Google’s John Mueller posted on Google+ some basic SEO advice for how to handle recurring events and updated items pages for search and users. For example, if you run an annual conference and you want to post the new agenda for 2018, do you make a new /2018 URL or keep it on the main / conference page?
The answer is, keep it on the main / conference page and then archive the 2017 agenda and content at a /2017 page.
Same with items that get updated, you can keep the original page and archive the old one.
“When people search for our event, they find last year’s listing; help!” Whether it’s an event (FooBarConf 2017), a recurring report (FooBar Earnings Q1 2017), an updated product (FooBarPhone 23) or anything else that has a current version and previous versions, this is a really simple way to help make sure that search is able to easily find the current version.
1. Place the current version on a generic, non-versioned URL (/foobarconf)
2. Copy last year’s version onto a versioned URL (/foobarconf/2016)
3. Browse Twitter or Google+
(Technically the last step isn’t necessary, but if someone asks, you can say you’re just following instructions.)
He then explained why this helps Google and why sometimes Google doesn’t follow their own advice:
Doing it this way will help the generic URL to gain value over the years, while still allowing the older versions to be accessible if someone explicitly looks for them. Another advantage of this setup is that it’s trivial for folks to find and go to the current version. FWIW we get this wrong at Google, with our own content, from time to time too — it looks simple and obvious, and like many such things, you only notice it when things don’t work as expected.
I believe John gave different advice in the past, a really really long time ago. But I can’t quickly find it in my archives. In any event, the advice above is what people practically do and should be followed.
Forum discussion at Google+.
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