Many OG bloggers want to clean up their older blog for maximum SEO, but how do you accomplish this goal? There are two answers to this problem; you can hire an SEO professional to Run a Full Website Scan in Minutes for big money to weed through your entire blog and provide you with a report of what to update, change, etc OR you can take the time to evaluate the data by yourself and use common sense and real-life experience knowledge that is found via search.
The latter will take many hours, but for someone like me who has a growth mindset? I thrive on learning this hands-on and gaining more knowledge to help others learn ways to clean up older blogs for maximum SEO without spending maximum cash. You see, as a growth mindset person who believes in the power of living poor no matter how much money you have is how you maintain positive finances (of course I’ve made some mistakes in the financial world which is why I’m sharing ideas to help you not make those same mistakes …), I always go with “taking the time to learn how to do these things on my own”.
You may choose either option. There is no right or wrong answer here. It’s just a matter of preference, and perhaps budget.
What You Will Need to Complete this Maximize SEO Process:
- Active Google Search Console account with data from at least 16 months for your OG blog.
- Ability to watch video tutorials, download Chrome extensions, and free WP plugins.
- Open Multiple URLs Chrome Extension
- Ultimate 410 WordPress Plugin
- 301 Redirects WordPress Plugin
- Some sort of basic tech experience to upload, activate and use WP plugins.
- Basic tech and computer experience to run reports, manipulate Excel spreadsheets or Google Sheets.
- Ability to read or watch tutorials that help simplify the process.
Before I dive into this topic further, as in share what I am doing to clean up my oldest blog that I still own. Remember I had an even older blog HappilyBlended.com brand that I sold back in 2016 or something that is much older than this Brandy Ellen blog.
OH! If you’re interested in flipping blogs as I do for another revenue stream, click here to buy my ‘How to Start a Blog Flipping Business’ ebook where I help you master the strategy of flipping that already established blog.
Run a Google Search Console (formally Google Webmasters) Report
Just a full disclosure before we dive deeper into how I have and am working to revamp my site; every single SEO expert out there will have a varying method to handle this process. Some will tell you to redirect every blog post you delete, others will tell you to put a 410 (permanently gone) notice on it, and others may have you just delete the URL without anything, letting search engines eventually realize the URL is no longer valid.
I have tried different options in the past, before getting distracted with my freelance writing client work and pausing on the SEO part of this major revenue-earning site. I’m setting my SEO fixes to Brandy Ellen Enterprises, aka Brandy Ellen Blogs, at a priority for this quarter of the year so I can test out my theory of a simple way to boost SEO on an OG blog without going broke!
I choose to look 16 months back. Some will go 3 months, and others will go 12 months, but I like to do 16 months. If you haven’t had Search Console code in your blog yet, well goodness gracious get that set up now and wait until it starts collecting enough data to proceed with this SEO process for your OG blog. Semrush has a good tutorial for this process.
As you can see above, I created another tab in my Google Sheets file of the report I downloaded. Don’t know how to download a Search Console Performance Report?
- Sign in to your Google Search Console Account.
- Click on “Performance” on the left-hand side of your screen. s
- Click on the pencil edit looking option where it says “Date: Last 3 months” and change it to 12 months or 16 months (your choice).
- Then you’ll see that data for the term you put in for “date”. On the right-hand side look for the “export” button and click it.
- Export this as a Google Sheet or Excel file.
You can see my video tutorial on my YouTube channel for How to Export Keyword Data in Google Search Console. It’s a similar process.
Now that I cut and pasted the 0 clicks URLs into another sheet in my Google Sheets, it’s time to use open multiple URLs Google Chrome Extension to check a handful of these pages at one time. This extension will open as many URLs as you tell it to by copying and pasting them into the extension. I like it because it’s quicker than copying and pasting individual URLs.
The reason I opened each URL is that, while these have 0 clicks some may be sponsored content that has to stay up for at least one year, two years, or whatnot. Maybe it’s a blog post that I committed to keeping up forever. I need to visually see each post to confirm if it’s something that I can morally remove and stay in good standing with advertisers or whatnot.
Another reason you may not want to remove an older blog post that gets 0 clicks in Google Search Console is that the blog post is relevant to your current niche. Since I review my keyword data quite frequently, in the same sheet that was exported above (see Queries sheet), I know which topics I may want to keep.
