Can Stale Content Hurt a Site's Current Search Rankings?

Dec 12, 2007 • 7:27 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO Copywriting

A WebmasterWorld thread has Labnol asking, "Can rankings vanish because a site is not updated?" If you do not update a site's content, can it set off a red flag at Google or another search engine and have the site lose its current search rankings?

The consensus in the thread is that having stale content should not penalize the site. There are many sites that are rarely updated but continue to rank well for both competitive and long-tail keyword phrases.

It is always good to update and add fresh content to your site. Fresh content is useful for your end user, it encourages the spiders to visit you more frequently, which helps search engines pick up new pages quicker. It also gives you the opportunity to rank well for new keyword phrases, on those new pages you create. But if you decide your content is super and there is no need to update it because you rank well already, then not updating it should not impact your current rankings.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that there is something else at fault in this situation. Not updating content or having a stale site is not a reason for a downgrade in search rankings.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Steven William

12/12/2007 05:27 pm

In an otherwise well-written little blurb, I'd just like to point out that it is spelled "lose," not "loose."

Barry Schwartz

12/12/2007 08:12 pm

Fixed, thanks for editing for me! I do appreciate it.

Diane Voisely

12/13/2007 03:47 pm

I had heard that some search engines support some sites (ezine) over others and this is another cause losing your page rank.


08/15/2012 04:08 am

I'm not so sure about that. I think that was the case before Penguin, but not anymore. I have a site in a niche that doens't require a lot of work, so I would not update the site for months and survided on the 5th position for my main on word keyword for years. But after April, that site dropped to page 15! Well, I didn't have time to mess with it, so I forgot about it until last week, when I started to publish again (the site had maintained the position on page 15 since the drop). Today I rechecked the rankings and to my surprise, the site is going up again, slowly, but it moved up. I didn't do anything else other than publish one article per day, for a week.

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