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There are two things that visitors are going to notice when they first land on one of your pages – how it looks and what it says.  Let’s assume you have hired a professional website designer to create attractive easy-to-negotiate pages, so your website looks great. What about the content?

One of the problems with search engines is that they generally rank old pages above new pages. Google, for example, may talk a lot about ‘fresh content’, but for most searches the pages listed are fairly old.  If your site has been around for awhile then those old pages are going to rank fairly well, even if the information on them is a little outdated.

This is where your reputation could take a real hammering. If visitors feel the information is too old, too out of date, or no longer relevant, there is a good chance they’ll hit the back button rather than seeking fresher content on your site. Flagging the fact that the information is outdated and linking to fresher content may not attract them either.

You have several options. You could redirect to fresher content as long as the new page is about the same subject. You could also rewrite the content to bring it up to date. It seems to be pointless having a redirect to new content when you could simply update the content on that page.

Reputation management starts at home – that is, it starts with what you say and do on your own website. While search engine marketing and social media marketing are all the rage at present, taking time to review those old pages on your website is equally important. Is the content still relevant, accurate, and able to answer the needs of your visitors? If not, give it a lick of polish and bring it up to date.

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