How Old SEO can affect your Site Rankings Negatively

At the end of February, Google released its infamous Panda update initially to US based searches, causing a stir as search engine rankings were modified according to a new algorithm which promoted or demoted a site’s ranking according to how it deemed the quality of a site’s content. This update was intended to single out low-quality content from websites in an attempt to downgrade sites that were trying to manipulate search engine rankings instead of focusing on attracting real users. The result was effective, but it also caused collateral damage as various highly visible sites became demoted in rankings as a direct consequence of this update. Since the initial release, Google has proceeded to roll out the update more broadly.

This change in Google’s search engine algorithms and ranking system illustrates the constant change and evolution of SEO, and how it can turn badly for some. Practices that were once accepted and widespread now can negatively affect a site’s ranking and this is hampered by the fact that once content has been crawled and indexed into a Search Engine, it will remain indexed until the search engine bots get a message that the page is no longer available (usually through a specific server header). This means that removed content that was optimised with old SEO techniques could then penalise the site’s rankings, even though the content does not exist on the site itself. As long as it remains indexed, it will be used to evaluate a site’s content quality.

So how does one prevent or minimise the impact of old/removed content on a website? One way to properly decommission content from a site is to ensure a 301 redirect is in place for the old page, making sure to direct search engine bots to a relevant page and to notify that the search engine that the old page no longer exists. This is one way of dealing with old content that is no longer present on a site. Other means to optimise a site look at how links are built, whether keyword optimised content is actually pulling in organic search visits, and so forth, all things that must be accounted for in the light of the new algorithm at Google, something Click Digital monitors closely as part of its services.

This is not the only thing that site owners have to take into account with regards to search engine optimisation, since poor site performance can hurt a site’s rankings just as badly as poor content. If not bad content, not having enough content can be just as bad. These things are just as important to factor in optimising a website, and consequently shouldn’t be overlooked.

boxChilli works with Click Digital towards keeping content relevant to organic searches whilst taking into account the new algorithms imposed by Google and the new rules that SEO has to abide by. It is important that our services are effective, so we look at current SEO and Search Engine trends and constantly adapt according to the shifting landscape of online marketing.

However, not all is doom and gloom. Once the necessary changes and optimisations have been put into place, since what evaluates websites at Google is an algorithm, the changes will get registered and indexed eventually, and a site’s once penalised ranking would get restored accordingly. The process is automatic and the initial penalty isn’t permanent, so long as the offending content is not a permanent part of a website. For more information, feel free to look at what search engine optimisation services Click Digital provide.

Anders Bohea

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