Ask An Ambassador: Should You Purge Old Posts?

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

I wrote our first ActiveRain post back in 2010.  Since then, I've added over 4,000 more.  A lot of those early ones were written with blogging training wheels, they didn't accomplish much!  Maybe too close to a rant, no reason for a consumer to reach out to us, not a lot (if any) eye candy.  There was still a LOT left to learn about blogging effectively!

So that brings to mind a question, should we purge old posts that no longer serve a purpose?

I can provide a rationale for leaving any posts that have a direct real estate tie-in:  market reports, new listings, open houses, sold, etc.  FAQ question style posts continue to serve their purpose too.  Even if they're old, they at least provide breadcrumbs that tie you to your local real estate market.

But there are other posts that have long passed their expiration dates or for other reasons could easily be justified for removal. My experience has been that consumers find blog posts and don't read the date of the post and don't realize that blog posts are often like newspaper articles, accurate at time of writing, but subject to losing currency.

Should we keep posts:

Promoting small businesses that are no longer in business? 

Even if real estate related that bring you undesired calls (there's a reason I don't write about sheriff's sales any longer).

Where the comment thread was hijacked?

Specific to ActiveRain of the past, and not the ActiveRain of today?  How to posts can go out of date.

You have several options:

Delete the posts

Move the posts to Draft.

Leave 'em.

If you're worried about losing points, don't worry.  If I'm remembering correctly, the scoring algorithm doesn't keep going back in history to see if scoring events are still there.  If you've passed 6 months, moving a post to draft or deleting a post will not hurt your point totals.

Cleaning up your blog posts isn't necessarily a high priority task.  A little here, a little there is probably the best approach vs. going all in for a massive review. 

Of course, a better return on your time is writing NEW posts that reach your target audience.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comments (26)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I think a lot of posts can be evergreen, but it takes visual level of Curation and going through all your stuff to realize which ones can be used that way.

Feb 06, 2024 09:16 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Evergreen posts are my preferred posts to write.

Feb 07, 2024 05:16 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

I have wondered about this... I thought there was some negative to removing posts. I should remove some...even though I don't have that many!

However, I did have someone contact me in our community to ask if they could use one of my blog photos for the upcoming winter carnival. The senior center wanted to use it for their newsletter! That was nice! 

Thank you for this post it is good information!

Feb 07, 2024 01:23 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Always nice to have confirmation potential clients are finding your posts!

Feb 07, 2024 05:17 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

Great topic to address on the posts!

To leave or not to leave them is the question.

A lot of my posts are more about the area, things to do and community. I see those as posts to update (if I remember to do that). 

Surprisingly, I still receive comments on some of them.

Feb 07, 2024 04:19 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Faye, I think if a post is going to help you get results on the "real estate agent near me" searches by establishing you to a geographic area, they still have value to leave visible.

Feb 07, 2024 05:19 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Hmm, it may be time for me to go back and look at some of them. If they are no longer applicable and/or won't serve any purpose, it could be time to remove a few. Good point!

Feb 07, 2024 04:30 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

In your leisure time :)

Feb 07, 2024 05:19 AM
Kat Palmiotti

haha, exactly!

Feb 07, 2024 07:31 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I would say not to purge, although didn't ActiveRain purge quite a bit a while back?  It seems that we can get calls from the old posts, even when the information is outdated and we may feel like they were poorly written, haha.

Feb 07, 2024 05:04 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

ActiveRain hasn't purged any posts.  There was a glitch a few years ago that wiped a month's worth of posts, but they were brought back after work by the development team. 

Old posts can continue to work for us if they're on a topic that consumers still need answers to.

Feb 07, 2024 05:21 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Interesting post and who knows if an old post may prompt a phone call or email?

Feb 07, 2024 06:42 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Old posts give us calls and emails regularly, but there are others (e.g. a post about the 2010 World Cup) that I know shouldn't ever bring me business.

Feb 07, 2024 08:06 AM
Margaret Goss
@Properties - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

A good reminder for a rainy day. I have featured many businesses that have long since closed and I usually just update the post to say that. Maybe better to delete completely.

Feb 07, 2024 06:51 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I had a mix of UPDATE:  CLOSED and others that didn't, so just moving them all to draft.

Feb 07, 2024 08:05 AM
Matt Brady
Watermark Capital - Del Mar, CA
One of San Diego's Best Lenders

Good morning Bliz, I started blogging with AR to promote single property websites for my RE agents. I suppose I can delete those. I do like looking back on my Rate Watch and financial posts to see what the markets were like and if my predictions came true.

