Kicking a New Post to the Top of the Search Engines

Well Almost.

Kick a Post to the TopIf you’ve been reading and following along here at the Lab you have learned it doesn’t take long for a new blog post to be indexed and show up in the search engines index. Sometimes they don’t show up very fast at all. But you can in some cases get a post that isn’t indexed found in search engine results. Is that cool or what!

The long tails effect is to rank high for something that isn’t a highly competitive keyword.

  1. But what if it is a competitive keyword.
  2. What if it is an annual event you blogged about last year, but now there are new details, new times and dates, new information.
  3. Do you have a blog that is archived and you now write on a new blog, but some of those old posts are indexed and keep showing up in search engine results.
  4. Maybe you have a single property site that had a post which is indexed and getting high rankings but the property is sold and the site is no longer needed.

What do you do?

Edit the old post

One thing I’ve done in the past is to write the new post then edit the old post to provide the link to the new post. Example I have a post on the condo market in Tucson for the fall of 2006. That post got and gets a lot of traffic from the search engines, but it is out of date. On the newest blog I have about Tucson I wrote a new post for the Condo Market in the Summer of 2007. I went to the old post and put a link to the new post right under the title. Both posts are indexed with a PR2 at the moment.

Bonus Gem: I have discovered that post titles with a – in them don’t do as well in the search engines as titles that don’t have them. Ex. The two post mentioned above. The first comes up under several searches. The second needs the word “summer”. I won’t be putting – in any more post titles. This isn’t the only post, just the only one here as an example.

Redirect code inside the old post to the new

We have all seen this one with the “This site has moved you will be redirected in a few seconds”

You can open the post in code view and paste in this code to redirect readers to the new post location.

<meta http-equiv=”REFRESH” content=”0;url=http://Newdomain.com/Directory/etc” />

Put this at the top of the post and in a few seconds it will redirect to the new url.

I don’t like this method but I recently ran into a situation where I couldn’t get anything else to work. I don’t like it because it still takes you to the old post and site before moving things along to the new location. I like it much better when the transfer to the new location is seamless and invisible.

Example This post about the Accenture Match Play coming to Tucson this month. I have an old single property site with a post that ranks high on page one for a Google search on Accenture Match Play, Tucson, AZ. The url for this post uses the default WordPress permalinks structure. It has the ?p=5 at the end of the URL indicating a database location on PHP. I did a redirect 301 to the new location but it put the ?p=5 at the end of the new URL even though it wasn’t in the redirect 301 code. Since this page doesn’t exit the 404 page kicked in. If anyone knows how to write a redirect 301 to get this to where I want it. I would really like to know. For now I’m using the method described above. Here is the URL if you want to see how this works. http://5378wdesertflora.barbaralasky.com/?p=5

Can you see why I don’t like this method. Any one with the proper syntax for a redirect 301 I will be very grateful.

Clean and Quick 301 redirect with htaccess

This is by far my favorite solution to kicking a new post to visibility of readers.

I had a post I had written on the Tucson Real Estate in the News blog about a condo development called Skyline Villas. When I started the new Tucson AZ Real Estate blog I made sure the post area was much larger than the old site. The new one has 660px post area the old one 400px. I can put more text and larger graphics in a smaller area making it so readers don’t have to scroll down. I modified the post slightly and used the same post title. The old post on the old site was indexed and came up high in search engine results. The day I re-created the post in the new blog I put in a redirect 301 statement in the htaccess file on the server for the original post. Within minutes it kicked in and anyone searching on “Skyline Villas” would get the url for the old site but when they clicked on it they were instantly redirected to the new post.

The old post remains. It is on the old blog and indexed. So is the new post. You can read the old post from inside the category but if you click on the post title you will be redirected to the new post. Here it is to see how it works.

Tucson Condo Category Click here and you see the old post at the top of the category. Click on the post title and you are redirected to the new post. Find this post in a search engine search and you will never see the original blog or post. the htaccess file intercepts and redirects to the new post url.

Bonus Gem: This gem is up for debate by some but not by me so take it for what it is worth. I have read a lot about not getting your Categories indexed. Some have feared duplicate content issues. A worthless fear in my opinion. For me I want every opportunity to have my site clicked on by someone looking for information. If the post doesn’t come up I want it to be found by the category being indexed. If they both come up all the better. On a page with 10 results and I get 2 of those. I’ll take it. And I can show you one example where the category page and the post page each have a PR2 (at the moment) Since these things change all the time this is a snap shot in time for the example. Google Search Tucson Condo Market. #1 Category #2 Post

Three ways to get your new post in front of readers even if it isn’t in the Google Index.

  1. Put a link inside an indexed post
  2. Put a redirect inside an old post to a new post
  3. Create a redirect 301 inside an htaccess file on your server

This post is sponsored by “Geeks Who Don’t Watch The Superbowl” For all geeks looking for something to read even if it is just at halftime. : )

Comments

  1. Going back to older posts and linking ahead to current ones is a great idea.

    I get a lot of people linking to my bad photo category and that does well for PR results. I don’t really care about individual post PR for anything in that category, so it works fine.

