SEO

Keep an Eye on What You Are Publishing Online

I was sitting here, drinking an iced coffee and enjoying my day.  Writing a little Blog post, answering a few emails – catching up on things and BAM out of nowhere, an old site from my past caught up with me.

Suddenly there it was on my screen, 2, shall we say less than friendly tweets, about an old site I had with obviously old information.  They took pleasure in lambasting me for having old content out there.  They were kind enough to remind me that it was the year 2011 (Phew, can cross looking up what year it is off my To Do list for the day!! Excellent!) and my content was dated.

Now, I hadn’t touched the site in at least 6 years and even then my web guy just updated the copyright, it’s been about 9 – 10 years since I really updated the site.  But there it sits, out there for the world to see, with my name on it.  Shame on me!

So forget the tweets, they aren’t important – that they chose to insult instead of trying to help a fellow colleague says more about them than me.  But what was important was they were right – I had an old site sitting out there for the world to see.

It bears repeating: shame on me!

In today’s internet with the ability to find anything and everything, you need to be careful what you have out there.  People will find it.  And even if I am not publishing that as new content today, I still put it out there and left it out there, so I am responsible for it.

<For those who are wondering, the offending piece of content was that I mentioned Alta Vista in a list of engines and I didn’t have Bing listed.>

There are 2 problems with having that content out there:

  1. For those that are “in the know” it hurts my credibility to see that I still have old content published.  They don’t know that it isn’t a site I use (aside from the dated content, the order links on the page didn’t even work anymore!)
  2. For those that aren’t “in the know” they would never know that the content was old and irrelevant and would just believe it because they read it, so there is an issue with the quality of information that is out there when it gets out of date.

The misinformation spreading mentioned in point 2 concerns me more.  There are enough SEO myths out there floating around without adding old content that is seen as current into the mix to further confuse people.

So what to do?

Keep an “asset” list.  What Blogs, sites, autoresponder messages etc do you have out there that are currently serving up any information at all?

List when they were last updated and a few times a year (or once a year at a bare minimum) check it out and make sure you keep all the information current.  It’s pretty easy to do and it’ll keep you from misleading people and looking less than credible.

You see, I just stopped using that site; I used it for years and then decided to change my focus.  I meant to go back and clean it up but I got busy and I forgot.

We all get busy and we have so many things to manage now – sites, Blogs, social media accounts, articles, autoresponder messages etc.  But it’s important that we all do our part to keep our information current and to put our best foot (and content) forward.

Not a long post this time and not a super in-depth analysis of a topic but an important reminder for all of us who manage many “assets” online.

So get checking and clean up what you have out there, or one day half way through your own iced coffee, it’ll pop up and bite you in the butt too.

So I learned a little lesson and have some work to do now to do my own clean up.  While I work on that, I will remain grateful for one thing…. while hunting through old content, at least they didn’t dig up any old photos of me from back in the day.  Bad 80s hair, nice blue eye shadow… now that would have been really embarrassing!

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Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz is the Director of Marketing for www.EcomBuffet.com – a full service SEO, Web Design & Development and Social Media Firm. Since 1998 Jennifer’s expertise in marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has helped clients increase revenue. Jennifer has been published in many SEO and marketing publications. Jennifer Horowitz is the author of Twitter Quickstart Success Training System, Blogging For Dollars, Optimization Step By Step: 2010 and more. You can follow Jennifer on Twitter at @ecombuffet. For more information on SEO, Twitter training or killer Facebook Fan Pages, contact Jennifer at jennifer@ecombuffet.com.
3c780a5df66ea0e86e6c6bf65056971f 64 Keep an Eye on What You Are Publishing Online

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16 thoughts on “Keep an Eye on What You Are Publishing Online

  1. When you have a really active content marketing campaign, it’s hard to keep track of everything you’ve put out there. Some of it is going to get lost in the shuffle and become outdated as the times change, there is no way around that. I know that there are old blog posts I’ve written that don’t have any relevant information in today’s online world, but what do I do with them? I actually like to write “follow up” posts to content like that. This is how it was, this is how it is now.

    1. Nick – so true.  For Blog posts, I agree that is the best approach – thanks for sharing the tip.  For “corporate sites” I do think we need to keep track of them and be sure the content there is either current or take the site down.  That was definitely my bad.  But your point about Blogs is a good one – we use them to report news, tips and information so they do become dated at some point.

  2. So true and a lot of information is just the same old thing getting rewritten time and time again.  I think there should be a Google Destructobot that goes an cleans up the Internet of unnecessary clutter.

  3. So true and a lot of information is just the same old thing getting rewritten time and time again.  I think there should be a Google Destructobot that goes an cleans up the Internet of unnecessary clutter.

  4. A lot of information does get lost, and if it was not for those people who found your old site you would not remember you had it. So I find it important to listen and follow what others have to say about you online…sometimes they might know or remember more then we do about ourselves.:)

  5. A lot of information does get lost, and if it was not for those people who found your old site you would not remember you had it. So I find it important to listen and follow what others have to say about you online…sometimes they might know or remember more then we do about ourselves.:)

  6. I think too many people try to promote their own sites by criticising other peoples. Any knowledgable reader will see the date of the post surely ? …

    1. Amen!!  Many people will try to elevate themselves by putting others down.  It truly says more about them than the person they are attacking.  Still we are responsible for what we put out there and need to be aware.  As I mentioned on a few other comments, Blog posts aren’t as much of a concern as sites.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  7. Excellent article, Jennifer. I rail all the time to my clients about old content, especially with dates involved. The web is about the NOW. Not staying current is one of the worst sins.

  8. Now you have loads of us worrying and busy this weekend checking old content. I’ve left blog posts still live that were spot on when posted but have left them be – perhaps time to review and remove those no longer of use to anyone…

    Thank you for reminding us all

    1. Thanks Babs!  I hope I inspired and not worried people.  LOL  I do think posts are OK to be left, they do have date stamps on them and as Nick suggested you can always get more mileage by creating a new post with updates.  What’s more concerning to me are sites with no dates that are “static” and forgotten out there!

  9. Great advice, Jennifer!  Any idea on how to get an old newspaper article from 1994 in appearing FIRST in Google? Information is old and we’ve added tons of articles, blogs, Tweets, new websites, etc. and we just can’t get this old article to go away!  Besides calling the newspaper, are there any other options?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!