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How to Remove Outdated Content From Your Affiliate Marketing Website

In the fast-paced digital landscape, it is crucial to remove outdated content from your affiliate marketing website regularly. Outdated content can mislead readers, harm your website’s credibility, hinder search engine optimization efforts, and sometimes create compliance risks.

Proactively identifying and eliminating outdated content can ensure accuracy, enhance the reader’s experience, improve search rankings, maintain industry compliance, and present a positive brand image.

In this post, we will explore the importance of removing outdated content and provide insights on how to do it effectively if you want your affiliate marketing website to stay fresh and updated.

What Is Outdated Content?

Outdated content refers to any information, media, or resources that have become obsolete, inaccurate, or irrelevant to the current context or audience. It can include various forms of content, including articles, blog posts, images, videos, product descriptions, and more. 

Outdated content on most affiliate marketing websites may arise due to changes in industry practices, technological advancements, legislation updates, consumer preference shifts, affiliate product/service offerings, products out of stock or no longer available, and more.

It can confuse readers, damage a website’s reputation, and hinder improved search engine rankings. Google has favored websites that continuously update their content and keep it fresh for readers by rewarding them with better search engine rankings.

Identifying and removing outdated content is crucial to maintaining credibility, providing accurate information, and enhancing user experience. We are in the age of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), where content relevance at any particular time is a ranking signal. When your content is irrelevant to the current times, your rankings drop; when it is relevant, your rankings improve.

Why You Need to Remove Outdated Content 

1. Accuracy and Credibility

Outdated content can provide incorrect or misleading information to your audience. Keeping your content up to date ensures that you provide accurate and reliable information, enhancing your credibility and reputation.

With more accurate and credible affiliate marketing content, you can also command more clicks to your affiliate offers because of the improved trust with your audience.

2. User Experience

Users rely on your content for relevant and valuable information. Outdated content can frustrate and confuse them, leading to a poor user experience. A lousy reader experience makes them leave your website without spending much time on it, increasing your bounce rate. A high bounce rate is recorded by Google: “Even though we send readers to this website, people leave the website very fast, which means they don’t like the website. So we will stop sending people to this website.”

It’s not exactly what Google says, but this is what it will think, and then boom! Your rankings drop.

Removing outdated content improves user satisfaction and engagement, positively impacting your website’s performance, keeping readers on your affiliate marketing website longer (hence a lower bounce rate), and a positive signal to Google that the readers it’s sending to your website love it.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engines prioritize fresh and relevant content. Outdated content can negatively impact your search engine rankings, reducing your visibility and organic traffic. Regularly removing and updating obsolete content with current and optimized affiliate marketing content can help improve your SEO efforts.

Read Also: SEO Tips to Help You Rank Higher

When people search for things on Google, now Google shows them how long ago the content they’re finding was published or last updated. See this screenshot below:

The one with the most recently published data is ranked higher than the article with a later date. In most cases, Google’s users will prefer to click on the topmost result that’s been recently updated.

Don’t miss out on the clicks or higher SEO rankings because of outdated content. Keep your content updated whenever you can.

4. Industry Compliance

Industries undergo changes in regulations, best practices, and standards over time. Outdated content may no longer align with the latest compliance requirements for your affiliate niche, potentially leading to legal or regulatory issues.

Some affiliate marketers have lost money in court battles because they didn’t understand the offers they were promoting or were too busy promoting them, and they didn’t realize the policies of those affiliate programs had become fraudulent. Think it’s a joke? Read this: Affiliate Marketers to Pay More Than $4 Million to Settle Charges that They Promoted a Fraudulent Business Coaching and Investment Scheme.

By removing outdated content, you ensure that your platform remains compliant and avoids any potential liabilities. If you were promoting an affiliate marketing program that became fraudulent, you need to update your affiliate content and remove those affiliate marketing scams as soon as possible to stay compliant.

5. Resource Optimization

Outdated content takes up storage space, server resources, crawling budget, and maintenance efforts. By removing outdated content, you free up valuable resources that can be allocated to more relevant and helpful content, improving overall website performance and efficiency.

6. Brand Perception

Outdated content reflects poorly on your affiliate marketing website.

It may give the impression that you are not actively maintaining and updating your site, potentially diminishing trust with potential visitors.

Removing outdated content demonstrates your commitment to providing current and valuable information, enhancing your website’s perception.

