Today’s Lesson

We spend an awful lot of time writing posts. Some days, though, we just don’t feel creative, but we know we should get something posted, so the search engines will visit out sites.

I know that may sound like a lame excuse to post something, but we need those search engines making regular visits to our blogs. That is how we get “found”.

Updating, rewriting or linking from some of your old posts, can serve two purposes. One, it can help to “clean up” your blog. And, secondly, by updating an old post, the search engines will come and pay you a visit.

So….if you have no time to write a new post, but want to ensure your blog is getting crawled by the search engines, here’s an easy assignment.

Today’s Assignment

Go to one of your old posts. Find one that you feel has value. Either add an update, rewrite it, or add a link to one of your newer posts. Make sure you are linking to a post that compliments the old post. Or….just clean up the grammar, and any typos.

If you change the date of the post (and hit “Save”), you will “erase” the old post, and it will now be a “new” post. Changing the date, and/or title of your old post, could cause a 404 – not found, error.

If you do not change the date, after updating your old post, by hitting “Save”, the post stays in it’s original position.

The search engines will be “pinged”, to come and crawl your blog.

Warning: I don’t recommend updating too many posts at once, as you could end up getting penalized by Google. (If you normally post four or five times weekly, and all of a sudden you have 50 “postings”, Google may “see” this as odd. I don’t understand how a search engine can do this type of analysis (or, if indeed, they do), however, it’s not worth taking the chance of getting penalized, and having your site lose it’s current indexing.)

This technique works with WordPress. If you are using a different blog software, you may want to conduct your own experiments.

The upside to updating old posts….by using keyword density, it may get an old post discovered, and out of the archives.

Reread those old posts for ideas for new post topics, as well.

If you want your readers to know you have updated an old post, write a short post, and provide a link to the updated one. It may inspire your readers to take the time to dig a little deeper into your archives.

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  1. IanNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    Can I just say that this is a great post. And something I wanted to get onto straight away.

    I’ve been really busy, but this is one I want to come back to. In fact, there are several of your posts that I need to come back to and work on!

    How do you keep up the pace!

    I think I’ll have to just do this a bit at a time – as you point out, too much at once is not good!

  2. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the compliment.

    It’s not always easy to keep up the pace, but I try awfully hard to prioritize. The unimportant things suffer, but as time goes by, I am also trying to simplify my life and be more organized. My blogs have become an important part of my daily routine, however, I do take the weekends off from posting. It’s also on weekends when I may “update” a post, so I continue to get crawled.

    I also use the WordPress “postdate” feature. That comes in real handy when I know our business is going to need my undivided attention.

  3. Barbara – this is a great idea. When I first began blogging I used to try to base my posts around keywords. Well, I moved my personal blog to wordpress and I have realised that people are reading awful old posts.

    I moved my old blogger posts to wordpress, but sometimes I really regret it. And I never really thought about updating them, but i will certainly try it. Thanks for the great tips.

    Is the wordpress postdate feature the same as drafts. I write a lot of those – just sentences to remind me of what to write. That helped a whole heap when I had flu.

  4. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Catherine,

    Glad you like the tips. I work on updating mine whenever I find free time (which isn’t too often).

    To use the postdate feature on WordPress, you need to “check” the “edit timestamp” box, then enter the date and time you want the post to be published. I do that first, then hit the “publish” button. You can always go back to that “postdated” post, and edit it if you want to.

    It will show on your Dashboard area as “an uncoming post” (I think that’s the wording), and it shows how soon it will publish, i.e. in 23 hours, or whatever.

    I do the same thing as you do Catherine, with drafts. Isn’t that the greatest? I usually have about 15 or more “hints” for posts, some half written posts, and some with just a word. I’m big on list making and once I make my entry, I can forget about it, until it’s time to write the post.