How often do you blog? For me, I write at least 10 articles every week on a wide range of topics. In the course of writing those articles, do you ever cover the exact same topic twice? I'll bet you do! I know I have, many times. Understand that I'm talking about the exact same, specific topic, such as a place or event, not a market report. Any topic where the keywords and subject matter don't change much from article to article.
I wrote an article about local libraries and used the keywords "library", "los altos", and "leave library system" in both the title and the body of the article. The article I wrote a few months ago got a few hundred hits and has some priority in the rankings when searching for those terms. It's a good hyper-local article that got the attention of quite a few people in my area.
Fast forward to now and the topic is back in the mainstream media. So, I'm thinking of writing another article about what's happening with the local libraries. Should I write a new article? If I do, will the new article displace the old one in the rankings and if so, what if it isn't as successful? Did I just destroy the ranking of a good, mature article?
Consider these points:
- Google now prioritizes "freshness" along with "authority" (aka breadth, depth, and age of topics on the site)
- Linking back to the original article will help both but will the newest article might not be first
It seems to me that it might actually be better to update the content on the original article instead of writing an entirely new one. Even if it's entirely new content, the new article may not rank as high. Of course, this is only applicable to articles written on the exact same topic - which is rare. I know that when blogging on the same topics Google will cluster those topics in the results but that cluster may not be specific enough for someone doing a search. A single article will show up better to most people.
So - update old articles or write new ones on the exact same topic - which is better?