How to do a content refresh to improve your search rankings

5 min read

content refresh SEO sumodash

The truth is that no matter how great your content is, you’ll eventually experience content decay. In order to stay on top of the rankings, you would need to do a content refresh often in order to stay consistent with Google’s new ranking factors.

Any content that develops through the use of organic search eventually undergoes decay. Meaning that over time and for a variety of reasons, those posts begin to lose traffic.

Decay is something that occurs slowly enough that no warnings are given off. 

All posts eventually reach their plateau before they start to decay. When a posits reaches its plateau, it’s because it has either reached its max amount of search volume for the targeted keywords or maxed out on rankings.

Another reason is if the post is outdated and other competitors have more backlinks, shares etc.

The best fix for this is by doing a content refresh. You can think of this as a content update by updating the article with the latest keywords, changing the titles, and more importantly editing and adding more relevant content.

The reasons behind content decay

Knowing why a post decays should let you know how you can perform a content refresh. Here are a couple of reasons why traffic declines for your content over time. 

Growing competition

As the industry continues to transform and grow, competition for a massive swath of keywords has increased significantly. Reader demand for many of those keywords has not increased.

Furthermore, large companies with superior domain authority have also begun investing in content marketing. There was a moment when content marketing was a leaner, faster growth channel.

Blogging was previously known as a free method for early-stage companies to gain attention. At this point, big companies have dedicated teams and plenty of resources. Competition has grown fierce. 

People are getting smarter. People know the basics of SEO now.

If you’ve become aware of a slow decline in traffic, take a look at the competition. It’s recommended that you use a tool such as Ahrefs or Moz to track your target keywords.

This is the most seamless way to search for changes in search engine results pages and keep a close eye on your competition. 

Little bits of changes on a SERP can have a huge impact. Sliding from a #1 ranking to #2 ranking could lead to a 50% drop in traffic. Dropping to #7 means that you’ve possibly lost more than 90% of your traffic. 



If you read our guide on ranking factors, then you should know that all content must be fresh and updated in order to rank well on Google.

Google factors originally into its ranking in a few vital manners:

  1. Google prefers that individual pages be updated on a regular basis.
  2. Google prefers sitewide originality, i.e., new content being published regularly. 
  3. Query deserves originality is a ranking factor that favors new content based on search intent such as queries for 2019 marketing trends or Tool’s new album. 
  4. Backlink decay over a period of time as well. If a page is newly refreshed but hasn’t gotten new links in while, Google may not consider it to be up to date enough as you do. 


Extra factors

There are a couple of other factors that can cause decay, including:

  • Content quality: Competitors develop a much superior resource. Is it in depth? Are links broken within the article?
  • Technical issues: Your site’s loading speed, structure, indexing and a host of other technical issues can negatively affect your site’s performance. 
  • SERP changes: Google is always experimenting with their search results and at times doesn’t divulge any data on traffic.
  • The Search Algorithm Black Hole: Search algorithms change at all times. Search volume and keyword tracking cannot be perfectly measured. People won’t always be able to determine the exact cause of content decay. 


Now that you’ve got a clear understanding of why content gets outdated, let’s see how you can handle this issue. 


Keeping content fresh

First of all, you need to search for content that needs to be updated. We recommend updating any piece of content:


  1. Previously had or currently has recurring organic traffic
  2. Has been experiencing a decline for the past three months
  3. Accounts for at least 1% of content traffic


It possible to update content along with a few mutually inclusive parameters. A content piece may need one of these following strategies or even all of them. Select your approach based on the reasons for the decay. 

This is the first step you need to take in order to implement a content refresh.


Expansion for a content refresh

This is one of the more common methods for updating a piece. Shift it into something bigger, longer, broader and comprehensive. 

There’s plenty of information that has suggested that content only needs to be longer in order to rank even higher. It’s encouraged though that you don’t give in to the urge of making content longer for no reason than because the average word count of a Google first page results is 1,700 words. 

If you’ve decided to expand upon a post, consider the dimension on which you decide to do so. Perhaps there truly are twenty ways to optimize Ads on a website instead of just the ten you previously posted. Furthermore, it’s possible that those previous ten may have lacked context and could use supporting information to make them more helpful. Maybe you left a section out of your guide on content marketing, but maybe the section on slides was too light on content to be useful. 

Carefully scrutinize your piece to assess why it should be expanded on before simply adding more words to it. 



Advice never really ages quite well. At times, this can be obvious due to change trends.

Strategies that may have been useful five years ago may have fallen out of popularity due to change in the industry. Other times it can be something less predictable than that.

You may need to update your outreach guide or adjust your office productivity post because of the growing numbers of remote working trends. Consider going over your posts and make a list of what needs to be updated regularly.


  1. Any post that has a date on it ( The 2019 Marketing Guide)
  2. Any post with tons of screenshots ( 10 Awesome Facebook Ad examples)
  3. Coverage of ever-changing topics 

Make sure to always keep an eye out for any change in trends and the effects it has on other content. 


Optimization for content refresh

At certain times, content can decay because of less informative posts are better optimized for search. You can run old posts through an on-page SEO checklist to make sure they’re properly positioned to rank:


  • Ensure the title tag has included the targeted keywords with matching font.
  • Write an easy to read H1 that also includes the target keywords
  • Implement a detailed meta description based on the standard character count
  • Use alternative forms of your target keyword in the article’s subheaders
  • Input keywords in the URL and keep the slug short.
  • Make sure images are optimized for the internet and have relevant alt text.
  • Verify that technical issues such as loading page speed and click depth aren’t the ones causing your problems. 



