I’d like to throw a virtual high-five over to Demian Farnworth and Jerod Morris, hosts of The Lede podcast on Rainmaker.FM.
Without them, I wouldn’t have known about a super simple online marketing hack that made me rethink the way I manage my blogs.
In a new podcast The Simple Publishing Hack That Gives Old Content New Life (Plus 3 More Tips), the guys break down a Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fiskin about why Google likes republished content.
Republished Content: My New Favorite Blogging Hack
Now, I know that Google doesn’t like duplicate content. You shouldn’t repost content multiple times on your site. But I didn’t realize that there is a big difference between duplicate and republished content.
The Definition of Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is created when you copy and paste content from one page (with its own URL) and publish it on another page (with its own URL). That means you end up with two pages on two unique URLs and the same content on each page.
That is a no-no.
The Definition of Republished Content
Republished content is not creating two of the same. It’s simply changing the published date on an old piece of content, keeping the same URL, and allowing an old post to reappear at the top of your blog.
I always assumed this would be frowned upon by Google, but in the video below, Rand Fishkin explains why Google actually likes it.
So if it’s cool with Google and easy for publishers, I’d say this is an ideal way to get some extra pull out of the content you have already created.
How to Republish Content on Your Blog
The process to republish a piece of content is easy.
- Go back into your old blog post.
- Pick out something that is a few years old so you don’t cheat your readers by delivering the same post shortly after the original.
- Refresh the post by updating the facts and stats. Polish it with some new images. And beef it up by adding some extra info.
- Then when you are ready for the new post, just change the publish date to the exact time at the exact time you want it to go live. (The guys from The Lede made a good point that you shouldn’t schedule these republished posts. When you do that, the post goes into draft mode and becomes unavailable. That means the link is temporarily dead. Not good.)
- Boom. That’s it. Celebrate your new live post!
As you go through this process, just remember: Do NOT change the URL on the republished post.
The URL needs to remain the same if you want this to work. Google has indexed your post with that URL and if you change it, you will lose its ranking and social share count. It will defeat the purpose of republishing.
So thanks again Jerod and Demian. This might be one of my favorite blog hacks of all time!
If you are interested in the more technical reasons why this works, here is the video by Rand Fishkin.