Today I want to talk about an SEO principle I learned working with my websites over the years. Once you start learning about SEO and getting your first pages and sites ranked well on Google you discover that testing is really important, and as a result you start tweaking things around to see what will improve your rankings, and what might lower them. Over the years, though, I started to notice a pattern – that sites that I would tweak a lot would start losing rankings, and sometimes they would never recover from my fiddling.
By “tweak a lot” I mean that I would change the title tag, change the internal link structure, change the navigation and sidebar sections and so on. This makes sense if you see things from Google’s perspective. It’s tough to figure what a site is about if its structure keeps changing over time, and it might also be a sign of a webmaster trying to manipulate search rankings. Sure, you should always be publishing new content on your site.
But when it comes to the site structure, it looks like Google prefers a website that tends to preserve the same structure over time. I haven’t read about this on other sources, but it’s something I witnessed very clearly on my own. Not hard to spot when you monitor your analytics closely.
That is why these days I only make structural changes on my sites if absolutely necessary, and I recommend you to so the same. For example, don’t keep changing the title tag. Perform some keyword research and choose your title tag carefully, and after that stick with it no matter what!
The stability that your site will have will certainly send a positive signal to Google, improving your search rankings over the long term.