Recycling Website Content: Can It Be Done?

Recycling website content is something that an increasing number of website owners have done in wake of recent search engine updates. It’s not just search engine updates that cause site owners to have to recycle content, sometimes a new domain name can mean an entire site has to be moved. Other times it can be as the result of a business name change – or even just a fresh new website being developed. There are lots of reasons why people wonder if they can recycle content – the good news is that in about 90% of cases it is possible to recycle content!

If you’ve paid lots of money for website content in the past and you really want to retain it when moving over to your new website, it’s something that can be done – but be sure to read the three easy steps involved below.

How to recycle your content in three easy steps

  1. Identify that your website has been hit by an update – you can usually do this by observing decreased rankings and also a loss of traffic.
  2. You need to get the site that has been hit out of search engines – to get it de-indexed simply take it offline. Don’t forget to save the content you want to recycle before you take it offline! Some people will tell you that a “noindex” tag is enough – but we think it’s best just to take the site down altogether.
  3. Setup a new site and do things properly going forward. Once your old site has dropped out of the index of search engines, you can then re-publish the old content on your new website. Read it all through again and look for opportunities to tweak it – check it’s all still relevant.

Identify why your site was hit in the first place

Search engine updates happen frequently, and they tend to happen for different reasons. Google Panda updates for example target sites with low quality or thin content – whereas Penguin updates tend to target sites with poor back link portfolios. There’s little point looking to recycle content on a site that was hit by Google Panda, because it’s the content that meant your site got hit in the first place.

Recycling content works great on websites that have been hit with link penalties, but it doesn’t work at all for sites that have been penalised because the content on them is weak.

What should you do if your content is the problem?

If your content is the main problem there’s no point buying a new domain name or moving to a new website. Instead you should address the root cause of the problem by investing in new content for your website’s pages. Fresh, unique content that’s relevant and informative will do your website the world of good.

If you develop a bug for publishing new content you can also look to add a knowledgebase or FAQ section to your website where you can publish articles. You can also look to add a blog section on which you can publish news stories and general company blogs. Frequently updated websites featuring high quality content are what search engines love to see.

Try not to duplicate content across different sites

In our three step process above, we mention that you should wait for your old site to drop out of the search engine indexed before re-publishing it on another site. Search engines tend to look at duplicate content in a dim light – therefore you should take steps to ensure it only appears on one domain name in the search engine index at any given time.

Never, ever copy and paste website content from one site to another then leave them both online. The chances are that both sites will suffer a catastrophic loss of rankings, and subsequently a huge dip in traffic.

So there you have it! Recycling old website content is definitely possible – but only if it’s high quality, and only if it’s still relevant today!

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