How Should You Handle Expired Content?

How Should You Handle Expired Content?

How should you handle expired content? Any SEO in control of a dynamic website, whether it be an e-commerce, classified, or seasonal/promotional site will find handling outdated material to be a frightening thought. When a website has gathered tens of thousands of 404 errors, even something as simple as looking at the Google Webmaster Analytics accounts for the site might cause intense feelings. Content that can’t be found by search engines and only gets lost in Google’s index. This article will help you with building a content marketing strategy on how to handle expired content within your WordPress site.

What Content Is Considered Expired?

There are numerous instances of content that would be deemed “expired.” On a website, expired content refers to material that has passed its expiration date. The instances that need to be seen as expired content are illustrated below.

  • Real estate ads and job searches: Job postings frequently expire, particularly when positions are filled. When real estate is traded, the same holds true.
  • E-commerce: When items sold on the website frequently change for a variety of reasons, expired products may result.

The fact that sites with expired content concerns are sometimes huge and contain hundreds of thousands of pages is arguably the most crucial factor.

The Possibilities

There isn’t absolutely one correct approach, like with most SEO strategies. Each specific circumstance must be examined on a case-by-case basis while taking into account the site’s present back-end, its team’s skills, and its technological prowess. Each of these strategies for dealing with expired content has its own time and location. Finding the ideal setting for each circumstance is quite effective.

404 Error

It makes perfect sense for webmasters to believe that the best course of action is to 404 the site’s expired content.

Downsides of 404 pages

404ing pages that were previously live on the site is just bad for SEO because it informs search engines that the site contains issues. In essence, you’re wasting the site’s crawl budget by indexing and crawling outdated content.

Custom 404 Page

Consider making a custom 404 page if you have to 404 pages for any reason, so that visitors can convert if they arrive on the page.

The Permanent 301 Redirect: Positive aspects of 301 Redirects

We would advise 301 forwarding your expired content to the next page in the vast majority of circumstances. This is typically the greatest solution for SEO and may be tailored to improve the user experience using messages that are generated dynamically. For example, when a product page had gained external connections. The 301 redirect would allow you to keep the majority of the link equity from those links. Why on earth would you want to throw away all of the link equity you have worked so hard to build? Additionally, it shows search engines that your website is well-maintained and current, or “fresh.”

Where should these pages be 301 redirected to?

Take into account what will provide the optimal user experience. These pages should be forwarded to the most pertinent page. The breadcrumbs should be examined, and the page should be redirected based on the site’s internal navigation. For example, the product page might be routed to the most pertinent subcategory page.

Automatically Produced Messages

By integrating a dynamically created message via cookies after a 301 redirect, you may personalize and enhance the user experience. This is a sign of good communication. Users who have arrived on expired products would then receive a message notifying them that the original product they were looking for is no longer accessible. By explaining why they are being routed, this improves the user experience.

Negative aspects of 301 redirects

Implementing several 301 redirects may have an impact on server performance for some sites. Though for a well-designed site, this should not be an issue. Site speed is a ranking issue for search engines, therefore if this is the case for your website, we should be cautious about the effects this method may have.

Delete the Page from the Website: The Benefits of Leaving the Page 

Product pages occasionally receive substantial traffic. Or have a wealth of original material with information that is still relevant to readers. Even if the page offers original, excellent, evergreen content, it would be worthwhile to leave the original product there with a disclaimer that it has been retired.

How Might You Configure the Message?

Develop a JS overlay that would direct customers to new products that are identical to the one that has been cancelled. To increase traffic to those sites, think about including internal links that target specific keywords. This enhances the user experience and is crucial for retaining customers.

Negative Effects of Leaving the Page as-Is

The act of leaving outdated pages on a website should be avoided, especially if they don’t add to its value. Because as you keep adding more product pages to the site, search engine bots will need more bandwidth to crawl your site.


The best way to handle expired content, in our opinion, is to simply leave it there. During the course of an online campaign, organizations will often find themselves posting archived information. Or content that updates only occasionally. Maintaining a presence on social media is important in these cases. And by keeping your expired content around you can show people that you’re still active on social media. Despite the fact that your site isn’t fully up to date.

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