Are you AFRAID to make changes to your site?

by forthright 15 replies
As an affiliate manager I hear this a lot from my affiliates:

"My page rank and traffic is at a high level, I'm afraid to make any drastic design or layout changes. What if my serps are affected?"

This is very concerning. Is google's high wrath really affecting the quality of website content, design, layout, and promotion methods so badly that people won't improve upon their sites because of FEAR?

The unknowns can be scary, I understand. Changing meta tags and descriptions can have an affect on serps but maybe they CAN be negative?? There is a flip side to that coin. Do your due diligence. Study other people tests and follow good practices. I'm not going to get into the right and wrongs of building a website but making changes to your site is not bad. But you must do it right.

How do you guys respond?
#main internet marketing discussion forum #afraid #make #site
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil Morgan
    Well, making changes to your site will either improve things or make them worse.

    It's important to be able to recognise which it is and take the necessary steps to remedy the situation.

    Whether that's conversion rate, visitor value, page rank or whatever, you need to have some benchmark so that you know whether the change was a good one that should remain.

    In the past I have changed small things on sites that I thought were improvements but have actually killed the conversion rate.

    Cheers,

    Neil
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  • Profile picture of the author Gaz Cooper
    IMHO it not about making changes its how many one way links you have to your site by other websites linking to you rather than keywords meta etc.

    I recently did an overhall on one of my sites that is a Position 1 site on Google and nothing has changed I am still number 1

    now if you lose all your incoming links from high authority websites that are linking to you that would be another story and you would fall like Eddie the Eagle Edwards (if you rememebr him LOL)

    Gaz Cooper
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  • Profile picture of the author Yadira Barbosa
    Actually, in my case I made some changes in layout and my position continue without any problem.

    And I also change some tags and descriptions, wait for a couple days and check the serps, sometimes that changes make improvements so I don't touch nothing. Sometimes my results down a little and I return to the original data.

    PR is not a factor those days because Google don't updated for a long time, serps in the other hand are more accurate.

    Be afraid sometimes can give you some stability but sometimes you must risk a little to make a good improvements.
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  • I don't think that google cares about your website layout, because even the ugliest, notepad like website, but with tons of quality content can rank for any keyword at all.

    Google cares for the content, not layout (it doesn't have "eyes").

    About the people that actually see the website. If you are planning to do major changes to the website, it would be a good idea to announce it before making the actual layout changes, or better yet - make it interactive. Make a vote, so visitors could choose the best design for your website (for example, you offer 5 designs to visitors).

    For example Facebook does a lot of changes to layout and functions of the page, and most of the times they are really handy for the people and community.

    Making changes shouldn't be scary thing, but it should be done in the right way.
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    • Profile picture of the author forthright
      Originally Posted by Emilis Strimaitis View Post

      I don't think that google cares about your website layout, because even the ugliest, notepad like website, but with tons of quality content can rank for any keyword at all.
      Right, but what if you have an ugly notepad website and upgrade to a snazzy interface with flash, css, php, rollover navigation, site map etc etc.?? One must think all these changes will change serps. Good or Bad is the question.
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      • Originally Posted by forthright View Post

        Right, but what if you have an ugly notepad website and upgrade to a snazzy interface with flash, css, php, rollover navigation, site map etc etc.?? One must think all these changes will change serps. Good or Bad is the question.
        Like I've said Google doesn't have eyes And css, php and other stuff in most cases improves your SEO, because you'll use headigs, bold, higher texts etc, and Google will pay attention which keywords are more important in your website.

        And things like sitemap cannot effect you in bad way in my opinion Google loves them. The more you are organized and structurized, more google love for you!
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        • Profile picture of the author Kev Stevenson
          If one is making changes to a site - back up the older version...

          If results with the new version are worse, re-instate the old version and you'll be back to how you were.

          People are afraid to change their sites for many reasons.

          But changing (call it testing...) is fundamental to improvement.

          Change something, measure, see if results improve (not just serps - sales & conversions too)

          If visitor numbers go down but conversion rate goes up - you could still be making more money.

          If it makes it worse, change it back.

          Try something else, measure, see if results improve.

          Every improvement you discover will pay back forever, completely overshadowing any losses made during the test-period.

          Regards, K
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        • Profile picture of the author forthright
          Originally Posted by Emilis Strimaitis View Post

          Like I've said Google doesn't have eyes
          They actually do. Either with spiders or manual reviews of websites that bots flag. Google definitely has eyes and Ears :p
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
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    95% of rankings is determined by inbound links. I've done complete overhauls of sites and the SERPs have not changed. I don't blame you for worrying, but in my experience the only thing that would destroy your SERPs is if you change your URLs.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMoptimizer
    If anything, you should update your layout and or design every once in a while. People might get tired of the design after awhile and leave. This is why sites change their layouts and designs every once in a while. But, some people are different and prefer the main layout and design. I think most people would be fine with a change to the layout as long as it's easy to navigate.
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  • Profile picture of the author kevinfar
    If one is worried that much to doing changes to his/her website due to what can happen with Google 'finding out', then I think the problem is more deeper than that. One cannot have all his eggs in one basket and even though Google might be the biggest source of traffic, it is time for such a person to experiment with other ways to get traffic to the website in question.

    Kevin
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      I make changes based on what I think will make the site easier to use or more accessible or better for the reader/prospect/customer.

      If making changes improves the site for visitors but hurts rankings in Google, then something is fundamentally wrong with Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author shermancox
    I had a website design change that cut my bounce-rate drastically...every time I test a new design..the bounce rate goes back up...At some point I am gonna bite the bullet...I usually change my sites design once a year or so...
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  • Profile picture of the author st271
    I was #1 on Google for about 6 months, I made one design change and lost my rankings forever. Biggest mistake I ever made.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrea Wilson
    I am not sure whether changes in my site has a downside or what but I make sure that what I change are just the necessary elements. I dont want my visitors to be shocked in the new look of my site to the point that they cant recognize it anymore.

    Andrea
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