Creating entirely new content is time-consuming, and the content may not attract the traffic that you want. An alternative is reviving an old article. However, this must be done careful or else you’ll create a whole host of problems. If you want to know how to reuse articles, you’ll be glad to know there are several ways to do it right. We’ll also tell you what not to do.
How Not To Reuse Old Content
Content run through an article spinner usually comes out with poor grammar and syntax. Making things worse, they typically swap out a few adjectives here and there without changing the overall flow of the article. The end result is one or more articles that will be flagged by search engines as poor quality, and many of them will also be hit with a duplicate content penalty. The content needs to be significantly or entirely rewritten if you’re going to post it as a new article somewhere else.
But how can you revive an old article? Here are several viable solutions, no matter what type of content you need to update.
1. The Updated Article
Search engines continue to prefer high-quality content. They will give preference to high-quality, trusted content even when it was published several years ago. However, that doesn’t mean it will continue to rank well if you leave it alone.
Let’s take the classic case of a five year old article that continues to attract content to your website. You don’t want to destroy a hallmark article, potentially losing the perfect SEO or great backlink profile. On the other hand, you are slowly losing potential customers who are turned off when they see the five year old date or references to things that are clearly several years old.
One solution to this is adding an addendum. You might add a new section to the article to make it relevant today. Then you can put a disclaimer at the top of the article stating that it was updated on that date. This update forces search engines to re-index it, and they often consider it more recent material. The addendum shows that you’re still active on the site and trying to present recent material. This approach also allows you to update articles on topics as diverse as tax law and fashion without having to create brand new content. You can even share the updated article on social media with a note that you’ve updated a classic piece.
2. The Evergreen Article
One approach to reviving an old article is removing the dated references and making it evergreen. In this case, you’d remove the jokes about five year old movies and outdated legal references. The end result is an article that could be shared today or five years from now, and no one knows how old it is barring the publication date.
Note that making an article evergreen isn’t always a viable approach. For example, while you can make an article on the emotional impact of divorce timeless, you cannot do the same with an article on divorce law since that changes every year. You can create an evergreen article about your company and brand, but your articles about your products should change along with the product mix.
If you can make the article evergreen, this may result in content that continues to attract readers for years. Just don’t change the title or link, unless you’re willing to invest in a whole new back-linking campaign.
Making a dated article timeless has several benefits. It is often a quick and easy editing job. It is a good opportunity to adjust the SEO of the article, but that may not even be necessary. And you don’t have to tell your readers that the article has even been updated. Search engines will simply count it as fresh instead of stale. Furthermore, the article will now show up in a wider range of queries instead of being downgraded because it is considered irrelevant to certain types of searches.
3. The Rewritten Article
A rewritten article is one that has been totally rewritten. Everything from the text to the title should change. A completely rewritten article should be recognized as completely new when you run it through a plagiarism checker.
There are several benefits to a total rewrite. You can give someone the original article and get several rewrites, each of which is unique. This gives you several articles you can publish across the internet without hurting your reputation with search engines. Yet you have content that is likely to continue to attract readers, since it is based on already successful content. Furthermore, the process of rewriting existing articles is much faster than creating entirely new content. After all, you’ve already gathered that information, and you know what structure it needs to have.
When you’re rewriting articles, you can change any and all keywords involved. And when you post the new versions of the article online, it won’t affect the SEO of your top performing content. You can even turn the rewritten content into fresh content by adding current references along with local or brand specific keywords. This gives you fresh content for your website, something that attracts readers who are following the site, while minimizing the risk.
What is the benefit of fresh content like this? First, it results in more frequent indexing. This won’t result in higher indexing. Instead, search engines scanning your website more frequently simply increase the odds that you’ll improve your search engine rankings. This is especially true if you’re putting the rewritten articles on your blog periodically, so that there is something new every so often. If you’re keeping your subscribers engaged, that alone will improve the traffic numbers for your website.
And you can incorporate valuable keywords in each piece, giving your website more weight with regard to those keywords. For example, including key search terms like “car insurance in X state” or “ABC refrigerator repair” on every post increases the correlation between these search terms and your website. Yet you’re doing this without keyword stuffing a single article, something that can backfire and hurt your search results page ranking.