• author: Robbie Richards

How to Map Publish Dates to Blog URLs to Prioritize Content Relaunch Efforts

Are you looking to breathe new life into your blog content and improve your organic traffic? One way to prioritize your content relaunch efforts is by mapping publish dates to all of your blog URLs. This will enable you to quickly identify outdated content that needs to be updated or consolidated to improve its search engine ranking.

In this article, we'll guide you through the easy steps to use Screaming Frog, a popular tool for SEO and content audits, to extract the publish date information from your blog's source code and crawl your website to organize and filter URLs based on their publish dates.

Here's how to get it done:

Step 1: Selecting the CSS Selector of the Publish Timestamp

The first thing you need to do is identify the CSS selector of the publish timestamp on your blog post. To do this, simply highlight the timestamp on the blog post and inspect the source code by right-clicking and selecting "Inspect".

This will take you to the source code where the timestamp entry is located. Highlight the element and right-click to "Copy Selector". This will copy the CSS selector that you need to paste into Screaming Frog.

Step 2: Setting up Custom Extraction in Screaming Frog

Next, you need to set up the Custom Extraction feature in Screaming Frog to extract the dates from your site's URLs. Here is how:

  1. Go to the "Configuration" tab in Screaming Frog.
  2. Click on the "Custom Extraction" tab from the menu on the left-hand side.
  3. Name the custom extraction "date".
  4. Change the extraction type to "CSS Path" and paste the CSS selector that you copied in Step 1.
  5. Select "Extract Text" instead of "Extract Inner HTML".
  6. Click "OK" to save the custom extraction.

Step 3: Setting up the Crawl Configuration in Screaming Frog

Now it's time to configure Screaming Frog to crawl your website. Here's an example configuration:

  1. Under "Crawl", select "Internal" and deselect "images", "CSS", and "JavaScript" unless you need them.
  2. Select "Canonicals" and "Page Next/Prev".
  3. Check for links "Outside of start folder".
  4. Under the "Extraction" tab, include "Title" and "Word Count".
  5. Leave everything else as default.

Step 4: Running the Screaming Frog Crawl

Once you've configured Screaming Frog, it's time to run the crawl:

  1. Insert your domain and click "Start".
  2. Wait for the crawl to finish, and then scroll across to the "Date" column.
  3. Clear the rows with empty cells or filter to show only the timestamps.
  4. Further filter by year to show only the posts published within a certain period.

Alternatively, if you want to speed things up, you can use the "Include" option in the Configuration tab to crawl only the content you're interested in, e.g., by selecting only your blog directory.

Step 5: Determining Which Content Needs Updating

Now that you've extracted the publish dates from your blog post URLs, you'll be able to determine which content needs updating. From here, you can decide which articles to prioritize based on their age, word count, and other factors.

However, before you start removing or consolidating old content, you should conduct a full content audit process. Consider mapping traffic, backlink, conversion data, and other data points to help you identify which pieces of content are worth updating or consolidating to maximize their SEO potential.

Final Thoughts

By following these easy steps, you can quickly map publish dates to your blog URLs and prioritize your content relaunch efforts. While Screaming Frog makes this process simple, it's essential to perform a full content audit to ensure you're updating or consolidating the right content pieces, and not removing valuable assets from your site.

If you're interested in learning more about conducting a complete content audit, check out our Content Audit Playbook course. If you found this article useful, please hit the like button and consider subscribing to our channel for more actionable content like this. Good luck with your content optimization efforts!

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