You have a page that is in the top ten or top three results in the major search engines. You are delighted, but you feel that if you changed some of the on page copy and dropped some text, it will increase conversion rates. However, you are concerned that your rankings will be affected by making this onpage changed to your page's content. What do you do?
That was the case mentioned in a thread at Cre8asite Forums. Of course, Ammon Johns gives some sage advise about looking at the conversion metrics, and if those go up, then stick with it. Its all about sales and return on investment these days. :)
When I make changes to sites, we document the change. We use an old school, Unix based versioning system, which we spruced up so that it is fully integrated into our task management and time tracking custom software. The versioning system we use is freely available at CVS Home. With this we can track changes and see how they affect rankings, conversions and usability. Of course it has its other benefits, finding bugs, restoring from an older copy and proving clarity and visibility in group code development.