Re-Write Whole New Article, Delete the Old One

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  1. janshares profile image94
    jansharesposted 4 months ago

    I have a question about whether or not I should delete an article and re-write a whole new one with updated content and new images. The old article was published in 2013, has had one view in the last 30 days and has a total view count of 769. Also, it's not on a niche site.

    I want to delete the old one because, as you know, we can't change the URL. I have a new title and different key words so the updated content will not be consistent with the old URL. I also want to avoid being tagged by Google for duplicate content.

    Veterans and HP staff, please share your internet/technical savvy on this subject. The article never made it to a niche site. I'm really okay deleting it and losing the 769 views. It won't make much difference since I'm on track to hit 2 million views with my other articles, hopefully by next spring.

    Eugene, I've read your forum posts on a similar issue. Mine is a bit different but may have a similar result. Let me know (you too, Paul Goodman) if I'm missing anything by making this decision. Thanks.

    1. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      First, I do not in any way proclaim to be an expert in any form.

      I have just finished doing a rewrite of an article. That includes a title, subheadings, images, call outs, and references. I believe my quality has improved. And, there is less total word count.

      Note it was published in 2017. It has about half the views you do. It is today featured on Discover.

      Anyway, the crux seems to be the URL. I have done some research tonight. I see there is a difference of views on how much of an effect the URL has on ranking. Next is an article published Oct 5, 2023, in Search Engine Journal. They say it is minimal. Supposedly they got the information from Google.

      Please note this article is about a site's ranking with the URL. I could not find any article specific to content articles.

      URLs As A Google Ranking Factor: What You Need To Know … rls/#close

      I looked at my old URL and the new title. They have three common keywords. So, I am going to go with not unpublishing. It is indexed now. Paul stated getting new articles ranked for traffic is tough these days. Unless I misunderstood him.

      I am open to others for guidance.

      Note: I didn't mean to hijack your thread. It was that it is the same topic for both of us.

      1. janshares profile image94
        jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Tim. Glad you hopped in. Your input is helpful. I see why you kept your URL, having the same keywords as your title. I will check out the link. Appreciate you.

        1. janshares profile image94
          jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          I read the article. Very informative. Thanks.

    2. chef-de-jour profile image97
      chef-de-jourposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Janis, you have some great advice here from several mature HPers with experience and knowhow. Variations on a theme of copy/delete/rewrite/update/checks for duplicate text and so on.

      If I were you I'd start from scratch so to speak, as if I were creating a new article on a familiar topic.

      Before I start writing I always check on potential competition for the subject, the keyword game you know. I'm no expert when it comes to SEO but if there are some serious 'rivals' on Google then I know I have to up my game and at least try and compete for places. It's no use spending time creating an article that isn't going to hack it once out in the field.

      I guess it depends on how ambitious you are for this older article. If completely rewritten and you're confident of quality, quantity and relevance then I'd try for a niche site, if you've time, once you have a realistic idea of what your work might come up against.

      Having said that we all know how down in the dumps HP is at present due to this, that and the other - perhaps the best thing to do is as you hint at, delete the darn thing!

      Be interesting to hear how you, as a veteran yourself, approach this  issue. All the best.

      1. janshares profile image94
        jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Andrew. This is very helpful information regarding the research needed to see what's out there. I do feel like it's a different article on the same subject. However, the overall concept remains the same.

    3. Kenna McHugh profile image94
      Kenna McHughposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      My gut reaction is to try it and follow what Rupert does. If it pans out, fantastic. If not, well, you learned. The reason is the Internet/Google is fickle. I am doing my due diligence on HP, like trying different approaches, and it's working. Stay positive and keep writing great content.

      1. eugbug profile image95
        eugbugposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Exactly, it is fickle. Imagine if a university was like that, recommending a different course textbook every year because an excellent one wasn't cool and fresh enough? That's pretty much Google's attitude to the results it shows.

      2. janshares profile image94
        jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks, Kenna. Will do.

    4. SerenityHalo profile image94
      SerenityHaloposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Considering the low amount of lifetime views and the decade-old date, I would consider using the old article as a draft for a new article. You're likely a better writer than you were 10 years ago. You can probably produce something now that will get you more views than 800 on the same topic, depending on what it is.

      1. janshares profile image94
        jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Agreed. Thanks, Andrea.

  2. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 4 months ago

    My initial thought would be just to delete it because those are very low views and a long time has gone by.

    Of course, there are other factors such as what it's about and how hard you've tried to improve it. It's impossible to respond in any detail to what you've said without seeing the actual article.

    I wrote some articles ten years ago that I would never do now because retrospectively, I can see that they were a bad idea from the start. I like to believe that I've learned from my mistakes.

    All that said, I think it's a tough environment right now for any new articles to gain traction regarding views from Google.

    1. janshares profile image94
      jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Paul. Your feedback is helpful. Yes, traffic is awful across the board. But I thought I'd give it a shot and write an informational article. It's been a while.

  3. Rupert Taylor profile image96
    Rupert Taylorposted 4 months ago

    Hi Janis. I've done this very thing several times. Here's what I do.

