Refresh Old Blogs: Revive Google Rank with Search Console Data & External Hints

Typically a blog or an article rank on Google for a period of around one year to two depending on the content, length, and competition. However, with time, these articles start to fall in ranking on the Google search engine. There are many opinions on how to do it such as add fresh content, write a new meta description, update the title, etc.

Well, all of these techniques work but in order to have them work properly, they need to be backed up by data on what content should you write or what keywords should you target again. Besides that, there is an off-page SEO strategy that you can also try but keeping that on the backburner to rank an old page organically again.

Part 1 – Find out important old blogs for revival

This is going to be your most important part of the process because it will help you prioritize the important blogs to revive first with the fresh content.

  • Log in to the search console and export all the comparison data for the past 6 months by page, not by the query.
  • I would not suggest that the comparison should be around three months or even for three to six months. Pages start falling down in the ranking slowly so, choosing a comparison period of around 6 months or preferably a year could be a better idea. That’s why 6 months.
  • Your Raw Search console downloaded data will look something like this:
Search console data

Raw Search Console Data

Data filtering and cleaning

Your blog might have thousand of pages. You do not want to address them all. We want to address the important ones in the beginning and that needs data cleaning. Follow the steps below or as per your discern to start cleaning the data

Find pages with dropped ranking

  • Find all the pages whose ranking has dropped. Delete the rest of the pages. You can do that by finding the difference between the position in the last 3 months and previous 3 months

Filter only top pages

  • Only have the pages that appear up to the third page on Google SERP that means create another filter and delete the pages whose position is greater than 30 (third page) under both of the position columns (previous x months and last x months)

Remove recently published pages

  • Under the column “previous x months position”, create another filter and delete all the pages with position 0.
  • Under the column “previous x months clicks” and “last x months clicks”, create another filter and delete all the pages with click 0.

Remove the tag, category, pagination & author pages

  • If your website is on WordPress, pulling page information from search console will also pull pages with tag and category in the URL. You can see those pages in the screenshot below:
Remove the tag, category, pagination & author pages

Remove the tag, category, pagination & author pages

  • Above can be easily achieved using filters.
  • Look out for other patterns as well such as comments etc.

Sort your sheet by clicks

  • Now, sort your sheet by “last x months clicks.
  • This whole procedure on a broad level will give you top pages that need immediate attention. You can even further prioritize and cleanse your data but at the basic level, this should be enough.

How To Refresh Old Blog

Now, I am listing out different tactics utilizing which you can get to know that if you are going to update the content then you should cover what topics. Some of these tactics might be irrelevant so just focus on the tactics which apply to your purpose.

Some of the tactics given below might be very time-consuming while others not. So, I would suggest considering the time-consuming tactics only for the pages which ranked and traded really well in the past for a handsome duration of time before falling down in the ranking again. Editing and updating the content of the old ranking pages could be an art. Here are some tips on updating the content of old pages.

Use Search Queries as Tags

You might not believe me but yesterday, I scrapped the ranking of different pages of my travel blog. Out of almost one thousand pages, around 400 pages were a mix of pages with tags, category, and paginated pages. Out of those 400 mixed pages, around 250 were the pages with tags such as ( Out of those 250 pages, there were around 80 pages which are ranking on page one of Google.


Download Queries & Update them on relevant pages as Tags

  • Download all the search queries
  • Group them per page
  • Prioritize the top search queries
  • Use them as tags on the pages and also include them in the blog posts

Search Queries with High Clicks & CTR

Find the top-ranking search queries in the search console. Once you have the list of the ranking search queries for a page, you can consider including those search terms in your tag, meta description, and title if applicable. You can also look at the search queries in accordance with their number of clicks and then accordingly prioritizing them. A search term with a higher number of clicks deserves to be a part of the title and meta description when compared to a lesser performing one.

Search Queries with High Impressions & Low CTR

Another way for updating the content is to optimize the meta description for a better CTR. A better CTR brings more traffic, more traffic brings more users and then a better engagement and that could probably result in the boost in terms of page ranking of that particular page.

  • Go to search console and find out search terms with high impressions but low CTR
  • Go to the blogposts relevant to those search queries
  • Update the blog content around those search queries
  • Also, try to include the search queries in the headings, tags and meta tags such as title and description
Queries with high impressions and low CTR

Queries with high impressions and low CTR

Revive your Old blog

Wikipedia Edit history research for SEO

Let us say that you are interested in writing a travel guide based on your recent visit to Vancouver Island. Your first research begins on Wikipedia. If there is a Wikipedia page which exists about your topic, see the edit history about that topic. Probably, you will see a lot of change histories. You should mostly focus on the recent edit history and what has been added to the Wikipedia article. That content should be one of the recent developments on that particular topic.

Wikipedia Edit History

Look at the Edit history with the Minus (-) and plus (+)/ added content

Research other ranking pages in SERP

This could be one of the lengthiest ideas but you can look at the content of your competitors and see what more information they have provided which you have not. I am sure you will get a fair amount of idea.

Autocomplete suggestions

Google autocomplete is an awesome feature which enhances the user experience of the Google searchers. Since you also want to enhance the user experience on your blog, by playing around and looking for some autocomplete suggestions can give you a new idea and what should you write about.

autocomplete suggestions

autocomplete suggestions

From the above example, if I want to write a blog on Panorama Ridge hike in Canada, above is a list of items that people search for about this hike. When updating the blog, I should try to address the wholeness of the hike by addressing different small topics about the bigger topic.

Get insights from relevant searches on SERP

SERP (Search Engine Result Page) will have relevant search terms at the bottom of the page. These search terms are mostly like subchapters of a chapter where a user might want to dig in more. Those relevant searches listed at the bottom of the page could be a perfect opportunity for you to add some content.

Related search terms at the bottom of SERP

Related search terms at the bottom of SERP

Update Contextual Information

Add as much contextual information as possible in order to update your blog with the recent development on the topic. Here are some of the methods that you can use to find out the recent development on the topic:

  • Use Google trends
  • Use Google news to find out what other websites/ blogs have to say about that particular topic and try to include that too in your article
  • Take reference from the comments and try to update the content. For example, in my blog about subdomain tracking, I took some reference from the comments and updated my blog as per the need of the readers

I hope this guide on updating old content helps you. If you have some other ideas, please leave them in the comments below. Here is another guide on doing a complete website SEO audit by yourself.

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