This post is just an introduction to a concept I think is important for content sites to be aware of, and that is content rot.
It's not based on any SEO principle.
What is content rot?
Content rot is the idea that the quality of content that you out out today will be sub-standard, or below the relevant standards in a few years.
How much effort you put into your content and the standard that you write at today helps to determine how long it's good for.
Based purely on Skylar's observation, most content will decay in quality at about 25% per year. It's more accurate to think of this as your content only being 75% as good as the previous year, as opposed to it being 0% after 4 years.
There's multiple ways to look at this:
- 25% of your content will drop below "good" every year
- your content will need to be rewritten, rephotographed or re-video'd every 4 years
The bar for how thoroughly a recipe should be written, how detailed the process shots are and whether or not you have a video is constantly being raised. In 2023, any post without process shots needs to be reshot. They should also typically be numbered, and we're starting to consider video a requirement for recipes.
Managing content rot
In order to keep content quality as high as possible, we recommend updating all your content once per year except your top traffic drivers.
For each page, this can involve:
- answering reader questions
- checking how the search results have changed for your primary keyword
- rewriting the headings
- numbering process shots
- removing post/block-specific styling
This means that the more content you create, the more content you have to update each year.
Aiming to do this at least 1 month (maybe 2 months) before the post peaks in seasonality is a good idea.
An easy way to manage this is to organize your posts seasonally using the Holidays feature in the Feast Plugin.
The effort you put into writing, photographing and filming high quality content goes a long way towards keeping it competitive.