I’ve Lost Over 500 Articles; Why?

How’s that for a blog title? Yes, it’s accurate… but slightly misleading. It was also necessary.

I’ve also lost 70 pounds since 2012!

I have deleted over 500 articles in total; just not all of them on this blog.I’ve deleted about 350 here, and about 150 on my business blog. I’m about to tell you why, because it’s something you might want to think about when it comes to your blog, especially if it’s older.

I started my business blog in 2005; I started this one in December, 2006. Back then, the concept of quality over quantity didn’t exist when it came to driving traffic and blog ranks. The most important thing was having something as often as possible. Because I followed that strategy, at one point this blog was ranked in the top 75,000 websites in the world; my business blog (which enhanced the presence of my business website) was ranked around the 140K range; not bad, right?

As time changed, Google rank qualifications started changing. First they went after how you were advertising to generate revenue. If you remember Google Rank (ugh!), then you know it was important to have at least a rank of 3, which this blog had. One day that got taken away from me because Google didn’t like some of the links I was using; they were making me money, but they didn’t have anything to do with what this blog was about; I didn’t know that was supposed to be a marketing rule, especially since Google and YouTube don’t seem to use that with their talent.

It took 3 years to get my rankings back on this blog; it never affected my business blog, but because I wasn’t writing as much I’d already started losing traffic. I’d lost some traffic here as well, and it’s been hard to get some of it back.

Why? Because the next pertinent thing was having quality content. I’d started writing quality content, but in the first 3 years of this blog I couldn’t honestly say it was all quality. I wrote more than 1,000 articles in the first 3 years; some of those articles were only 3 to 5 paragraphs. Some were on the main topics I wanted to talk about here, but a lot of the others… nah! lol

Thus, I did what I always do; I started doing some research. It wasn’t these two specific links, but these were some of the people I came across recommending creating better content. First there’s Neil Patel (because of course!), who wrote Why Removing Outdated Content Could Save Your Site. Next is Eb Gargano, who wrote Should you delete old blog posts?. Those and a bunch of other articles I came across made great recommendations. Heck, even I’d written an article on the topic of great content on one’s blog.

What I decided to do was go back to the beginning of this blog, look at some of the content and either outright delete it or move it to the private or trash area. Some I outright deleted, knowing I was never going to do anything with them. The rest gives me an opportunity to look at them at a future time, decide if they’re worthy of an update, and makes it easy to create “new” content that’s better than when it was first published. I’ve done the same thing on my business blog, only a lot more of those articles are still pertinent, if not the examples I used for all those articles. Still, by doing what I’ve done so far, it’s helping me to reduce the amount of bad articles from both blogs.

Repurposing content is always a great idea; I wrote about that in 2018. It doesn’t take as long to update content as it does writing something totally new. It’s great for SEO purposes, and if you know how to link back to your own content, even better.

Now… being me… I’ve left a few articles that have nothing to do with the main topic of this blog. For instance, I kept an article talking about diabetes information, since I’m diabetic, and it allows me to link newer content about diabetes back to the original. I kept all my original articles giving blogging tips, shorter than what I started creating later but still pertinent to my main topic. And I don’t apologize for keeping the two articles I wrote about Michael Jackson after he passed away. I’ve also kept articles that took me a long time to put together, my “top 10” and “top 20” lists; once again, because of the effort it took to do them.

Because I have other things to do and deal with, I’ve slowed down the process on both of the blogs for the time being, but I expect I’ll get back to them when I have more free time. It’s still more important to have new content because I allow newer content to still receive comments; that’s how one should run their blog because, truthfully, how often do we go back to look at things we’ve written years ago except to link to them in the newer content?

So, that’s it; that’s the lesson for today regarding blogging, driving traffic, updating old content and removing things that aren’t all that good. Any questions or comments will be appreciated. 🙂

10 thoughts on “I’ve Lost Over 500 Articles; Why?”

  1. Hi Mitch,
    I’ve been doing the same, deleting old outdated content that could not be updated enough to be blog worthy. Most of the ones I deleted were thin content as well.
    One post was hard to get rid of – about the eulogy I wrote for my mom’s funeral. However, I have a copy for myself, it wasn’t helpful to my readers,really.
    Sometimes you have to put your emotions aside when deciding which posts should go or stay.
    I’d be curious to see if you get a boost in traffic months later as I have.

    1. Hey Lisa! If I could figure out the Google Analytics thing, which you know about, maybe I could track my traffic better for this blog. At least it seems to be working for my business blog so I’m hopeful it’s working everywhere.

      As for articles created for yourself… I’ve kept all of mine, will keep all of mine, because sometimes I link back to them when creating new content. I think it’s good policy to indirectly show people your heart, if you know what I mean. I figure that if visitors don’t care about it or it offends them then that’s their problem; you know how I am. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the insight, Mitch. A few years ago, I deleted a bunch of old music posts and often repurpose content. One question: is it better to redirect the deleted post links to the home page, or a similar post, or just let them be? Are 404 pages undesirable? I remember reading something about that a long time ago.

    1. Hi Debbie! 404 pages are still considered bad, as they’ll show up on search engines and affects sites negatively. When I delete an article, I always take a quick look through it to see if I’d added any links anywhere else on my site. Back in the 2000s that wasn’t a big deal for many bloggers, so if your blog is newer than that it’s probably not something you’d have to worry about.

  3. Informative blog!
    It’s a valuable lesson for bloggers aiming to improve their content strategy. This blog highlights the importance of quality over quantity in blogging, especially as search engine ranking criteria evolved.

  4. I go back and forth about deleting content. I understand the purpose and reasons for doing so but I find it difficult.

    Haven’t figured out exactly why I do, but I think it is twofold.

    Ego- I am like anyone else, I like to think I have produced some pretty good stuff. I know not all is amazing, but some isn’t that bad.

    Identification- So much of what is good writing is subjective and things I thought were average have done exceptionally well so I sometimes hesitate to nuke material.

    1. I can relate it to the article I wrote recently. Google determined that a lot of those old posts aren’t at a quality level, and they’re right about a lot of them since back then it was more about quantity if you wanted to be ranked higher. With that said, I’ve “saved” a lot of those articles by moving them to trash instead of deleting them. That allows me to take a second look at them later on and decide if I want to rewrite them or just move on.

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