If you’re doing it, it’s likely your readers are missing a lot of what you publish, too. This is why it’s beneficial to republish your old evergreen content — so your readers get a second (or third, even) chance to see it.
Republishing content is also a great way to fill up your content calendar more easily during busy times because you don’t need to write brand new articles — just repurpose or update your old ones. Let’s take a look at how to republish your content correctly to attract followers and keep the SEO gods happy.
3 Common Myths About Republishing Your Content
Myth 1: “If I republish the content, I’ll lose my rankings!”
This might be true if you republish your content on a new URL and delete the old one. That would only be the case because Google would have to re-index your content, so it’s best to simply maintain the old URL when you republish a piece of content.
Myth 2: “If I republish content, Google will penalize me for duplicate content!”
People often mistake duplicate content as a penalty because of how Google handles it. They don’t actually penalize entire sites for duplicate content, they just filter pages with duplicate content out of their search results. It’s not a penalty, just a filter.
Myth 3: “If I republish content on another platform, I’ll lose my search traffic!”
There is some truth to this one. If you republish your blog posts on a platform like LinkedIn or Medium, Google may rank the pages from these sites rather than the pages on your site. To combat this, you want to do 2 things:
Make sure that the content on LinkedIn or Medium links back to your own. This can show Google that it comes from a different original source (being your site).
Wait to republish your content until after Google indexes the content on your site.
If you plan to republish on these platforms, do so to earn referral traffic. The links likely won’t provide you with any SEO value.
How to Choose What Content to Republish
There are a few ways to choose which content to republish, but it mainly comes down to two methods:
- Using email conversion data and social media performance to identify what content is of interest to your readers and is likely to be shared.
- Identify content on your site that has several internal links. This way, when you do publish this content elsewhere, it will drive referral traffic to your site.
You can find email conversion data in your email marketing software’s feature set. There, you can look through open and click through rates, but it’s also important to see what sort of engagement you got from that email traffic.
To check what’s performing well on social media, go to Acquisition -> Social -> Overview in Google Analytics.
You can dig even further to see which content is getting internal clicks to help decide what sort of content you want to republish on external platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. Just go to Audience -> User Flow to see how users are clicking around your site.
When looking at this data, look at content that was published a year ago. Use these data points to make informed decisions about which content you should republish either on your own site or elsewhere.
How to Republish Your Content
Once you’ve chosen what content you’re going to republish, there are a few tips you should follow to keep the content fresh and interesting for your readers.
- Determine How much of the content you need to change. In many cases, you might not have to make any changes at all, but you definitely want to check to see that the content is up to date. A quick Google search on the topic will help you determine your content freshness. Look specifically for updated statistics or anything related to studies as that information can change frequently. If you make big changes to your content, reach out to some bloggers in your space. Find their email address, and tell them about what you just published. This can be a great way to earn new backlinks for this URL.
- Get the Technical Stuff Right. On a technical level, the most important thing to get right when republishing your content is the URL. This is because you want to make sure that any backlinks you have pointing to your content are intact after the update. If not, Google may drop your rankings.
Because of this, it’s best to not include dates or numbers in your URLs. If you include a date or a title involving a number, it’s hard to maintain a URL that makes sense for updated content. Numbers in a URL that don’t match the article title can be off putting and result in lower click thru rates.
If your URL does include numbers and you need to republish your content on the new one, simply 301 redirect the old URL to the new one. This will maintain the strength of the backlinks pointing to the old URL.
Now that you understand the basics of republishing content, here are a few common scenarios that might happen to you and suggestions on how to handle each so you can get the most from your content.
Scenario 1: The Post Doesn’t Get Much Search Traffic
When a post gets little search traffic, it might be worth updating because you can retarget it to different keywords that are likely to draw more traffic.
Here are a few tips to try:
- Research competing articles for ways to update the content.
- Review keywords that you chose to target for this content and make sure they’re a perfect fit. If your site has increased in authority over time, you may be able to choose more competitive keywords to go after.
- Update the title if you’re going after new keywords.
- 301 redirect the old post to the new one (if applicable).
- Add an editor’s note that says the post has been updated and republished.
Scenario 2: The Original Post Gets a lot of Search Traffic
If you have a post that gets tons of search traffic, you should limit how much you update the actual content of the post. It might be best to simply send it to your email list again to garner interest or share it again on social channels. If content is working, don’t change it.
Scenario 3: Republishing Your Content on Another Platform
In this situation, tread carefully. If you republish your content on high authority sites like LinkedIn or Medium, they could outrank you.
For this, follow the list of do’s and don’ts below.
- Consider the audience – When republishing your content on LinkedIn or Medium, you want to do so to capture referral traffic. Make sure the audience of your content aligns with the audiences that use these platforms.
- Identify your website as the original source – Use a rel=canonical link in your republished posts — this is a piece of code that tells Google and other search engines which website should be given credit or priority for the content on the page.
- Adjust the content – Rather than simply republishing as is, make some edits to appeal to the audience of the platform. LinkedIn, for example, may require a more professional tone.
- Don’t automatically republish content on the platforms – This is risky because you have less control over how the content is syndicated, and it’s possible that all of the content from the other sites will outrank yours in Google.
- Don’t republish the entire article – Remember, the purpose of this is referral traffic, so make sure you only publish some of the content, while still making it valuable, and link back to your site as the original source.
- Don’t republish every article – Only republish something if you think the audience of the platform will value it. Don’t spam these platforms for attempts at referral traffic or links.
What’s your take?
I’d love to hear what you have to say about republishing content. What’s your opinion on it? How do you do it? How have you seen it done effectively? Let me know in the comments!