon, it may be impossible.

Search any topic, and you’re likely to find at least 20 articles talking about it. And while a few of those might put a unique spin on things, the majority might as well be carbon copies of one another. They hit the same beats, offer the same advice, and come to the same conclusion. 

One has even to wonder if they were all written by the same person. Hey, comic artists have syndicated their work for decades. Why not writers? 

Donald Trump tweets out a typo, and journalists are on it like wasps on an open can of soda. Someone at Google makes a statement about their algorithms, and every single search engine marketing publication leaps into the fray to be the first to publish. Someone shares their thoughts on a topic, and there’s immediately a small army of copycats. 

This overwhelming glut of content is arguably a large part of why journalistic paywalls simply don’t work. Can’t find something on The Washington Post? You’ll find the same story in The New York Times. 

It’s gotten to the point where one has to wonder if there’s anything original left. How can one be unique when there are over a billion websites online and counting? How does one create fresh content when everything feels stale? 

In a few ways, believe it or not. 

  • Research. Arguably the bread and butter of search engine optimization success. Original studies or surveys are among the highest-performing content on the Internet and can be the foundation for everything from blog posts to infographics. 
  • Break off from the crowd. Do a bit of independent research on a site like Reddit or Quora to see what questions people are asking. Do a quick search for each potential question. Eventually, you’ll likely find something that’s yet to be satisfactorily addressed. 
  • Get creative. Instead of looking outward for content ideas, look inward. A unique YouTube video ad. A set of photos that showcases your brand. An entertaining personal anecdote. Any of these can give you an edge. 
  • Newsjacking. If you’re aware of a developing story that no one else appears to have covered, it might be worthwhile to publish something, provided you’re quick enough (and it’s relevant to your niche). The only problem is that newsjacked content isn’t exactly evergreen. You might enjoy a short burst in traffic, but you aren’t likely to get consistent attention.  

The longer the Internet exists, the more difficult it becomes to create anything completely original. This is simply a fact. But in hindsight, perhaps it might not be such a bad thing. 

After all, the greater the glut of copycats, the more you stand out when you publish unique content. 

3 Very Good Reasons To Regularly Use a Plagiarism Checker

Unfortunately, for every well-written, original piece of content on the web, there are scores of unscrupulous thieves who will try to steal it at the first opportunity. Whether through laziness, malice, or incompetence, these people have no respect for the ideas of others. Here’s what you can do about them.

As long as creative professions have existed, there have been plagiarists. As unscrupulous and unprincipled as they are talentless, these men and women have only one desire — to profit in some way from the hard work of others, while putting in very little work of their own. Maybe they seek financial gain, or recognition, or simply more traffic for their website.

Whatever their reason, they are thieves, and you need to do what you can to safeguard your own content against them. Given that it’s generally impossible to do this manually, we recommend the use of anti-plagiarism software like Copyscape or Grammarly Professional Edition. Here are just a few reasons why. 

Keep Track of Unauthorized Mirrors of Your Work

Most plagiarism checkers have two core functions. First, they can manually trawl the web to see if copies of your work have surfaced elsewhere. Second, for a nominal subscription fee, they can automatically protect your content, notifying you the moment it surfaces elsewhere. 

Once you’ve received this notification, you can then set out an attempt to get the stolen content removed. We’d recommend first contacting the webmaster if possible with a complete list of plagiarized content. If they ignore your request, the next step is to send a cease and desist order.

Finally, if that still doesn’t get the content taken down, you can file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown Request through Google

Figure Out if a Content Writer Is Above Board

If you’re contracting your content creation out to a third-party, it’s generally assumed that what they return to you is original. After all, that’s what you’re paying them for, right? Unfortunately, as with the wider web, there are plenty of people in content marketing who, through some unique combination of incompetence and laziness, think they can get away with content theft.

And unfortunately, if you don’t catch them in the act, it’s you that suffers. 

The good news is that content marketing agencies usually have an editorial staff that is responsible for safeguarding against this. If, however, you’re working with an independent contractor, you may want to occasionally double-check that all the work they’ve submitted to you is unique. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, after all. 

Avoid Penalties for Duplicate Content

If you’re refreshing old content or rewriting it for a microsite, you need to ensure that it’s different enough from the original piece that Google doesn’t flag as a duplicate piece of content. Again, a plagiarism checker can help with this, allowing you to tweak and optimize rewrites until they are, for all intents and purposes, entirely unique from the original blog post. Granted, this process should include a few updates beyond simply spinning your materials, such as weaving in updated information or adding new insights. 

In Marketing, Imitation Isn’t Always Flattering

Plagiarism is and always will be a consistent problem on the web. It isn’t something that will go away, nor is it something you can completely protect yourself against. However, through anti-plagiarism tools, you can at least have safeguards in place to mitigate the harm it does to your business and brand. 

Three Signs You’re Writing About The Wrong Topics on Your Blog

Honestly, the hardest part of writing a blog post is the brainstorming stage. Finding the right topics to cover can be a huge challenge. While it’s usually pretty obvious when you’ve made the correct choice, it’s somewhat less clear when your topics have fallen flat – and why. 

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Which Is The Best Option For Blogging: WordPress, Blogger, or Wix?

Whether you’re a brand that’s looking to bring in more customers or simply a writer with some big ideas, it’s now easier than ever to share your thoughts with the world. The first step in doing so is to choose the right blogging platform. It’s also the most difficult.

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