Whenever people talk about SEO, the conversation is often focused on how to climb the search rankings and get the top spots for the keywords being targeted. But the truth is that getting top rankings is only half the battle. The other half is maintaining those rankings, and that can be the tricky part.
In this recently posted video, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, addresses the topic of how older sites can maintain their rankings over time. He answers the following user-submitted question:
“I have been in business for over 14 years with my domain, and see much newer domains passing me. Any algorithms to protect older domains/sites in business from newer sites with more spam?”
Let’s take a look at how Matt answered the question:
“The advice that I give to you as the owner of a site that’s been around for 14 years is to take a fresh look at your site. A lot of the times if you land on a random website from a search result, even if they’ve been in business for 15 years, 14 years, sometimes they haven’t updated their template or their page layout or anything in years and years and year, and it’s looks like, frankly, sort of a stale…older site. That’s the sort of thing where users might not be as happy about that. So, if you do run an older site or a very well established site, I wouldn’t just coast on your laurels. I wouldn’t just say, ‘Well, I’m number one for now, and everything is great’ because newer sites, more agile sites, more hungry sites, more sites that have a better user experience, they can grow they can eclipse you if you don’t continue to adapt and evolve and move with the times.
So, I wouldn’t say that just because you are a domain that’s established or has been around for a long time you will automatically keep ranking. The one thing I would urge well established sites or older domains is to not just coast forever. Take a fresh look at your layout. Are you still providing the best user experience?”
The main lesson here is that you need to always be focusing on providing your website visitors with the best experience possible. Times change, and user habits change. A website that was stylish and functional in 2005 probably won’t be quite as stylish or functional in 2014. That’s not to say you need to totally redesign your website every 6 months, but you do need to continue to look for ways to improve your site and make it the best it can be.
Let that be your challenge for today. Take an honest look at your website. What could be better? You could even solicit feedback from your customers. You may be surprised at some of the suggestions they offer!
Here’s to providing a great user experience and getting your rankings back!