    Not sure if I want to redirect people from posts though. What if someone actually wanted to read the 2006 post and were just batted to the 2007 post constantly. That would be annoying as hell.

  2. Athol,

    Good point, but I figure the number of people wanting to read about last year or two year old events is a lot less than the ones that want to know about what is coming up.

  3. Dave-
    A month or so ago, I updated a post that was a couple days old. I noticed it popped back up in my rss feed on Feedburner (I use BlogLines as my reader for my feeds).

    Any concerns about going back and updating a year old post which then kicks out an update via rss? Or did I do something funny that made it re-surface?

  4. Scott,

    I go back and add new information to old posts all the time. But I don’t use a feed reader.

    It might be because a ping is sent out on a save.

    But that’s just a guess. No, there are no concerns doing this won’t hurt your blog or site. It is considered fresh content even on an existing post.

  5. You said you dont like using a “-“. Do you like “_” or do you think its better to use nothing at all and have it all just be letters.

  6. Ki,

    Yes it is better to let it all be letters. We are smarter than the bots, “most of the time” so we can figure out Tucson The Vultures are Coming vs Tucson – The Vultures are Coming

  7. It is cold outside.

  8. Those are great ideas. I still can’t decide if I’ll edit the old post or write a new post and then go into the old post and say “UPDATED” and give a link to the new post.

  9. Dave – Would you also recommend a link to the older post as a point of reference for visitors?

    The hint about leaving out the “-” (hyphen) is good to know, especially when I use that quite frequently.

    Always enjoy reading your thoughts.

  10. This is one were the 301 is great, but, I think I’m a little bit nostalgic and hate to do that to old posts 🙂 I like to just add a new link and leave it at that.

    Something about losing the old post that I’ve put work into makes me want to leave it…

  11. Ryan,

    Here is where I do it. This next week is the Accenture Match Play golf tournament. I have a high ranking post on it from last year. The information is old and dated.

    Yesterday I wrote a new post for this years tournament. I did the 301 redirect to the new post.

    The old one is still there and will show up in the category and can be read, but the new post is on another blog and now it is being found immediately.

    This is the only kind of post I take traffic from to being it to the new.

  12. I agree about not wanting to change an old post. I’ve decided I’d rather create a new post and link to it from the old post with an “update”.

  13. Very good advice Dave!

    I really like using categories for topics where I will have a series of “quick hit posts.

    Best

    Eric

  14. Dave,

    How can they view the old post if it is redirected? What am I missing?

  15. Hi Dave – I have been doing this for quite a while. Was not even thinking about it from the SEO perspective but it makes a lot of sense.

  16. Ryan,

    When it is found in the search engines under the category instead of the post name it is in the list.

    Granted if you have it set to excerpt they won’t see the entire post.

    Again, I only do this on posts that are dated and have no further use than they are ranking high in the search engine results.

    Bill,

    I’ve never thought of it from the SEO perspective either. For my purposes it isn’t about SEO it is about getting the most current information before the eyes of the people searching.

  17. Ryan,

    Here is an example: Search “Tucson Condo Market” in Google.

    The first entry should be my category page. If you read the first post “Tucson Skyline Villas” you will see the entire post. If you click on the post title it will redirect to another newer blog and post on the same subject.

  18. A number of good ideas here… I like the linking to the old post, and I had no idea that the ‘-‘ was so dangerous ;0

  19. Milan,

    It isn’t that “-” in the titles are dangerous they don’t do harm in an active sense to your site. I just notice those titles don’t seem to get indexed very well. Often not showing up for any of the phrases in the title.

  20. James Boyer says:

    Great information. I had not even thought of going back to old posts and putting links to new posts in them. Do you think that putting it right under the title rather than someplace else in the post makes any difference?

  21. James,

    That is exactly where I put it. I want them to see this new “UPDATE” Current Information etc. . .

  22. James Boyer says:

    I just had the chance to do the same thing with a post on my REW blog so I decided to try it and see if anything happens.

    Thank you,

    Jim

  23. This is something to use only in those special circumstance mentioned above.

    I just used it very effectively for an updated post on the Accenture Match Play going on here in Tucson this week.

  24. You have an amazing amount of comments here and a great discussion. I tried the link in the old post thing a week ago and the page I wanted to rank for a certain term did jump higher.

  25. I didn’t know that the – was penalized. I would caution about the redirect. Google doesn’t like sending someone somewhere only to have them redirected. In fact I used to use meta refresh on another site and they stopped indexing that page.

  26. Chris,

    If the redirect is a 301 that is exactly what Google wants. A 301 is like sending a change of address to the post office. It lets Google know where the content has moved to. The other redirects I don’t care for as stated in the post. But a 301 redirect is Google’s preferred method and they will index the content at the new url rather quickly.

    Dave

Trackbacks

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