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My family isn’t a big fan of spicy foods, so while everyone was out over this past weekend, I had an opportunity to make something tasty, just for me.

I knew I had a jar left over from a two-pack of butter chicken curry from Costco. Yes, it’s a canned sauce, but it’s actually pretty tasty.

I got everything ready – sliced up some carrots, diced up some chicken thighs, dreamt about making some naan, and soaked some basmati.

I had it all ready to go and then I dug the jar out of the back of the pantry and discovered that the lid came off waaaay too easily.

The seal was still in place, but when I took off the lid, it was clear that the sauce was now a Sith – it’d gone to the dark side and there was no way to bring it back.

I checked the best before date, and sure enough, it had expired. In 2018. Blech.

So, instead of a tasty Indian treat I had to go with something else, and for dessert I got to clean out my pantry.

I found all kinds of ingredients that I’d bought to create special treats, made them once and then forgot about them, as well as more expired cans than I care to admit. Smoked oysters last forever, right?

Once I was done, the pantry was a bit leaner, but I knew where everything was and that everything that remained would be used. Soon’ish.

Your website is kinda like a pantry. You have a stockpile of articles and case studies that you’ve acquired over the years. Your content might not have a best before date, and ideally, some of it is fairly evergreen (immortal, like Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers), but realistically, much of it is past its prime. If you check your analytics, you’ll see that these once-fresh articles are now only bringing in an occasional visitor, usually with a sweet 100% bounce rate and a read time of 10sec. Or less.

Unlike my rogue gallery of tinned goods, you don’t have to throw out all of your old content. Take a look at what you have, see what people are using, and update the content so that it’s fresh and appealing. Are you in the techspace with an ancient article about Google Wave? Update it with new info about Google’s current and future lineup, with predictions about their viability. Is there an article about the ‘up-and-coming’ Bitcoin and blockchain? Refresh it with an update that provides your audience with current and accurate info, with links to better posts on your site.

You probably have a few older posts on your site with a similar theme. Tie them together and present them as a single post, with relevant updates. Make it easy for your readers to get all of the info they want in one place.

If there’s no hope of saving some of your old content – quick posts about events that happened once and never again or internal changes that don’t mean anything today – be smart about it. Use a 301 redirect if you have a better target, or use a 410 to let the search engines know the content has been deleted.

Need a hand with your current content or content strategy? Contact me and we can go through your site to see what’s working, what can be updated and improved, and what should be tossed out.

And since I’m still craving something tasty, I’m having lunch at Turmeric, my favourite Indian buffet, to get some delicious curry that didn’t come from an expired can.

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