Let’s say you spent all this time writing an excellent post a few weeks ago, but now some new information has come out that makes this post seem old. It was a lot of work, and the post is still quality. Still, you don’t know what to do about it. Should you create a new post with the new content or update an old post with the new content?
Update the Old
First off let me explain why anyone would bother updating a post. You would update an older post that brings in a lot of traffic so that it can still be thought of as useful by the users. You certainly can’t argue an old post receiving more stumbles, can you? This is one of the primary reasons to keep older quality content up-to-date. However, frequent changes can change SEO rankings.
A new post with the updated content (which, preferably, links to the old) could be a great way to handle this situation. A new page is better for SEO purposes, and it also gives readers something new to look at. Both of these results are reasons enough to hit the “new post” button on your content management system.
Why Not Do Both?
The solution, in my opinion, would be to write a new post now and update the old post later. Obviously, you want to create the new post to give readers something to read, and people could simply go back to the old article via links if they wished. Afterwards, you update your old post with some of the new information, and then link to your newer post. This gives people that come from search engines and social sites a reason to go to another page on your site, and if that happens, they are much more likely to subscribe.
I make a habit to update older posts on my blogs, and while many of my readers will never notice these changes, I have seen the impacts it can have with driving new visitors to updated content.
Essentially, you get the best of both worlds using this method, and I think you should give it a try. I think the potential for more stumbles, diggs, reddits, and traffic far outweighs any SEO penalties an article might receive. I also really appreciate an author who takes the time to keep older content up-to-date—it shows that he or she cares about what was written.