Change is good – usually. It is good to change out old dead, broken and low value links for ones that will provide you with some value. It is good to make changes when better technology is available so that you can provide your visitors with a more satisfying experience. It is good to make changes when those changes benefit you via making more conversions or drawing more targeted traffic. Not all change, however, is always good.
Far too often, the site manager cannot help but tinker with the site structure and not always for a well defined reason. Tweaking a site from time to time is a necessity, we aren’t saying there is never a legitimate reason for this. But like anything else, it can go too far. As Google is king when it comes to assessing page rank, it pays to know a little bit how Google works and why change is not always a good thing.
We’re going to give you a crash on some of the key workings of Google so you know a little bit about what differentiates good and bad change. When content is added to a site, or a page is changed, Google re-indexes the site. This is an automatic function that is carried out, and while sometimes change can bump your ranking up, it can also drop your rank or in rare cases leave it unchanged. Three possibilities, but only one is what you are really looking for. Change that leads to a drop isn’t what you want and why make changes that only hold you steady considering the expenditure of resources?
Why does this happen? For starters, when you add content you change your keyword density which is important. Keywords you were previously very strong on might take a small downward jag, but it stands to reason another may tick upward slightly. This may lead to a slight gain or hold you even, but more than likely, it will drop you at least briefly. It all depends on the specific keyword densities that rise and fall. Even if you change the actual design of your site on a regular basis your page rank may suffer. All changes have some form of consequences or another.
If you do however decide to give your site a major makeover, consider shutting your site down for a day or two to carry it out rather than leaving it live. When you go live with your site after optimizing it in this manner it is akin to a reboot. The key is, as always, start with quality and add quality – and always keep the best principles of SEO in mind. And as a side note, anytime you make changes, have a solid reason for doing it and not just making changes for the sake of change itself.