Stale Website Content – What Is It and What To Do About It

Stale website content. What is it and what can you do about it? Stale content is a complicated concept, so let’s take things slow and start by defining the term. Then, once we’ve finished defining it, we’ll talk about the three different things you can do to mitigate the damage it can do to your website traffic. Let’s get started!

First Up: What is Stale Content?

Before we can get into the nitty-gritty details of how exactly one tackles the stale content problem, we should first discuss just what it is. Basically, stale content is any piece of outdated content that no longer provides traffic to your website.

Why is Stale Content a Bad Thing?

Since the internet is a continuously changing landscape, it stands to reason that eventually, your articles, blog posts, and other forms of content become outdated. Old, outdated content is stale, and, like stale bread, stale content makes your website less appetizing to both users and search engines alike.

For example, let’s assume you wrote an article regarding the current statistics of car accident fatalities in your municipality a couple of years ago. Google and other search engines often display the publish date in search results. So, searchers will inevitably see the date that you published your article. Understandably, if a user sees that your article is a few years old, they’ll assume that it contains outdated information. And, outdated information and can content actively prevent users from clicking through to your site.

How to Find Stale Content on Your Site

OK, now you know what constitutes stale content and why it’s not a good thing. But that begs the question: “How do you find stale content on your website?” Well, to find stale content you’ll need the help of Google Search Console.

Using Google Search Console to audit your website for stale content isn’t as difficult as it sounds. To start, you’ll need to set up Google Search Console. If you don’t know how then visit our Google Search Console guide. Once you’re all set up, it’s time to start using it to discover stale content. To do so:

  • Click on the “Open Report” button in the “Performance” tab at the top of the page.
  • Next, click on the pencil icon in the “Date” tab at the top of the reports page and set your date range to “Last 3 Months” (this is usually the default setting).
  • Once you’ve set the date range, click on the “Pages” tab underneath the graph.
  • Then, click on the “Clicks” button twice to sort by the number oc clikcks each URL receieved during your set date range. Make sure the arrow next to “Clicks” is pointing up.

Once you’ve done that, your Search Console window should look similar to this:

Any page that hasn’t received a click over the set date range of ninety days is stale. But don’t worry! We can fix it pretty easily.

How to Solve Your Newly Discovered Stale Website Content Problem

When it comes to stale website content problems, there are three easy solutions. Let’s talk about each one in a little bit of detail.

First, you can always just delete your stale content. However, if you decide to take this route, make sure you apply a redirect to another page. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating a 404, and that is considerably worse than a stale article or another piece of content. Honestly, you should avoid this method at all costs as it adds considerable and unnecessary risk.

Another, much, much better solution to stale content problems is to freshen it up. Just updating a page helps show search engines and users that you care about the piece of content in question. It also displays your desire to provide accurate information to your website visitors. There are a few ways that you can freshen up your content, including:

  • Re-writing sections of the content to better reflect current information
  • Updating your links, images, videos, and other forms of media with more recent and relevent versions
  • Promoting your updated content on social media and through email campaigns

However, the easiest way to rid your site of stale content is to hire the SEO copywriters here at Goldstein Brossard. We have the experience, knowledge, and tools needed to easily handle stale content management. So, if you have stale content, then why not give us a call? We’re always standing by to give your web content a helping hand.