If you’re choosing to keep an older blog post that has 0 clicks because it’s relevant to your niche, then make a note within the sheet or somewhere so you’ll know to go back and update FAQ rich results data, information within the pots, and so forth to resubmit to Google for reindexing. Again check this information from Semrush for details on how-to.
Now that you have the report, some tips and tricks on how to evaluate which URLs you’ll keep or remove, it’s time to discuss how long this process will take.
This process will take as long as you need it to! Quite honestly, it could take weeks, months, or even a year to complete the entire process. I typically try to devote time to my clients that hire me to handle their URL stuff, about 3-6 months’ time. That’s strictly for downloading the report, and removing all URLs that have 0 clicks, and assign a 410 error. If a client prefers me to evaluate these links one by one, then it would take quite a bit longer, and carry a heftier price tag.
Click here to submit a request for a quote on help with removing your old 0 click URLs; such as the old school linkies (Wordless Wednesday, anyone?!), old giveaway posts, and so forth. The fee will be in the hundreds, and half is required upfront, half upon completion. I only have a couple of openings per year for this type of work, as it’s something I do to help my fellow bloggers, not so much something I have aligned with my ghostwriting for bloggers business.
Assigning a 410 or 301 Redirect for Deleted URLs
Now that you have the list of URLs that are getting zero clicks, it’s time to decide if you’ll assign the removed URL as a 301 redirect (permanent) or a 410 (permanent removal). The 410 will tell search engines to remove the URL from indexing forever, while a 301 will tell search engines to inform search results to show the other URL that the page has been redirected to permanently.
I have some redirects, mostly from building niche sites. I will have some of my older blogging support content go to the blog I sold that has to do with making money blogging. Some other content, like country life to travel stuff may redirect to one of two other sites I’ve either sold or still manage.
All other content is now handled as a 410 to help remove some of the dead weight on this OG blog.
The basic way to determine which option is right for you is to look at these examples:
- Linky posts – Wordless Wednesdays and other OG linkups we used to do – 410 because there won’t be any relevant content.
- Old Giveaway Posts – Use a 301 redirect to your giveaway tag/category or giveaway terms page. If you no longer host giveaways then do a 41o.
- Regular Posts – use the 310 to redirect to a similar blog post that is getting traffic when applicable or assign a 410 if not.
If you plan on doing this for an hour or two at once, then please make sure to install the two WP plugins referenced at the top of this blog pots for 410 and 310 options. The reason being, if you delete a blog post that gets 0 clicks and have the 410 plugin installed – it will ask you if you want to assign it under a 410 and you just click a button and POOF it’s done!
All you do to find each URL inside your WP Dashboard is …
Log into your WordPress dashboard, click on posts and type the title or at least a word or two of the blog post you’re looking for (aka the title from the URL you opened from the 0 clicks report).
And then you can choose to delete it or edit it from there as you would with any old blog post! Be sure to have the 310 redirects plugin open in a second tab so that you can copy the URL into that and assign it to redirect to your other blog post you want to redirect to.
If you just want to 410 it, then you can just click trash and it will ask you if you want to assign 410 (if you have the plugin installed before starting this process – you should do that now).
Once you have completed this project, you’ll be able to run another report of the same timeframe in 60-90 days to evaluate how well your blog is standing in the maximize search engine world.
There is more to maximizing SEO with an OG blog, but this will surely be a fantastic first step in a long list of SEO updates you can do to try to get your rankings back UP.
And, if you want to toss some ideas around with me before starting this project please do …
Schedule a 60 Minute Session with ME
Do you want to schedule a consultation to discuss how to handle your 0 clicks URLs? I’d love to just chat and we can brainstorm a plan or ideas together. We can chat via Skype, or do a screen share type option. I charge $100 for a 60-minute slot. This is strictly for helping you download your report, discuss questions, provide input, etc. The consultation is not a guarantee that you can hire me to complete the work, it’s more like hiring someone that’s been blogging since 2008 to brainstorm logical ways to scope out this project so that you have time to make cash with your main revenue streams while fixing your working to maximize SEO on your blog.
Brandy Ellen has been a blogger since 2008 and enjoys spending her free time with her family and making the most out of every moment she has. Brandy enjoys sharing personal stories, tips, and other advice based on real-life & work from home experiences to help others live a fulfilling life.