Read Also: Why is Content Marketing Important for Your Brand?

How to Remove Outdated Content Safely 

Removing outdated content safely is necessary to ensure your website’s integrity and user experience and avoid the loss of good content that could still serve your readers.

Here are detailed steps on how to remove outdated affiliate marketing content safely:

1. Conduct a Comprehensive Content Audit

Before removing any content, perform a thorough content audit to identify outdated pages, articles, or resources.

This audit should include checking website analytics, feedback or comments from your readers, engagement metrics, and SEO KPIs.

Look for content with outdated information, low user engagement, high bounce rates, or declining traffic.

In some cases, even pages with consistent traffic (not falling or rising) might get better performance after an affiliate marketing content update.

2. Establish Clear Criteria for Outdated Content

Define specific criteria for determining whether the content is obsolete.

This could include outdated facts, statistics, references, technologies, or practices. Check for links to any broken or 404 pages as well.

Consider consulting subject matter experts or doing more research to ensure the content’s accuracy and relevance.

3. Prioritize Content for Removal

Once you have identified outdated content, prioritize the removal process.

Focus on pages with the highest negative impact on user experience, search engine rankings, or compliance issues.

Consider the potential consequences of removing affiliate marketing content, such as broken internal links or adverse user reactions, and plan accordingly.

4. Archive or Update Relevant Information

For content that still contains valuable information but needs updates, consider archiving or updating it.

Archiving involves moving the content to a separate section of your affiliate marketing website, preserving it for reference purposes, while updated content can be edited to reflect current information.

5. Implement Proper Redirects

When removing outdated content, implement proper redirects to guide users and search engines to the new addresses where they can find the most relevant and up-to-date version of the content.

To redirect visitors and search engines from old URLs to the new equivalent URLs, utilize 301 redirects.

This prevents users from encountering 404 errors and helps preserve your website’s search engine rankings because Google will direct users to the new page and keep your rankings intact.

6. Update Internal Links and References

After removing or updating content, review and update any internal links or references pointing to the outdated content.

This includes updating links within your website’s content, navigation menus, sidebar widgets, or related post sections.

Broken or incorrect internal links can negatively impact your user experience, which has a ripple effect on your affiliate marketing website’s rankings.

7. Communicate Changes to Users and Stakeholders

Inform your readers about the removal or updating of outdated content.

Consider adding a notification on the affected pages that shows the content has been updated or removed. You can also publish a blog post explaining the reasons behind the changes.

This helps manage user expectations, reduces confusion, and demonstrates transparency with your audience.

8. Maintain a Backup of the Removed Content

Before removing any content, create a backup to preserve a copy of the original content.

This ensures that you have a record of the removed content for future reference or in case you need to restore it.

9. Handle 404 Errors Properly

Despite implementing redirects, some users may still encounter 404 errors due to outdated links or cached pages. Customize your 404 error page to provide a helpful message and suggest alternative resources or navigation options. Monitor your affiliate marketing website for 404 errors and fix them promptly to enhance the user experience.

10. Update Xml Sitemaps and robots.txt Files

After removing or updating content, update your XML sitemap to reflect the changes.

This allows search engines to locate and index your updated information quickly.

Review your robots.txt file to ensure it doesn’t block search engine crawlers from accessing your updated pages.

11. Conduct Thorough Testing and Quality Assurance (QA)

Before and after removing outdated content, conduct thorough testing and QA checks.

Test your website’s navigation, internal links, redirects, and search functionality to ensure everything functions correctly.

Also, check for any unintended consequences of the removal, such as broken design elements or functionality.

12. Monitor Search Engine Indexation and Traffic

Keep a close eye on search engine indexation to ensure your updated content is properly crawled and indexed.

Monitor your affiliate marketing website’s traffic, user behavior, and engagement metrics after removal to gauge the impact and identify any necessary adjustments.

SEO Factors to Remember Before Removing Your Outdated Content

When removing outdated information from your website, it’s critical to consider the possible influence on your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.

Here are the key SEO factors to keep in mind before removing outdated content:

1. Traffic and Rankings

Review the organic traffic and search engine rankings of the content you plan to remove.

If the content drives significant traffic or ranks well for relevant keywords, consider the potential impact on your website traffic and visibility.

Look for opportunities to update or repurpose the content instead of removing it to maintain the traffic and rankings.

