You Can't Afford To Delete Old Podcast Episodes - Here's Why

podcast development podcast marketing Jan 10, 2019

You might have some old podcast episodes that are outdated. Should you delete those episodes?


This is a topic that has come up based around some activity that is happening on my YouTube channel.

At the time of this post, I have a particular YouTube video that is a bit controversial. For those of you who have been around with me for awhile, you know that I have a love/hate relationship with Anchor.FM. Please don't think I hate the guys over at Anchor.FM, but I don't really buy into the service that they are providing if you're looking to grow your podcast into something bigger.

They are putting in a lot of effort to their particular platform and at the end of the day, it will work for some people. It doesn't mean that it works for me.

I digress...

What happened was that I posted a particular video about Anchor.FM and their terms of service.  At the time, there was some controversy that swirled around Twitter as to whether Anchor owned your content or not.

Since that video had been posted, I am seeing people in the comments of my YouTube channel who are saying, "This video is outdated. They [Anchor] updated their terms of service."

First, the people who are commenting and saying, "This video is outdated," are clearly not reading the updated description--nor are they looking at the pinned comment that I have placed on that particular YouTube video.

Some people are even saying I should just delete this video because it's very misleading.

You know what? Part of me agrees with them because it's true. There have been changes to Anchor's TOS since the time that I recorded that video--but guess what?

I won't delete it and there's a very good reason why.

Allow Controversial Podcast Episodes Gather Attention For Your Program

The advice I am about to give you applies applies specifically to podcasters as well as any type of content a creator may be writing, recording or whatever.

The reason I don't delete this particular video is because it's one of my more popular videos that's on the rise right now.

Currently, people are very curious to learn about Anchor.FM and whether or not the service is well worth your time to be on there. Now again, I will tell you this: it's going to be up to you to use that service.

I won't be deleting this video at any time. I realize there will be people that will say I'm making a big mistake by keeping this information on YouTube and this blog.

It's not a big mistake if you're thinking like Google.

For a podcaster, it's not a big mistake if you're thinking like Apple Podcasts.

It's not if you're thinking like an algorithm.

These types of episodes are the ones that are going to drive popularity back to your podcast as a whole.

As a result, the popularity of that episode now allows the consumer to go back and research who you are and what your podcast may be about.

Please understand this: not every consumer will go and research your other podcasts. But the ones who are very interested in your opinion, personality and the information that you're sharing--whether it be laughs, entertainment, etc.--may want to go in and discover more.

So it's my recommendation that you don't delete old episodes that may be out of date, contentious, or controversial--because they will drive traffic to other episodes in your library.

If you're seeing results in the form of downloads, it's likely because you have done your efforts to not only put it on podcatchers, but you've put the podcast on your blog as a transcript and having a discovered inside of a Google search.

Update Podcast Descriptions, But Don't Delete Anything

Let's consider the popularity of the podcast:

Is it well-liked?

Is it controversial?

Is it contentious?

Do you want to really delete a podcast that gets you weekly downloads and visibility to your own brand? I would say, "don't delete the episode."

Instead, I would go in update the episode description. 

People Who Surf The Web Are Always In "Research" Mode

Another thing to consider when people are discovering these popular episodes that might be outdated, you have to consider listener/consumer researching habits.

If a consumer is looking for a specific type of information and happen to stumble upon your podcast because it contains certain information that might be useful to their search, they're going to dive deeper. Their deep dive can result in them reading your blog post or listening to another podcast episode if you're providing the right calls-to-action.

Before deleting any episodes, consider what you can get them to do to become a fan through the discovery of your podcast. If you're looking to grow your subscriber base, you want to consider the visibility and traction of particular episode that may be out of date, but popular.

Smart consumers will always dive deeper.

Ignore The Haters and Serve Those Who Actually Care

People who are highly critical of your content say, "It's not good," can voice their opinion. The information may not serve them, but the content that I am providing may be serving the other 95% of people who like my type of humor or education.

As a podcaster and content creator, you have to remember who you are serving. Please, don't delete old episodes.

Instead, you can redirect them to a new and updated episode.

For example, let's take that old that episode that you have not updated in two years.

Re-Optimize Your Content For Rediscovery Through Search Engines

Instead of deleting or changing things in the description or title, make an effort to append any type of text into the show notes that will show up in Apple Podcasts and your blog post.


The idea is to keep the original text that you wrote because that text might be the perfect combination of search engine optimization (SEO) that the Google algorithm or Apple Podcasts algorithm is recommending. As a result, it is helping drive traffic to your podcast. Furthermore, you don't want to change the title either. Just append. That's all.

Once you have updated the descriptions, you'll want to re-upload new, updated audio inside of Libsyn or Blubrry. This is a great feature from both of these services that doesn't exist inside of Spreaker or Anchor. In other words, you can replace old audio without losing the statistics for that particular episode.

A couple of quick tips that you might want to incorporate when you make these updates:.

Tell me, do you have old episodes that you're thinking of re-purposing? Have these tips been helpful for you?

Leave a comment down in the section below and let me know.

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