Feb 07, 2024 07:02 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Matt, I don't see harm in leaving those posts as they associate you with your service area.

Feb 07, 2024 08:05 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

You know I never thought about those closed businesses.  I might have to see if I can easily find some of those and delete them.

Feb 07, 2024 07:43 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I just cleaned out about a dozen posts related to local closed businesses.  When I have time I'll check to see if I have a few more that fit that category.

Feb 07, 2024 08:04 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Especially true if you use a photo taken 20 years ago. Delete iit.

Feb 07, 2024 08:46 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Just use some of that Vintage filter :)

Feb 07, 2024 10:46 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

I did purge a bunch of posts awhile back and honestly it's  a lot of work to do so! At the time I thought it was important and it probably was as it was a totally different place we were in and what the audience was.

Feb 07, 2024 09:50 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's definitely not a quick process to sort through posts, although there were a couple of defunct businesses I'd done multiple posts on, so keyword search on stats brought those posts up to revert to draft.

Feb 07, 2024 10:48 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Bill,

A great idea and one I'll have to work on..hadn't thought about closed businesses! I need to go back when I have some down time!

Feb 07, 2024 10:37 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You can see your grands go from cashew sized to high school through the course of your blog :)  Good to have that history available!

Feb 07, 2024 10:48 AM
Joyce Marsh
Joyce Marsh Real Estate LLC - Daytona Beach, FL
Joyce Marsh Luxury Homes & Interior Designer

This is an interesting point, and as many of the others here have pointed out, I guess it depends on the subject matter and views? I’ve been reluctant to purge but I’m open to hearing more on this subject.

Feb 07, 2024 02:27 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Agreed, the subject definitely matters.  I'd say views less so depending on whether the views are the type you want (e.g. I stopped certain subjects that ranked, but were getting me the "wrong" kind of calls).

Feb 07, 2024 06:57 PM
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

While I don’t use AR much anymore I used to post frequently and we held some fun meetings in my area that usually brought about 2 dozen people.  Recently I used the site to find a referal source and was thinking of deleting some old content and maybe adding some new content.  After 6 years in Hawaii I have decided not to return to California but head east to Nashville Tennessee… I think I’ll pick up where I left off when I make the move…

Feb 08, 2024 09:58 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

ActiveRain has been my go to for referrals for years.  I like getting to know a bit more about people than just a standard brand directory allows.

That's quite a change in geography for you!

Feb 09, 2024 06:20 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Like so many, when first starting, I really had no clue how to write a blog but will leave them as a guide from then to now. Your idea about deleting businesses that no longer exist makes sense, Bliz!

Feb 08, 2024 04:27 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've cleaned out some, many more that could go as I have time.

Feb 09, 2024 06:21 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

Blogging training wheels. I love that! And yes, I was a newbie many years ago and truly had no clue what I was doing. I do have a lot in the draft box that I need to take a look at.

Feb 08, 2024 06:30 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

A lot of my early posts would not see the light of day today.  A lot of good advice provided by Rainers such as Anita Clark that got me on the right track to get results.

Feb 09, 2024 06:22 AM
Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308
Stake Your Land Realty, Inc. - Eustis, FL
Broker/Owner, SFR®, e-PRO®, GRI, AHWD, REALTOR®

Liz and Bill Spear 

I am glad you posted, I was thinking about the same thing about a week ago.

Feb 10, 2024 06:20 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The work of a blogger is never done :)

Feb 10, 2024 02:41 PM
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Evolution - 447 Boston Street, Suite #5, Topsfield, MA - Topsfield, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Good Morning Liz and Bill Spear 

Good post. I hadn't thought of deleting old posts. Another item on my to-do list

Feb 10, 2024 10:23 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

To do lists are like the hydra, get one done, another two appear :)

Feb 10, 2024 02:42 PM
Dan Hopper
Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE - Westminster, CO
Colorado Broker / Referral Services

A lot of good points about deleting old posts / data... ironically, some of the posts I had done over 12 yrs ago, might be relevant to issues of today, like avoiding foreclosures.

Feb 11, 2024 03:58 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Wait long enough and real estate comes full circle :)

Feb 11, 2024 12:19 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I'm sure we all have a few that could be purged. Poorly written, off-topic, who wants to read rants!? I have deleted some of my older posts because I was embarrassed with how they came across. Going to take a quick look. Thanks, Bill, for always making valuable contributions. :)

Feb 11, 2024 10:04 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Some posts are difficult to write without the possibility of ranting being perceived.  I've kicked quite a few posts to the Draft folder over the years because I didn't like the tone of the post. 

Feb 11, 2024 12:21 PM