For affiliate marketers, make sure your money pages are not negatively affected.

2. Backlinks

Examine the backlinks pointing to the outdated content pages.

Backlinks are crucial for SEO as they contribute to your website’s authority and search engine rankings.

If the writing has important backlinks, redirect the URLs to relevant pages on your site to maintain link equity and keep the SEO juice.

3. Internal Link Structure

Evaluate the internal links pointing to outdated content.

Internal linking plays a significant role in distributing link equity across your affiliate marketing website and helping search engines understand the hierarchy and relevance of your content.

If you remove internally linked content, ensure that you update or remove those internal links to maintain a logical and organized internal link structure.

4. User Experience

Consider the impact on user experience when removing content.

If the outdated content provides valuable information or serves as a reference for users, removing it abruptly can disrupt their experience.

In such cases, it’s better to update the content with current information or redirect users to a relevant alternative rather than remove it entirely.

5. Redirect Strategy

Implement proper redirect strategies when removing content. If the outdated content has valuable traffic or backlinks, use 301 redirects to redirect users and search engines to relevant and updated pages.

This helps preserve link equity, maintain user experience, and prevent organic traffic loss.

6. XML Sitemap and Robots.txt

Update your XML sitemap and robots.txt file after removing the content. Remove the URLs of the outdated content from your XML sitemap to ensure search engines don’t crawl and index them.

Review your robots.txt file to ensure it doesn’t block search engine crawlers from accessing your updated pages.

7. Keyword Considerations

Evaluate the keywords targeted by outdated content. If the content ranks for valuable keywords or contributes to your keyword strategy, consider updating it with fresh information rather than obliterating it.

Ensure the updated content aligns with your keyword strategy and provides relevant and optimized content for target keywords.

Read Also: Keyword Optimization Guide For SEO Beginners

8. User Intent and Search Queries

Analyze the user intent and search queries behind outdated affiliate marketing content. Removing it may be appropriate if the content no longer aligns with user intent or fails to address users’ queries effectively.

However, consider creating new content or optimizing existing pages to meet user intent and address those search queries, ensuring you don’t leave gaps in your content coverage.

9. Monitor and Adapt

After removing outdated content, monitor your website’s performance, organic traffic, and search engine rankings.

Analyze the impact of the removal and make necessary adjustments based on the data. If you notice significant drops in traffic or rankings, consider revisiting your content strategy and finding alternative ways to address user needs and search engine requirements.

Tools You Can Use to Remove Outdated Content

1. Content Management System (CMS) Tools

If your website is built on a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, you can leverage the built-in tools and plugins to manage and remove outdated content.

These CMS platforms often offer features to bulk delete or update content, schedule content removal, and manage redirects.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides valuable insights into the performance of your website’s content.

Utilize the “Behavior” section to analyze engagement metrics, such as bounce rates, time on page, and exit rates.

Identify pages with low engagement that may be candidates for removal or updating.

3. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a powerful website crawler that can help you identify outdated content and broken links.

It scans your website and provides detailed reports on URL status codes, metadata, and other SEO-related information.

Use it to find pages with outdated timestamps, low word counts, or other indicators of obsolete content.

4. SEMrush

SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO tool that offers various features to assist with content management.

Use the Site Audit feature to identify outdated pages, broken links, or issues affecting SEO performance.

The Content Analyzer tool helps you analyze content quality, relevance, and engagement metrics.

5. Google Search Console

Google Search Console gives information about how your website ranks in Google’s search results.

Use the “Coverage” report to identify any errors or issues with your pages, including outdated content.

The “URL Inspection” tool allows you to check individual URLs and request removal from Google’s index if necessary.

6. Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a comprehensive SEO toolset that offers features to analyze and manage your affiliate marketing website’s content.

Searching for specific keywords or subjects may uncover old information with the content explorer tool.

You can also utilize the Site Audit feature to identify pages with low traffic, low backlinks, or other indicators of outdated content.

Final Take 

Removing outdated content from your affiliate marketing website is crucial for maintaining relevance, user experience, and SEO performance.

You can safely identify and remove outdated content by following a systematic approach, utilizing tools, and considering SEO factors.

This process helps ensure that your website provides accurate and valuable information to your audience while maintaining its visibility and authority on search engine pages.

Keep your content fresh, up-to-date, and aligned with user needs to impact your website’s performance positively.

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