Effect on SEO of changing post title?

17 replies
One of my roundup posts has made it to #9 in Google Search ('17 Pinterest Experts Best Tips For 2018') and I was wondering what effect it might have if I added a few more tips and changed the 17 to a 20? Or would I be better off keeping the same title, and maybe updating the date?
Thanks for any help.
#changing #effect #post #seo #title
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  • Profile picture of the author Chet Marlin
    It would be a good experiment for you. Change it and see what happens? Or maybe just add to the title ... something like 17 tips plus 3 more hot ones! Certainly nothing wrong with adding content, but I'm not sure about changing the title.
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  • Profile picture of the author jhonmiller2424
    Changing title completely wont help you, as Chet Marlin suggest you can make few changes in title and also in content accordingly. Once you change it you need to submit your URL to Google Search Console for re-indexing.
    I personally suggest to not go for this at least till year end. By changing title can also affect adversely and can be reason to loose your rank as well. In fact you can boost your post by for higher position by working (link building) on it. It might can make your post remain in first page even after 2018.

    Best luck and do inform or reply whichever other method you implement.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I would focus on boosting links in Justin. Great to see you here buddy

    The reason; not an SEO guy myself but when I reached #3 on page 1 a few years ago for "how to submit a guest post" and "how to rank on page 1 of Google for a competitive keyword" I recall Zac Johnson telling me to keep rising in rankings by getting more links in, via guest posts, features on blogs, social networks.

    Definitely tap into your friend network buddy. Ask for shares, or maybe a mention, or if you have guest posting rights on top blogging tips blogs, write a post and link to this one. Fool proof way to move up in SERPs near and long term.

    Ryan
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Changing it to 20 should not have an effect one way or the other on how the page ranks UNLESS more people click on the result because 20 is better than 17. I doubt there is anyone who will click less, saying to themself, "man, 20 is too many; I was hoping for something more like 17".

    It certainly cannot hurt the SEO, so if you have 20, get those other three on there, change the title tag and see if you get more clicks which MAY help it rise in the rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    Originally Posted by WordsByJustin View Post

    One of my roundup posts has made it to #9 in Google Search ('17 Pinterest Experts Best Tips For 2018') and I was wondering what effect it might have if I added a few more tips and changed the 17 to a 20? Or would I be better off keeping the same title, and maybe updating the date?
    Thanks for any help.
    If it were me... I would create a new piece of content 20 pinterest tips for fall 2018 explaining in the content that there are some new added tips from our previous post ( link here ). I would also place a link at the top of the " old" post to your new 20 fall tips post.
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    • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      If it were me... I would create a new piece of content 20 pinterest tips for fall 2018 explaining in the content that there are some new added tips from our previous post ( link here ). I would also place a link at the top of the " old" post to your new 20 fall tips post.
      Not sure if I would do that. Now, you have to start all over, trying to rank a new web page for something that you have already climbed onto page one for.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by dave_hermansen View Post

        Not sure if I would do that. Now, you have to start all over, trying to rank a new web page for something that you have already climbed onto page one for.
        ok SEO 101 by placing a link at the top of the page from the ranked page you will pass a fair amount of juice. If you are ranked on page one for a piece of content reason stands there is a possibility you can rank 2 pages. I personally like to stack content 2 and 3 deep on page one with a healthy shot of youtube videos. This is how you do that.

        dave.. I know you and I do not agree on many things... but this one is pretty basic stuff.. at the very least it is no way going to affect the listing they have and again everything falling into place they may have 2 page 1 listings.

        For anyone Joe average I would not suggest touching a ranked piece of content.. sure if you know what you are doing you can do some tweeking to see if you can rank a bit higher. It is SAFER to attempt to rank a second page than it is to go messing with added content and a title change... plus that, if they happen to be workiing with wordpress the URL structure is probably the original title to begin with. Just not overly wise.
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        • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          ok SEO 101 by placing a link at the top of the page from the ranked page you will pass a fair amount of juice. If you are ranked on page one for a piece of content reason stands there is a possibility you can rank 2 pages. I personally like to stack content 2 and 3 deep on page one with a healthy shot of youtube videos. This is how you do that.

          dave.. I know you and I do not agree on many things... but this one is pretty basic stuff.. at the very least it is no way going to affect the listing they have and again everything falling into place they may have 2 page 1 listings.

