Does Republishing Old Posts Help Them To Rank?

Republishing posts help in the rankings?

I’d read somewhere that when you republished your older posts, they tended to rank higher. I’d also read, elsewhere, that this didn’t help your post rankings in anyway.

In fact, I got the latter from an official Google source. Reposting an article to the newest date doesn’t help in rankings. This is in direct relation to the position of the search engine on the freshness of an article as a ranking factor.

As a result of this conflict, I think I should get involved before I can take a stand on it. 

This post is a report of my experience and what others perceived too.

Those who republished claimed they experienced positive differences in rankings. The search engine claimed it didn’t matter.

So, what do we believe?

"Republishing" is Without Editing or "Repurpose" is With Editing

While speaking of "republishing" old posts, one may mistake it for a "reposting" or "repurpose".

Republishing is when you change the publication date of an article to the present day. For example, an article dated 11/11/2001 is republished for a new date, say 09/05/2020.

Here, you don’t add more details to the content. You don’t add or reduce anything to/from the original work. You just change the date and hit the publish button.

Reposting is when you repurpose an existing old post and republish it for the same old date or to the present date. With this, you add more details or where necessary, remove irrelevant and boring parts.

In the case of reposting, you must do some touches. You may include new findings, updates, and news. You may increase or reduce the length of the content before going live again.

What I’m talking about, in this post, is the former - republishing.

My Findings on Republishing Old Posts and Its Effect on Rankings

I picked 15 of my older posts. The posts were 3 months or older as of the start of this study.

I’d picked these posts because none of them was ranking on the first page at the time.

I wanted to know if republishing these articles will make any difference in the end.

After a week of republishing, I tracked the posts again to know if Google has ranked them better.

The result was surprisingly pleasing.

Eleven shifted to page 1. There was no significant movement for the other four. In fact, one of the four dropped in position by 1 point, the three other maintained the same stand. Those that ranked on page 1 shared places between 8, 9 and 10. A few of the posts ahead of mine earlier were not showing in the search results again while some moved to page 2.

Let’s get things better.

Can We Conclude That Republishing Posts Help Rankings?

The answer is "I have mix feeling".

Why?

Below are the possibilities to recon with.
  

#1. Google had Recrawled the Post Again

It’s possible that without republishing those posts, Google might not have recrawled them and given well-deserved positions.

I’d shared my experience on a similar issue in the post, “A Simple Trick To Force Google to Crawl/Index You Posts”.

There, I shared how I forced Google to crawl my unindexed posts and won a better position.

To say republishing helps here, I can be right.

Something else might have helped me get to page one within the week of this experiment.

Some posts ahead of mine in the past months might have been "de-ranked" (dropped) by Google within the week. There could have been major or minor algorithm updates that could reshuffle things.

#2. New Users' Experience Renewed Google Perception

Another factor to consider is the increase in the reading of the republished posts could have convinced Google that users loved them.

What I mean here is this…

Google rank posts mainly following the users’ experience signal. If more people read your posts and find them useful, resourceful, and pleasing, Google tracks these experiences and ranks those posts for more people to try out.

Do you know that immediately after republishing, my regular blog visitors will more likely read them within that week? More of my subscribers will receive newsletters to the articles and read them again.

All these new reads could be the signal that convinced Google that people are enjoying the posts. Hence, ranked it higher for others to see.

#3. I Got More Clicks From Users Latest Date Perception

Which of the posts are you likely to click from search results.


I bet you're likely going to click on the first result.

What if you want the most recent fact or update about your query? Something new is more likely going to take your click.

In the example above, the third result will capture the attention of people looking for the most recent answer.

When you republish your old post and it shows the most recent date (except you hide it from your end), they may prefer to read yours while jumping those right at the top.

If these readers continually hit the result, within a few hours, Google and similar search engines will promote it to the number 1.

The simple truth is Google doesn't decide what we read or that it ranks at the top. Readers do!

If your content is better but they don't read, Google will have no other choice than to throw it off the most ranked post. If another post is poorly written but has more clicks, it wins (at least until readers decide it does not worth it).

Conclusion

It’s better to agree that republishing a post (with or within new input) helps in ranking. If more readers will see that directly on your blog and more will receive the posts through emails - thereby sending the signal to Google that people are enjoying those posts.

Republishing can equally force Google to crawl or recrawl your posts and give them deserved positions on search results.

If the official position is anything to go by (that it doesn’t affect ranking), then, experiences from others and my personal findings will keep us dwelling in confusion.

If you want to know my position, I’m more clear about the positive effect of republishing existing and old posts to win a higher position than the official position that republishing posts doesn't have effects on SEO and ranking.

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