What Is Content Decay? How to Hunt it Down and Fix It

SEO & Content Marketing
Last Updated: June 11, 2023 6 min
Justin Berg
Justin Berg

Founder of Rock The Rankings

Content is the backbone of any online presence.

Regardless of whether that’s video, written, or other forms of content.

But what happens when that content begins to lose its relevancy and eyeballs?

This is the phenomenon of content decay.

Content decay causes a rapid decrease in traffic or engagement – whereas simply by monitoring and being proactive, this can easily be avoided.

Let’s take a deeper look at content decay and how to combat it to keep those top-position rankings.

Identifying Content Decay in Your Content

Content decay is an inevitable fact of life on the internet. Even the most popular, well-written, and informative pieces of content can become outdated or irrelevant with time.

However, the problem is that most content teams and marketers fail to recognize the signs of content decay, resulting in a decline in their online presence and engagement.

One of the most common signs of content decay is a decrease in traffic to your content.

If you notice that the number of visitors to your website has been steadily decreasing over time, it may be an indication that your content is no longer resonating with your audience.

You may want to consider updating your content or creating new pieces that are more relevant and engaging.

Outdated information is another sign of content decay. If your content is no longer accurate or relevant, it may be time to update it.

You can also consider creating new pieces of content that address the same topic but with updated information. This will not only help you maintain your online presence but also establish you as a thought leader in your industry.

How to Identify Content Decay in Your Content

Content decay is a common problem that affects many websites, but it can be easily identified and rectified with the right tools and strategies. In this article, we will explore in more detail what content decay is and how you can identify it on your website.

Content decay occurs when your website content becomes outdated, irrelevant, or inaccurate over time. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as changes in industry trends, new research findings, or updates to search engine algorithms. When your content decays, it can have a negative impact on your website’s search engine rankings, traffic, and engagement metrics.

One way to identify content decay is by auditing your website content regularly. This involves checking the content for outdated or incorrect information, broken links, or outdated graphics. You can use tools such as Google Analytics or SEMrush to identify pages on your website that have low traffic or engagement metrics. This will give you a clear indication of which pages are performing well and which ones require updates or revisions.

Another way to identify content decay is by monitoring your website’s search engine rankings. If your website pages are no longer ranking well for their targeted keywords, it could be a sign that the content needs to be updated or revised. You can use tools such as Ahrefs or Moz to monitor your website’s search engine rankings and identify pages that require attention.

It’s important to note that content decay can also occur on social media platforms. If your social media posts are no longer receiving engagement or are being overshadowed by newer content, it could be a sign that your content needs to be refreshed or repurposed.

In conclusion, content decay is a common problem that can have a negative impact on your website’s search engine rankings, traffic, and engagement metrics. By regularly auditing your website content and monitoring your search engine rankings and social media engagement, you can identify content decay and take the necessary steps to rectify it.

What Tools Are Available to Monitor Content Decay?

Creating high-quality content is essential for maintaining a strong online presence. However, even the best content can decay over time, losing its relevance and value.

Fortunately, several tools are available that can help you monitor content decay and rectify it before it harms your online presence. These include:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you track your website traffic and engagement metrics. By monitoring your website’s traffic sources, bounce rates, and user behavior, you can gain valuable insights into how your content is performing and identify areas for improvement. Additionally, Google Analytics can help you track your website’s conversion rates, allowing you to optimize your content for maximum engagement and ROI.

The 5 methods to fix content decay

Content decay is a common problem that many websites face. It refers to the gradual decline in the relevance and usefulness of website content over time. Identifying content decay is the first step toward fixing the problem. Here are five methods to fix content decay:

1. Update your existing content

One of the simplest ways to fix content decay is to update your existing content. This involves adding new information, updating outdated information, and revising the content to improve its readability and appeal.

By doing so, you can make your content more relevant and useful to your audience, and keep it up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in your industry.

2. Repurpose your content: 

Another effective way to fix content decay is to repurpose your existing content. This involves converting your content into different formats, such as videos, podcasts, content for social, etc.

By doing so, you can give your content new life and appeal to a wider audience.

Repurposing your content also allows you to reach people who prefer different types of content and engage with them in new and exciting ways.

3. Remove irrelevant content

Sometimes, the best way to fix content decay is to remove any content that is no longer relevant or useful to your audience.

This will help you declutter your website and improve its search engine rankings.

Removing irrelevant content also ensures that your website only contains high-quality, useful content that your audience will appreciate and engage with.

4. Interlink your content

Interlinking your website pages is another effective way to fix content decay. This involves linking your content to other related pages on your website.

By doing so, you can improve the accessibility and relevance of your content, and help your audience navigate your website more easily.

Interlinking your content also helps search engines understand the structure of your website and improve its rankings.

5. Build backlinks

Backlinks will help to drive search rankings after you’ve updated the content to ensure it’s recent, and relevant for your audience.

Building links to this page will help it to drive up the search rankings, fast and regain previous (or higher) SERP positions.

Wrapping up on content decay

These are just some of the methods you can use to fix content decay.

By identifying and fixing content decay, you can improve your website’s relevance, engagement, and search engine rankings.

Use the tools and methods mentioned in this article to rectify content decay and keep your online presence fresh, relevant, and engaging.

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