Your Site Changes Direction, Does Google Follow?

Oct 3, 2013 • 8:50 am | comments (26) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

change directionThere is an interesting conversion going on at WebmasterWorld of a webmaster who wants to change the vertical his site is in but is failing to convince Google the site has changed directions.

His site is 16 years old and was established as the authority in his vertical. A couple years ago, he started to change directions and transform his site to become an authority in a new space, a new vertical. But Google isn't taking to it.

Here is how he put it:

For the best part of the last couple of years I've been trying to change the vertical my 16 year old web site has been attributed by google to no avail. Basing my notion of what this vertical is on the majority of the traffic google deems to send it, I've tried everything but it persists unwaveringly in sending me the same traffic no matter what. I've stopped building any links with sites related to this now less desirable niche, changed all meta data, I've minimized the amount of new content for it (the niche), more recently I've even created a whole new site based exclusively on this content split entirely from the old but several months on still no change in volume of type of organic referral from dear old google.

It is nice to see webmasters make the hard move and change their sites that have been working well in the past. But it is scary to see how Google may perceive that change.

Have you ever done this?

It would be like me taking this ten-year old search marketing site and start writing about fishing tips and techniques. Hmmm... Should I?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for direction change dart

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10/03/2013 01:11 pm

Barry, What is the best way to tie off a fly for shallow, slow moving river fishing? Should I invest in some waders or fish from the shore? Does time of day make a difference?

Barry Schwartz

10/03/2013 01:12 pm

I honestly have no idea but heck, I can write about anything. I'll just Google it and spin the content. :)

Karl-Heinz Müller

10/03/2013 01:25 pm

Writing about fishing requires that you adventure outdoors and live what you are writing about which may be more satisfying than digging all these years into search marketing. You may want to build a couple of sub-domains like with a couple of links pointing to the www domain to help you in Google recognizing your change in direction.

Barry Schwartz

10/03/2013 01:29 pm

I was kidding. Plus, I don't like going outside. :)


10/03/2013 01:58 pm

so turn it into site with tips on how to not go outside? Blog post 1: "how to successfully develop a video game addiction"


10/03/2013 01:59 pm

I feel I could get it change. It would be difficult, but should be very doable w/ the right techniques.


10/03/2013 02:39 pm

On the plus side, [not provided]

Srikanth Verma

10/03/2013 04:36 pm

Google is behaving like a hitler of the web... all search engines are one side and google is one side.. and now the time google is showing worst result in search.. all waste sites are on top and good sites are down.

Durant Imboden

10/03/2013 05:59 pm

"Trolling" would take on a whole new meaning in your comments section if you switched from search to fishing.


10/03/2013 09:31 pm

It seems to be working just fine for the guys building payday loan and gambling spam on dropped domains.


10/03/2013 10:12 pm

>>> I've stopped building any links with sites related to this now less desirable niche nice blackhat vertical site, it what google love at this time.


10/04/2013 01:54 am

I tried that with breast enlargement. Apparently, I just didn't understand my audience well enough despite being such a large fan all of my life.

Jitendra Vaswani

10/04/2013 05:16 am

not provided 100%


10/04/2013 08:34 am

In what way is this "like Hitler"?

Srikanth Verma

10/04/2013 10:24 am

all good sites are down in search because of unnatural links penality. How many of webmasters are recover by this 100%? I think there is only 1% because 99% are not able to find every bad link and most of links are created by users... in this process most of webmasters also removes good links also by confusion and they never get back as they was in search... now search any think only bad sites which have no use or just create for time pass is on top of searches. and good and big sites are down.


10/04/2013 11:36 am

google penalize not because bad site links, but because it unable to separate good & natural links from bad links. And also spammers constantly creating doorway pages which link to sites with some google ranking. Such links is death for new/young websites, but sites like wikipedia/youtube not affected. Google created era of negative seo - where almost every new site cannot survive. It problem created BY google, since they not care and not fixing it for long time - looks like they do it for money, to provide all traffic to youtube & internet coalition websites.

Srikanth Verma

10/04/2013 12:12 pm

then y my site is not visible in search? where it has some good links and well perform before 24th sep?

Srikanth Verma

10/04/2013 12:32 pm

and what happens if we create a bad links for our competitor sites? they get penalized and our site is up?

Srikanth Verma

10/04/2013 12:33 pm

like google gives us a good weapon to get penalize any site?

Srikanth Verma

10/04/2013 12:33 pm

as we all know that creating a bad link is very instead of removing bad links

Deven Jadav

10/04/2013 12:35 pm

Old Domain with new niche content = Any new person registering the expired 16 yrs domain for some new niche. That is what i think the way Google will take it as.

Jitendra Vaswani

10/04/2013 06:03 pm

Srikanth Google is a hitler & it will be hitler so no doubt in that , It will king of search engines, just follow google guidelines

Srikanth Verma

10/04/2013 06:06 pm

We r following the guidelines... but still no results... sometimes site performs amazing and some times site is out of search... check my site livetv2watch just place com after. because it dont take urls so i m write in this way

Srikanth Verma

10/04/2013 06:07 pm

sritaanya is my skype is please add me


10/05/2013 03:53 am

My guess is that Google has "stored memories of sitemaps" for a websites. currently I am having a somewhat a similar experience. I moved my website from one sever to another. During the time of transition, Google could no find the pages on my website, so it recorded error messages (404 error messages for pages not found). It is over and month plus since I re-launched my website in the new server with a different PI address, but with the same domain name. Google still record error messages of pages not found. So my guess is that Google is not as dynamic and current with updates on websites as we thought it should be. It lags behind in catching up with changes, as it tends to crawl pages from its store of memory of what was in a website, rather than what is currently in it. Unlike Bing that is current with such changes


10/21/2013 06:09 pm

Hmmm...Interesting. Has anyone else had similar issues with client sites which are older than 10 years old?

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