Is It Okay to Republish Blog Posts?
We’ve outlined the best way to repurpose and republish old or outdated blog articles in order to maximize SEO, avoid any ‘duplicate content‘ SEO penalties, maintain inbound links and give your valuable older blogs a new life (all while saving you time!).
Why It Matters
Republishing old posts take less effort than writing a new one, and in many cases it’s the smart thing to do for your reputation. Many high-ranking blog posts tend to be older ones, and if someone clicks on one without paying attention to the date, they may think they are reading new data, when it’s actually old news. Not good. If the data has changed or the rules you mention no longer apply, you should at least update facts for the sake of the reader.
Steps to Follow to Republish Blog Posts
Yes, you can republish blog posts, but you need to know how to do it correctly—otherwise you risk penalties, loss of inbound links and more. These are the steps to follow:
- Keep the URL the same. This is crucial. Lets say a blogger refers to you as the source and links from his/her website to your article. Something like: “Check out ZGM for tips on SEO for URL’s!” Or maybe a couple people have shared & retweeted your post on social media. If you change the URL of that post, you will lose all that referral traffic. Instead, anytime someone wants to visit your page from that link, they will see a 404 page – “Page not found.”
- Keep the URL the same. If you publish the post with a different URL, it may be considered duplicate content. Search engines will see two separate pages with almost the same words on each.
- Keep the URL the same. That’s right, this is 1, 2 and 3 on our list! If your blog post ranks highly in natural search engine results, and you change the URL, people who click on the link from Google search will see that same 404 page. If you’re thinking, “Can’t I just set up redirects?” think again. Google doesn’t necessarily value a URL that simple redirects to another, and you may lose that page rank.
- If you have to alter your title for relevancy’s sake, make sure you are using the same keywords.
- Go through the old post and edit out anything that is no longer up-to-date or accurate, including stats, links, and advice. It is okay to keep some of the text since you are completely replacing the old blog, just make sure it still applies.
- Add an editor’s note at the end of the post so your readers aren’t confused and thinking, “Didn’t I read this last year?” (Read our editor note here).
- Check the meta description to ensure it is still applicable to the updated content.
- Update the date to the current one, and publish.
Possible Hang-ups When Republishing Blog Posts
- Some people copy and paste content they find to their own blogs. Imagine one of these people read your article back in 2012, and then copied it for their own blog in 2013. Google should recognize that your article was the ‘original’ since it was posted earlier. But when you update the date, and repost your blog for 2016, Google may think you copied from him, instead. Run your article through a plagiarism service like Copyscape just to be sure no one else can claim an earlier publish date.
- If you have a CMS like WordPress, since the article was previously published on your website, automatic social media shares may not work so you will want to share the link on your social media accounts and announce the updates manually.
- Your readers care what you post. If you end up regurgitating old content and the same article over and over, they will take notice and stop paying attention. Make sure you provide fresh content FAR MORE frequently than republished content!
Easy enough, right? If you can republish blog posts correctly, you can keep your readers well informed while saving yourself some valuable time. For help reworking some of your blog posts, optimizing your current content for search engines, or developing new articles, contact Zero Gravity Marketing today.