I worked for much of my career as a journalist, and republishing an old article would have been taboo at the news organizations were I worked. But blogging has changed everything, and what was once taboo is the new normal.
Many websites republish previously successful posts again and again. Business Insider, for example, does it all the time.
This article, for instance, appeared on Business Insider least once before, and was published again today. The publication often uses this tactic with articles about Burger King and other fast food menus.
HubSpot has also seen much success with this approach. According to this article: “Reoptimizing and republishing old posts more than doubled HubSpot’s monthly leads and increased monthly organic search views of older posts by an average of 106 percent.”
Often, the majority of your traffic will come from a small percentage of your content, so it makes sense to refresh and republish those articles. And it could actually boost your SEO, since Google rewards fresh content and dings for broken links, which could be accumulating in older posts.
Don't simply change the date. Make sure links are current, add any new information that has come to light since you previous published, or perhaps change the photo if appropriate. All of this will still take less time than writing a brand new post—plus you already know it's a topic that's really interesting to your readers.
You should also probably republish only if your blog has been around for at least a few years and has a good base of organic search traffic and social media followers. And of course don't get too reliant on republishing: it should not replace new, original posts.
Blogging guru Neil Patel offers some great tips for figuring out which posts to republish and how to go about it.
Still, the journalist in me feels a bit like this is cheating, and maybe a bit misleading to readers. If you have similar misgivings, here's a pretty easy solution: alert your readers that the post was published before. It could be something as simple as a note at the top or bottom of the story that reads: “This is an updated version of a post that was originally published on December 16, 2014,” or whatever the original date was.
Have you tried republishing older, popular posts? Discuss in the comments below!
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