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Customer petrified to change his #1 ranked page on Google

He is afraid he will lose #1 spot if he updates his home page.

   
10:05 pm on Jan 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What does one say to a customer who is afraid to change his home page becasue he fears it will cause him to lose his #1 spot. By making changes he fears keyword density among other things on the page text that could cause him to drop on the SERPs. I tried telling him that refreshing his home page with new content is good for Google results as well as his visitors.
4:02 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I just realized I have a #1 serp. I make changes to it every few days to make minor adjustments and I think it's helped me (changing the "site updated on 1/15/04" text seems to keep the googlebot coming back).

No way I will make a major change to it though. If it works it works.

6:23 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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With knowledge of how Google ranks sites, you get an idea of how close serp 2, 3, etc are to you.

Keyword density is low on the list; text links in, page rank, position of keywords in title, and search phrase keyword proximity in the text are all much higher. The middle third of my page is dynamic according to the time of the day/week, yet my position for many competive phrases, including worldwide single word searches city/suburb/category is very constant, and improving due to the text links, pr etc. As long as you are very strong in all those other areas, and have a basic first paragraph of your site that never changes containing your keywords, my experience is that serps can be stable despite other wording changes.

6:32 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



He's number one. Please tell us what improvement you are trying to make?
7:34 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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To appease hisconcern just tell him to save a copy of the well ranked page as oldpage.html then make the changes and upload, if in fact the changes are drastic enough its a simple case of uploading the old page and letting it get cached. That way his precious #1 will be saved and you can get him to do what needs to be done

Now if only I could get google to change [google.com...] I wouldnt be so disheartened for getting #1

8:18 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)



If it aint broke, don't fix it!
8:41 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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martinibuster,

He wants to improve his marketing techinque for his product. He has learned buzzwords, marketing stages and other techniques to increase sales. This would require rewording the whole page, but would improve his conversion rates. I dont think fearing the loss of the position should cripple him.

8:46 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)



Why not add his new buzzwords to new pages? You will look pretty silly if you make some tweaks and his homepage disappears. Regardless of the reason they will blame you!
8:54 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If it aint broke, don't fix it!

I second this.

9:01 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



This would require rewording the whole page, but would improve his conversion rates.

I hear you. Sometimes change has to come and it's not in our power to stop it.

In my case I'm overseeing a website redesign. This is a corporate website and they need an up to date corporate look- I agree with them one hundred percent. I'm fairly confident we'll come out of it fine. I pop my head into the war room every once in awhile and grumble about adding more text. Not much else for me to do when the snowball gets rolling and the avalanche is near.

9:32 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)



I agree with them one hundred percent. I'm fairly confident we'll come out of it fine.

That's just put the kiss of death on that ;o)

9:59 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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He wants to improve his marketing techinque for his product. He has learned buzzwords, marketing stages and other techniques to increase sales.

How about changing a few of the graphics on the home page to incorporate the new buzzwords, then expand on them in depth on secondary pages. To play really safe leave the image size and ALT tags unchanged.

10:25 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I wouldn't touch it.
11:15 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I suggest you should use the same keyword density in your new site. And adjust it just slightly.
11:21 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Change is essential.

When you're number one everyone below is trying to get your spot. To not change leaves you defenseless until it's too late. Once you start to slip these days, you slip fast.

I would recommend dynamic content and occassional rewording over a complete rewrite.

Getting to number one is half the battle, the other half is staying there.

11:57 am on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I should not really suggest this, but why not try cloaking for a couple of weeks. Deliver the old page to Google (and disable caching) and deliver the new page to users. If conversion rates improve, switch off the cloaking and use the new page. If the new page falls out of the index, you can revert to the old page (and try to work out why).

Provided you don't cloak for too long, I would be very surprised if anyone noticed given that the nature of the content will, presumably, remain unchanged.

Kaled.

6:43 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Thank you for all of the suggestions. Greatly appreciated. Someone emailed me personally to not do the cloaking that kaled suggested. Not that I would, but why is it so bad? Is it spamming? I wouldnt know how to anyway. Maybe I will try the new wording on a new page like many of you suggested.
6:57 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I pop my head into the war room every once in awhile and grumble about adding more text.

for a while I felt like this was my entire job as an SEO within a company.

simply telling designers to add more text, and use text links... sigh.

7:15 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)




Maybe I will try the new wording on a new page like many of you suggested.

sounds like a winner.

Cloaking = Spamming

8:13 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Without knowing the competitiveness of the keyword or the corporate culture (if any)... I would say long term a website you can't update is of little use to a company in the larger marketing scheme of things. The internet is just one part of a marketing plan, it is hard to see that tree sometimes from inside the forest as it were.

You might add some content and a link to more content for kw2 and the serp for kw1 may remain unchanged provided the page itself remains very similiar. It would actually be a good idea to plan for a space to introduce new products as needed. I like to keep in mind the website is a user tool to find information about your products, if they can't do that it is not a success no matter your serps. But that's just me.

8:13 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Cloaking = Spamming

Cloaking is a tool like any other. There are many legit reasons why cloaking might be used (but, perhaps, this is not one of them).

I take the view that if users find a site to be relevant to their searches, then it is not spam. If I'm looking for information on polkerdot widgets, I don't care what sort of SEO was used by a site in order to be found provided the site is relevant and useful, etc.

Kaled.

8:20 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I might add respectfully, if you are uncertain whether to alter a page because the serp for a keyword might fall... What will you say to the website owner if their google pr bar goes gray? I would not cloak a page that was not on a $9 disposable domain for any reason. But again that's just me also.
9:38 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



i know several sites that completely changed the entire root page and still have #1.

If your #1, your often there for a reason and NOT just because of the content on that one page.

Combination of links, content, pr and visitors i'm sure helps out.

10:10 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



does anybody really believe that changing basic body text is going to cause that much of a difference? Maybe if your playing with <h1>'s and titles - but body text imho is not a major factor in the algo.

As long as you still include your target keywords a few times you'll be fine. I have #1 rankings for very competive keyphrases that don't appear more then once on my page - just my links.

Don't be soo paranoid.

10:56 pm on Jan 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Cloaking = Spamming

meh, a web page written poorly = spamming in my opinion. Cloaking can deliver high quality content just as a lack of cloaking can deliver low quality content.

what cloaking = is not defined by modal qualities of what you see. google always cloaks.

2:06 am on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



You would be crazy (and should not represent clients) if you would change a number 1 listing. That is shear madness.
2:10 am on Jan 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Wait til it's ranking begins to drop, then make changes.

Mess with a #1 ranking... no chance in h.ll!

The old saying is the customer is always right, but in this case it absolutely true.

10:59 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)



if
cloaking=spamming
then
seo=spamming

it just lasts longer

11:17 pm on Jan 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



You could create a secondary page to use sales pitch buzzwords on that's linked to from the homepage. As someone suggested, you could add text inside a graphic, so that graphic could be a link to the "sales" page. Not a perfect solution, but a lot of sites do well with featured items. You'd just have to watch what alt text went into the code for the graphic.

Basically, it sounds like you're trying for adding more calls to action and adding buzzwords may possibly not even have an effect on rankings.

1:31 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Cloaking is not necessarily SPAM but I'm afraid that in the Google's mind that's a certain form of SPAM among many others. That's why I would recommend a very carefully usage of this technique.

Instead try to build keyword reach and theme related content. This should be a long term benefit for your online business.

P>S> I wouldn't make too many changes to my home page template, I would not change the entire content at one time and I would not optimize the content or the template again and again.

 

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