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Is It Better To Create New Content Or To Optimize Old Web Pages For SEO?

You want to have a high quality website, but in your SEO efforts, should you create new content or updating existing content?

Should You Create New Content?

To have a high overall quality of your website, you want to ensure that both new and existing pages meet that standard. Should most of your SEO efforts be focused on creating new content or updating existing content?

I believe that updating old content should account for about half of your SEO efforts, and creating new content should account for the other half. Here’s why.

A webpage increases in value over time.

Your website’s content can remain relevant for years to come. Since pages that have been published for some time have presumably built up links and visibility, they have a lot of page value.

A high Page Quality rating doesn’t necessarily mean the page is fresh. “Stale” pages can still be of high quality.” What is the significance?

Even older content can still be relevant and of high quality.

Think about this: An old page about the American Civil War can remain relevant, provided the material is considered “evergreen” and up to date.

Analyzing the Age of Your Website's Pages


Analyzing the age of a website’s pages can provide a good indication of its reliability. If almost all of your pages are three years old or older and contain out-of-date information, Google may not trust your site. You can quickly audit your older content to see how it fares. Did your page rank on the first page of search results when you first posted it or has it fallen to the second or lower pages?

Usually, refreshing the content can bring a page back to page one. Websites rot away and become useless if they’re not maintained. 

However, if well maintained, they remain a valuable asset. It takes a long time and a lot of work to design, research, outline, write, edit, and optimize a webpage, and that time has a high cost.

We usually lean towards efforts to create new content as a strategy and technique. You can either ignore it or attempt to keep it fresh, but we prefer the latter.

What Does Google Say?

Maintaining your website is crucial in maintaining quality, according to Google. An old website that is unmaintained or abandoned or inaccurate or misleading content is a common cause of low Page Quality ratings.


  • A low-quality page may be defined as one that is old or unmaintained. Particularly in cases where the page impacts a person’s health, finances, etc., those pages are usually of low quality.
  • It’s simple: If a website page contains inaccurate information, the page is of low quality. Your content may require frequent updating, depending on your subject matter.

Mueller spoke about how to deal with old material in a future Office Hours video:”… if you believe the material you want to publish on your website is good content, keep it. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s poor. If you feel embarrassed by what’s online, whether it’s embarrassing or not, either improve it or get rid of it.”

What is the solution? A content audit.

An SEO program requires more than creating new web pages; it also requires a web content audit. A content audit identifies poor and underperforming content on your website so that you can improve it.

With Google Analytics and SEOToolSet, Semrush, or a similar service, you can get all the information you need to know about your website pages. Once you’ve gathered all the needed data, you’ll categorize your pages into three groups. Those that:

  • Try to rank highest and get the most traffic (for example, on Page 1 of the search results).
  • Being on page 2 of the search results can improve rankings and traffic (for example).
  • You are not performing well and are not in either of those categories.
    After that, you can:
  • Prioritize developing the content in the first two categories.

What should be done with the poor-performing content?

Webpages may require content updates, others may need optimization, and some content may require a 301 redirect to a more current URL on the same subject.

You might also like, Best SEO Practices for 2022 & Beyond

Maintain and grow your content.

An SEO strategy can provide a continuous stream of traffic and revenue for your site. You can maintain your website for as long as you want, as it continuously builds value through visibility and links. Make sure you spend 50% of your time creating new pages and 50% refreshing the old ones to strengthen your SEO program.

It can be significant to gain control of a website with hundreds or even thousands of outdated pages. Consider establishing a routine of refreshing content just as you create new content. Every new page should be connected with existing related pages and either updated or consolidated as part of your content creation process.

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