If you’ve duplicated or overlapped any topics, consider combining them. ( or possibly even pruning the obsolete one). 

Look at it this way. Your keyword research will reveal related keywords. If you build content for each and every keyword, you’ll end up with tons of duplicated information. Merging content within the framework means you should prune content less. It also means will end up with less, but higher quality articles on your website. 


At times, a new round of promotion and link development is all that’s needed. 

If a post has decayed in the past couple of years, you’ve most likely published a lot of newer content during that moment. Begin by searching through your new content for opportunities to connect back to a decaying article. A simple site search will showcase all kinds of interesting bridging text opportunities. 

Let’s say I wanted to integrate new internal links to our content marketing guide, I can easily search through the site to implement where I’ve mentioned strategy but not linked.

It’s also possible to send old content to your email list, write a guest post to develop external links, share them on social media as it were new content and generate paid traffic for it. Promoting old content works quite well when you’ve expanded, updated optimize or combined it.


The only way content gets updated regularly is if it is developed into your daily workflow. Ensure that updating your content on a daily basis is placed on your editing schedule. Take the time to plan our resources and budgets to make sure this gets done to prevent the potential impact of outdated content. 

Have you written a lot of content in the past for your company and now you’re experiencing content decay? Reach out to us and we’ll go through all of your articles, perform a content refresh, and double your rankings/traffic!

79 Replies to “How to do a content refresh to improve your search rankings”

  1. Good day! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your
    blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?
    Appreciate it!

  2. Hey there I am so happy I found your blog, I really found
    you by mistake, while I was researching on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic
    post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I
    don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it
    and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the superb work.

    my web-site: didyagetit.gonnafixit.com

  3. Good day I am so glad I found your site, I really found you by accident, while I was
    browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a
    incredible post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all
    at the moment but I have saved it and also added in your RSS
    feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog … marchegabonais.com

  4. Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of info on your site.
    Im really impressed by your blog.[X-N-E-W-L-I-N-S-P-I-N-X]Hello there,
    You’ve done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally suggest to my
    friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this website.

    Feel free to visit my web site; Mili Tac Smartwatch

  5. I rarely leave a response, however i did a few searching and wound up here How to do a content
    refresh to improve your search rankings – SumoDash.
    And I do have a few questions for you if you tend not to mind.

    Could it be only me or does it look like some of these comments come across like they are written by brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting at additional online social sites, I would like to follow anything fresh you have to post.
    Could you list of all of all your communal sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    Here is my webpage – Lowell

  6. Hello There. I found your weblog the usage of msn. This is an extremely
    smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your useful information.
    Thank you for the post. I will certainly return.

    My web blog … ibbs.uu.cc

  7. Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems
    with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended
    up losing several weeks of hard work due to no back up.
    Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

    Also visit my web-site; Testo Fit Extreme

  8. Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of
    volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You
    have done a extraordinary job!

    My web-site Ice Box Air Cooler

  9. I think this is one of the most significant information for me.
    And i’m glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The site style is wonderful,
    the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

    Also visit my homepage; Muama Ryoko

  10. I truly wanted to make a message to say thanks to you for all the lovely facts you are sharing on this website.
    My incredibly long internet lookup has finally been recognized with reasonable know-how to write about with my family.

    I ‘d repeat that many of us website visitors are unequivocally lucky to live in a good website with very many
    perfect individuals with very beneficial ideas. I feel quite blessed to have
    seen the webpages and look forward to tons of more entertaining times reading here.
    Thanks again for all the details.

    Feel free to surf to my web page – Slimingo Keto Reviews

  11. Thanks for another wonderful article. The place else may just anybody
    get that type of info in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am at the look for such information.

    Here is my web page forum.adm-tolka.ru

  12. That is very attention-grabbing, You’re an overly professional blogger.

    I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking extra of your great post.
    Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

    Here is my blog post – Gorges Cream

  13. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with valuable information to work
    on. You have done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful
    to you.

  14. I feel this is among the so much significant info for me.
    And i am happy studying your article. However wanna commentary on some common things, The website taste is great,
    the articles is in reality nice :D. Excellent activity, cheers.

    Also visit my website :: shihan.com.ru

  15. Somebody essentially help to make severely posts I might state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your
    web page and thus far? I amazed with the research you made to create this actual
    publish extraordinary. Wonderful process!

    Feel free to surf to my web blog: Testo Fit Extreme

  16. Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My site covers a lot of the
    same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to send me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by
    the way!

  17. Simply wanna comment on few general things, The website pattern is
    perfect, the written content is rattling good :D.

    Feel free to visit my website Clyde

  18. Hi this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use
    WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    My site :: Viking XL

  19. This is the perfect blog for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic.
    You know a whole lot its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).
    You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic
    that has been discussed for years. Excellent stuff, just

    My web-site; Xoth Keto

  20. I am really impressed with your writing abilities and also with the
    layout in your blog. Is that this a paid topic or did you
    customize it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to
    look a great weblog like this one today..

    Stop by my blog; Gaia’s Choice CBD

  21. Greetings, I think your website could be having web browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in I.E.,
    it’s got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to
    give you a quick heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!

    My blog; Slimingo

  22. First off I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask
    if you don’t mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I’ve had a hard time clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there.

    I do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15
    minutes tend to be wasted simply just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my site :: KetoRedux

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *