I think we can all agree that posting fresh content on website regularly is a must. If you haven’t learned this lesson by now, you need to wake up and realize that SEO is almost completely revolving around this concept right now and probably will be in 2016 and many more years to come (and probably always in one way or another).
But this week, I want to go in the opposite direction and talk about websites where content has not been added regularly, where it’s just been stale, stagnant, and almost completely forgotten about. Sites which start with amazing content, but overtime slip up and eventually just stop the flow.
- What happens to these sites in search engines?
- Do their rankings vanish/decrease?
- Does the authority of the website suffer?
- Do profits suffer?
- If you change your mind and try to go back to an old website to keep building it, is it worth it?
Well that’s what case study 11 is going to cover. We’re going to analyze 3 different websites, their traffic stats and look at their content base, how often content was posted and what happened to it when it stopped.
These are my personal websites which for a number of reasons I just stopped working on. The main reasons I did this was because I became lazy and procrastinated in working on them. I take full responsibility for this.
But I do understand that for many people who are building websites and quit, they have different reasons:
- Certain events took away from your time on working on your website.
- Lack of results discouraged you from continuing so you slowly posted new content less and less until it completely stopped and you quit.
But whatever happened, this case study might actually give you some comfort and a new reason to keep going. I have a few websites I’ve made, but focused most of my time on about 2 of them and really just 1 because the second one has content posted on it every few MONTHS, while my first, every few days. One of the case studies is also going to go over 1 site which hasn’t has any new content posted on it for over 2 YEARS. What happened to that site and the others? Well let’s see…
Site #1: On average new content appears twice every week.
Pretty consistent traffic results. Just a quick note, I started the date from October 2015 until December 2015 because my Google Analytics code was broken and I had to put up a new one. The old stats show a gradual rise in traffic because when I first began this site a few years back, I posted content almost every single day.
So posting a few times a week when you already have decent rankings appears to be OK for the website and hopefully will continue. Let’s see what happens when we analyze a site that has posts content FAR less:
Site #2: Posts new content once every few months.
The last time I posted something new on this site was in August 2015. If you look at the stats, not much had changed since then. In fact, a few traffic spikes had occurred. You can also see the traffic dying now in December to hitting almost 0. That’s because my traffic code is broken and I have to make a new one. This site still gets about a 100 visitors a day.
Site #3: Has one that has the WORST posting record of all 3 sites.
This site hasn’t had any new content posted for over 2 years. The last posting date was somewhere in October of 2013!
Remember all we’re looking at here and on every other site we’re examining is just how the traffic stats changed in comparison to how often content was posted. In this final example, we’re going all the way back to to 2014 (even though the last post was in 2013), and as you can see, the stats have not changed much.
What I didn’t mention:
For the first 2 websites, I have comments being posted on it regularly. Those comments do help the site maintain higher rankings in my experience. If I ever had a situation where content wasn’t posted very often, it was very comforting in knowing that I had comments waiting to be approved. They really did help.
So is the lesson here that we can just stop posting after sometime and relax?
No. Absolutely not. These stats I showed don’t explain the full story.
I didn’t talk about the niche. I didn’t talk what keywords my sites were showing for and how rankings were affected by a lack of posting new content, but I didn’t feel that was as important, although I’m sure my rankings did slip for a number of them.
What I did want to explain is that if you have a website that is doing pretty well with traffic on an organic level, you should do your very best to maintain that it keeps those positions and gains new ones and the way to do that is to post new content, but should you fall into a position where you end up posting less and less, don’t let it bother you too much, because as you can see from the results above, there weren’t that many changes.
So if you have a vacation or something else takes you away from posting, know that the work you put in before will not just go away. It’ll help you maintain your site’s authority for the future.
Will sites ever lose their rankings if they stop posting new content?
Yes they will, especially in niches and keywords that have high competition and constantly new content being posted to it and that’s what you should watch out for.
If you hold a high position on a keyword that gets you a lot of visitors, but then stop posting, but there’s other people posting content targeting that same keyword, in my opinion what may happen is that yours may lose it’s position because of a lack of posting new content while theirs will overtake yours.
While this can’t really be controlled by you, all you can really do to help ensure your site doesn’t lose major positioning against competitors is to keep posting.