Here’s an irony about the rise of the real-time Web: Sometimes what’s new isn’t always what performs best.

Publishers are doing all they can to wring out more value from their existing body of content. The most common technique is to resurface popular old stories that (even just barely) pertain to a trending topic: Publishers will republish or re-share old bits of viral content in the hopes of striking traffic gold once again. People watch reruns on television, the thinking goes, so why not bring that approach to digital content?

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