    Obviously, copy the article to your hard drive and then delete it from HubPages. Leave it for a few weeks, maybe a month, so it becomes de-indexed by Google. Then re-submit to HP with upgrades.

    I always run any text used from the original through a plagiarism checker to make sure it's not going to be flagged as duplicate content.

    I can't say whether or not it improves traffic/income, but it usually gets an article booted off a niche site back on again.

    1. janshares profile image94
      jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Thank you so much, Rupert. This is very helpful. If I have the text already saved in Word, do I need to save the published article? I guess that would show the online copyright. I always write my articles in Word, then re-write them in the HP tool. That's how I do minor edits. So, the final published article is never exactly the same as the Word version.

  4. eugbug profile image95
    eugbugposted 4 months ago

    I'm thinking if it's worded differently and is at a completely different URL, maybe the algorithm won't be "confused". When I did my experiment, the new version was a carbon copy of the old one and had the same title. Also it was on the same domain. Possibly Google penalises this sort of thing as an attempt to game the system and make an article appear fresher. That's why I wanted to have my guide moved to Turbofuture because the content was relevant to digital technology, although it could also have been classed as math.
    If the article isn't getting much traffic, I guess you've nothing to lose really. Maybe just republish one article and if there are more, wait and see whether the one you've republished has an improvement in traffic before doing any more of them.
    I've just republished new versions and deleted the old versions so they are probably simultaneously indexed. I don't know whether that means the new version is blacklisted as duplicate content. That's why my new version may only have received only one or two views per day. However the original was deindexed after a few weeks and the new version was still only getting a handful of views, four months down the line. Surely Google recrawls articles and reassesses them and discovers they are not duplicate, but maybe not.

    1. janshares profile image94
      jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks for chiming in, Eugene. I'll have a different URL so I shouldn't encounter the same issues you did but who knows. I will do as Rupert suggested and wait a few weeks for the old article to be deindexed, just to be safe. A lot of the content will be the same, so we'll have to see what happens.

  5. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
    PaulGoodman67posted 4 months ago

    It's not hard to avoid triggering duplication red flags, as Rupert says. It just requires waiting until the old one is deindexed.

    However, if the new version is similar to the old one, the obvious question to ask is why will it succeed when the previous one consistently did badly.

    What's the value of reuse when the original spectacularly failed?

    It may be more fruitful to research of keywords etc. and do something completely new.

    1. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Then there are us stubborn people. wink

    2. janshares profile image94
      jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Great questions, Paul. The old article failed to get on a niche site, IMO, because it was not cohesive. It is well written, but the keywords and SEO did not work; too many ideas (shopping, shopaholic, addiction). It's also under the wrong category (health/mental/addiction), has a poem on the subject (which is one of my signatures, but most poem articles are on LetterPile), and the images may contribute to the conflicting keywords and overall theme of the article.

      The article is about money management and how bad spending habits create financial problems. So, I've rewritten it to possibly fit better under Personal Finance on HP and see if it will get picked up for Tough Nickel.

      I'm not putting the link up because I know we have scammers sniffing around the forums who will not think twice about beating me to my own punch. I'm deleting it now.

      1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
        PaulGoodman67posted 4 months agoin reply to this

        That sounds like a plan! Good luck!

        Ten years ago, I think we could just write whatever we felt like and still have a chance of ranking. Nowadays, it's much tougher and it's hard to rank without being very focused on keywords and the SEO.

        I still have some hubs from back then that do okay but most of them were not successful.

        1. janshares profile image94
          jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

          Thanks again for your help.

  6. janshares profile image94
    jansharesposted 4 months ago

    Thank you to everyone for your helpful input. I'll update you when I post the new article.

    1. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Hooray!! You are in my eyes going for the gusto, writing about a topic you are passionate about, have both new and old knowledge, over the years tuned your writing skills, and are willing to accept the risk assessment for reward.

      Most definitely there will be at least two benefits. One, from the opportunity presented you will be able to see the results of your planning offering new knowledge for the future,

      Two, a higher sense of self-esteem is achieved when you push the publish button. That leads to happiness. Those are a plus, plus as I see it.

      So, is it "Preparation meeting opportunity" also known as 'Luck'?

      Best wishes on the endeavor, Janis!!

      1. janshares profile image94
        jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this

        Ha ha, I see what you did there, Tim. big_smile Thanks for the encouragement. I really appreciate you being a cheerleader.

        1. tsmog profile image84
          tsmogposted 4 months agoin reply to this


  7. Rupert Taylor profile image96
    Rupert Taylorposted 4 months ago

    This thread is what this forum is supposed to be about - Hubbers helping other Hubbers respectfully. Too often it's a channel for delivering spam or for people who get their jollies by being a nuisance.

    1. PaulGoodman67 profile image95
      PaulGoodman67posted 4 months agoin reply to this

      Yes, I agree.

      The number of hubbers engaging with the forums is way smaller than it used to be. I think that maybe lowers the portion of threads that are meaningful. Staff participation tends to be minimal nowadays, too.

      1. janshares profile image94
        jansharesposted 4 months agoin reply to this



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