This vitally simple SEO tip allows you to harness legacy pages to augment present-tense SEO efforts. When stale pages plateau, then simply put them to work by transferring that authority by creating new landing pages and harvesting the link equity and trust they have acquired.
Time (both freshness and trust) are powerful ranking factors when combined. The older the pages are in your website, the more potential link juice (to rank other pages) they can harbor. Don’t think in terms of raw power in the sense of page freshness, but aged pages are alternatively algorithmically elevated as a result of passing spot checks over time in the repository (where search results are returned from) where query data is cached and archived to feed SERP results.
If a page is spidered and indexed over several months, just like wine it gets stronger if augmented from within a site or from other sites. The result, aged pages typically rank on less inbound links and are more difficult to assess from a competitive SEO standpoint, meaning when your competition is trying to figure out why your pages rank outrank theirs for multiple keywords.
One sure way to revive archived or dormant pages is to link to them from new sources. If you define your ranking objectives (from skimming analytics), you can create new benchmarks and consolidate legacy pages by harvesting SERP and click through data and target rankings on page 2 for promotion and create new landing pages to augment a jump to the top 10 for that new page.
The combination of (a) using a seasoned page with trust (b) a keyword-rich contextual internal anchor text / link to the new page to pass along citation and (c) a few authoritative inbound links from pages with trust and do-follow status are enough to launch a buoyant mid tail ranking (a national keyword).
This strategy works particularly well with aged pages 9 months or older that are exhibiting the ability to rank for their primary keywords and a few alternative synonyms or inverted shingles (groups of words).
Aged pages usually require a fraction of the backlinks to acquire a visible search engine result page position. Also, once a page is in the top 10 results for a specific keyword variation, it has algorithmically proceeded through a series of filters that consider factors such as (1) citation – how many links a page has, “both from internal or external inbound links” (2) content relevance and (3) is the page a preferred landing page or a supporting page designed to pass along ranking factor.
Yet, to expedite alternative keyword variations, it is sometime quicker to just create a new page using exact match naming conventions in the URL (spell-it-out.html) in tandem with a similar h1 and title tag to create the perfect apex for a specific keyword variation.
Each page can easily rank for 2-3 keyword variations depending on what is present (1) on the page (2) in the title and meta data and (3) present in the internal or external inbound links from other sites (each represents 1/3 of the ranking equation) however the thresholds change based on competition, keyword saturation and demand as result of query deserves freshness.
The takeaway here is to leverage legacy content for internal links in batches of 5-10 pages per round, until the new landing page has enough traction to stand on its own new found relevance score as a result of link juice, trust and relevance signals.