This topic was last updated on 19.06.2020
When a community becomes more mature some of the provided information or answers given might become outdated. Since a community should help people to find the right information, this outdate information should be taken care of.
Removing older topics or moving topics to an ‘archive’ category is not always the best option. By doing so, you might delete popular community pages from Google search result pages which can lead to a huge decrease in visitors via organic search. Instead of deleting old content, it can be better to update the content of the outdated topics. Of course, it will be impossible to check every single topic in the community, but with the following approach the information on the community can be updated without putting in too much unneeded effort. It is advised to check for topics that need to be updated twice a year.
4 steps to update topics
Step 1: Create a list of the most visited topics of the last year
Visit the Google Analytics page that covers the analytics of the community or any other analytics tool you might have in place like Omniture. If you use Google Search Console, you can easily find out which topics where the most important ones for your community since your last review.
Step 2: Export the top 1000 mos read pages
To check if 1000 topics make sense, you can take a look at the number of views. You can also decide on the number of pages to check based on the views and for instance only check pages that are viewed over 100 times. You may not need to check the content of 1000 pages. You may not need to check the content of 1000 pages. You should look for the most viewed topics to make sure you are only changing topics that are still being visited. You can export the most read pages via the ‘export’ button on the top left corner in Google Analytics.
Step 3: Divide the topics among your moderators
Now that you have all your most viewed topics in the last year, it is time to divide the work among your team. For instance, every moderator can check 100 topics. This might look like a lot of topics, but in the top 1000 pages there will be a lot of topics that are still containing the right information, category pages, profile pages, etc. In most cases only 1 out of 10 to 20 topics have to be adjusted.
Step 4: Update the topic content
When you look at updating content, there are multiple ways to do it:
1) You can update the topic by adding the right information in the opening post. This is recommended if you work with official guides, FAQs etc. - so content from you and your colleagues.
With our callout feature, you can highlight then when the topic was updated last - just like in this article. This gives the best experience, as users immediately see that the content indeed is up-to-date, regardless when the article has been published initially.
2) Instead of adding the new information you can also link to a newer topic that contains the right information. This is recommended for Q&A topics which get a ton of traffic, but are not as helpful as other content.
Also here you can work with the callout feature - this way you do not need to change the actual content generated by users (which can be weird as users might not appreciate you changing their post). An update could look something like this:
Please note that this content is outdated and/or will not help you as much as this guide: link
This approach might also contribute to a higher ranking of the updated topic in Google since it will lead to clicks and visitors to the newer topic.
3) Another approach is to edit someting into the answer that is marked so the right information will also appear in the first comment. This again can be done with a note that you have edited information and when this has been done.
In the end, it should be the customer experience leading your decision how to update outdated content. In each case however, it should be clear to the user that there has been an update, otherwise users might not trust the information.