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I have a SEO question: I have a celebrity niched site that I used to post to all the time and it was up to 4,000+ uniques a day from Google traffic (2 years ago), but I have't posted any new content to that site in basically 2 years and the dailies have dropped all the way down to 150. Crazy drop... I just hired a full time writer and am wondering if I should revamp / post to my old site, or if I should just create a fresh new site.

Advantage of using old site:

  • It has site age of about 4 years.
  • It has a lot of old content.
  • Would posting new content possibly make the old content re-rank in the search engines?

Disadvantage of using old site:

  • I wonder if the new content won't rank well because I haven't posted in 2 years the traffic dropped off so much? Has the site's reputation been tarnished?

Advantage of using new site:

  • It's a fresh start and I can create good reputation to search engines. I can establish to the search that new content will consistently be posted.

Disadvantage of using new site:

  • Site age.

  • I don't want to repeat the same thing where there's a spike in traffic for a while then it drops off if I lose interest.

What approach do you believe offers the most upside? Also, please explain some legitimate pros / cons of each approach. I believe I addressed my concerns, I'm just not 100% sure on SEO fact / fiction. Ideas?

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I think if the content that you're going to be posting is in the same niche as the domain that was previously successful, that you should almost always use the previous domain instead of a new one.

There's a lot of advantages to having a successful old domain that was yours and didn't drop.

  1. Trust

    Google once trusted your website as a great source. And it still probably has some trust for it because of your past success.

  2. Brand

    If your old website was successful as a brand, and people were talking about you on the web and actually searching for your site in Google, then Google sees you as important. This naturally ranks you above sites that haven't established themselves as a brand yet.

  3. Old users

    If there is any loyalty from people who used to use your site, they are more likely to continue using your site once you start posting fresh content than they are if they discovered a brand new site that they never heard of.

  4. Links

    If there are active backlinks pointing to your site that are in your niche, these will still rank you and pass you link juice.

Google understands that brands rise and fall, some rise again. It's natural for that to occur in the ecosystem that we're in. I think the uphill battle of a brand new domain is much higher than an established one. Unless you have some amazing strategy to build your brand awareness for a new company, I think it's better to stick with the success that you've had.

  • Thank you for your insight @Michael d. Do you have any thoughts on if posting to an old site after 2 years can make the old content jump back up in the rankings after a while of new consistent content? I would think so, but I don't have any hard evidence to back that up. – Graham Mar 18 '18 at 20:25
  • I used to run this old site that was once getting tens of millions of views a month, and it dropped down to a few hundred thousand a couple of years later. I put a new platform on the domain with fresh content and it jumped back up to a million unique visitors coming from Google each month. So I do think that it's very possible to revitalize an old domain as long as it hasn't dropped. And if your new content brings in traffic, links, shares, and users then the old content is quite likely to get more traffic as well. – Michael d Mar 18 '18 at 20:59
  • Google grades sites a lot based on how important it thinks that site is. You have a site that used to be important and in some ways it still is. If you add fresh content and make it important again the older content it likely to become more important too – Michael d Mar 18 '18 at 21:00
  • Definitely, thanks for that insight! I was thinking the same thing. Well, I think that pretty much answers my question and reaffirms what I thought. Revamping the old site will be my plan. Thanks Michael! – Graham Mar 18 '18 at 21:11
  • Sure thing Graham. I hope it turns out great! – Michael d Mar 18 '18 at 21:18

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