          For anyone Joe average I would not suggest touching a ranked piece of content.. sure if you know what you are doing you can do some tweeking to see if you can rank a bit higher. It is SAFER to attempt to rank a second page than it is to go messing with added content and a title change... plus that, if they happen to be workiing with wordpress the URL structure is probably the original title to begin with. Just not overly wise.
          I guess I do not see how you propose that they do that. Are you suggesting that the OP create a new piece titled something like "3 More Expert Tips ...." or are you suggesting that they create a whole new piece with the same 17 tips and add 3 more and that it will pull into the much-coveted spot #10 behind his #9 piece? If it is option #2, Google will likely see one or the other as essentially duplicate content and only one will rank.

          Your tactic is fine if you are sitting at #1, #2 or #3 and want to see if you can get another one up there with completely different content. Not sure if it has the same profound traffic effect in spots #9, #10 and #11.

          Me, I'd rather improve the article that is already at #9 and give it a shot to go higher. Obviously, as ryanbiddulph said, getting a few quality backlinks is the best way of doing that but expanding the content of that piece certainly will help, as well.

          Finally, I'm not sure what the URL has to do with this at all. Even a new piece would have the same URL structure, just different words at the end because of the name of the article, which has nothing to do with how things rank in Google.
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          • Profile picture of the author WordsByJustin
            Some good points Dave! Do you change the published date to the current date after expanding the content btw?
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            • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
              Originally Posted by WordsByJustin View Post

              Some good points Dave! Do you change the published date to the current date after expanding the content btw?
              I would. I'm very skeptical that adding even more content and changing nothing but a number in the title tag would cause a page to go down in the rankings. Never, ever seen it happen!

              Rather than changing the date, per se, it would probably better to insert an "updated" date and, even better, create some dateModified schema for it - https://schema.org/dateModified
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  • Profile picture of the author WordsByJustin
    It looks like people think changing the title is a poor idea (Hey Ryan! Good to see you here too You're right about links btw, this is just something extra I wasn't sure about.)
    If I'm updating, I'm currently typing 'Post Updated: <today's date>' at the top. I'm assuming there wouldn't be any SEO advantage to simply change the Published date instead?
    (Btw how many posts do you need to get on the SEO forum here? Obviously I haven't reached the magic number yet.)
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    ok so if we look at: https://moz.com/blog/google-fresh-factor-new to start... What separates the OP's scenario and the one talked about in this article is time. The article itself is an " Update " ( and read in the comments to confirm this ) but they chose to create a new piece of content and then 301'd the old article.

    From everything I have ever read.. everything I have ever experienced with this specifically suggests to go ahead and update current dated content that has lost its luster and position over time ( IE there is nothing to loose ) . The example given at the very bottom of the page is the results of updating content from 2011 in 2015. The article I have linked to itself is the same.

    The OP is wanting to " update " content created a few months ago that has some amount of rank.. and playing with the possibility of not gaining and possibly loosing position overall.

    To be honest at this point I would actually write new content with upcoming trends for 2019 before trying to update content for 2018, and would link on the top of the 2018 page to the new 2019 piece ( passing some amount of juice ). and going out and getting a couple of back links If the new page did not get traction and some amount of ranking I would then in december or so ( when the page URL and the title become self defeating of sorts ) go ahead with a 301.

    It is SAFE to update a dated page that has lost rank... Its not so safe to change a page that is on page one. You want to change the title and decription meta to maybe improve your CTR heck yeah go for it.. you want to go out and get some new backlinks yeah go for it... but updating a page that by virtue of being " DATED " ( IE 2018 ) with what 4 months left in the year... and is in 9th position.. come on now.

    " Freshness " works in 2 ways.. both the PAGE and the SITE overall. for the sake of your content overall it is better to pump new content vs beating a dated dead horse at this point.
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  • Profile picture of the author affmarketer101
    Update a title like a signal to Google that you have an update. Google prefer it and you likely to get higher ranking.
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  • Profile picture of the author newton
    Changing the 17 to 20 and adding the extra content shouldn't make too much of a difference. It might bounce around for a little while but should come back fine. As people have said, get some new links coming in and it should only rank higher than before.
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  • Profile picture of the author Arian Atkins
    It does depend on the platform. On most of the blog posts editing is ok, but if you do edit a description on youtube - you are in trouble. So look for the information in specific for your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author jcpenz
    The title matters a great deal, both for search engines, as well as for the readers. Before deciding on a title it is important to strike the right balance between readability and seo friendliness.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by WordsByJustin View Post

    One of my roundup posts has made it to #9 in Google Search ('17 Pinterest Experts Best Tips For 2018') and I was wondering what effect it might have if I added a few more tips and changed the 17 to a 20? Or would I be better off keeping the same title, and maybe updating the date?
    Thanks for any help.
    Why not create a new post on this topic instead of modifying what you currently have? (new content as well)
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