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March 28, 2013

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Katie Pasko @katieryanpasko

The risk I see with different URLs for each year is that you're making your users think too hard about where to go, each year they have to remember a different URL when they think about your conference and they may not remember the format (was that conferenceURL/2013 or conferenceURL-2013?). Sure, most times they will be driven to it from a link in an email or another website or from social media, but seeing the exact same thing over & over and keeps its simple and some people out there do still user bookmarks. You run the risk of a broken link (unless you want to use redirects to make sure all point to the right place).

Using a unique URL can be done, but not without risks. I think a simpler, more usable approach is to create a site with a consistent URL and ensure your information architecture is clean, simple and intuitive to drive your users to the primary and secondary information they need.

David Meerman Scott

Hi Katie, Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear.

What I wanted to say is there is a conference homepage where the most current conference information always exists. That URL does not change and that is what you give out.

But the URL of all the inner content is for the year of that conference. So everything lives forever. So if I want to point to the agenda or a speaker profile or something it is the exact content.

Stuartbruce

I couldn't agree more David. But what never ceases to amaze me is some of the pathetic reasons clients have for losing old content which tend to be things like a change of senior marketing/comms staff, change of agency, or even consolidating hosting (seriously to save a few bucks they lose links and valuable content).

David Meerman Scott

Stuart - Yeah, I've heard a lot of excuses too. The one that burns me up is when the bosses who should know better assign Web content to a junior person who doesn't understand the value and then "cleans house a little".

I've actually heard people say "This page only gets 50 hits a year from Google so it is not important."

Yikes.

Colin Warwick

Katie, if I may elaborate on David's answer, the way I think about this in terms of a trunk, branch, and leaf structure. The URLs for the trunk, branches, and leaves should live for ever.

The content on the leaves ("article","video","release notes for version 2.6","conference schedule for 2011") should be fixed. But the content on the trunk and branch (nav) page can (and should) be dynamic. For example, a conference home page would have a link with anchor text "This year's schedule" but the underlying URL will get updated every year from, say, myconf/2013/schedule to myconf/2014/schedule. A software product page would have a link with anchor text "latest release notes" and so on.

Hope this helps!

David Meerman Scott

Thank you Colin. You say it better than I do!

Colin Warwick

...thanks... but I'm not claiming better, David ... just riffin' on the theme...

Sambredl

David,

I totally agree on not deleting content since it also helps you get found on search. What would you recommend for out-of-date content? update that post or rather create a new one?

Cheers

David Meerman Scott

Hi Sam, I think either one can work depending on the situation. There is no firm rule in my view.

Louise

i previously deleted my old content because i find them nonappealing

Scott

I sympathize with Air New Zealand on this. At Ford, we're finding that talent are more aware and protective of web rights than they used to be. Our very successful "Focus Doug" videos had to be pulled down after a year because our team only had the budget for a year's worth of rights. It wasn't the case of being shortsighted, but of the costs of doing business with increasingly web-savvy talent.

David Meerman Scott

Scott, Thanks for jumping in here.

That's a good point and I do understand. However, I would think that you need to find a different agency or pool of talent who can allow you to own rights.

In my books, for example, my publisher has the ability to publish my books into the future even in media that doesn't exist today.

Onfire

I totally agree about keeping old content live! Loved the article! We always keep our stuff unless we find the content might not be that appealing in the first place. Our blog can be seen here: www.onfire.art.br. Tnx for the article!

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