The driving mantra for SEO is that “Content is King” and I often struggle to get clients to keep adding content pages to their site to “feed the Google beast”. Google views your site as an entity and assigns it topical trust so the more pages you have building up your topical trust the better. You can have multiple topics that you are associated with. For example, a local electrician would be relevant to their location and to electrical concepts. The tough part of having more and more content is there are more things to worry about on the technical side of SEO. Sadly, most SEO providers don’t seem to understand this part and it can lead to very big and costly problems for your site when making changes, updates, or just from getting bigger with more pages linking to one another or going away.
Google likes sites that run efficiently. If your site is a mess with links that don’t go anywhere and pages that return errors, it is going to cost you in the rankings. Sometimes as sites grow and we link from one page to the next, an old page will go away, but we won’t remember to go back and catch links we made to it on other pages. Sometimes we will make structural updates to sites and it will cause hundreds of accidental broken links all at once. If you view your site as a filing cabinet for Google, and Google goes to retrieve a file and it isn’t in the right place, it is not going to keep looking for more files in your cabinet, and you are going to have far fewer pages of your site get indexed and available to get found.
Indexing the Wrong Pages
As your site gets bigger, there tend to be more and more pages that are just for structure or organization, and not necessarily thorough written content intended to “get found” for specific searches. Pages can be coded to be “noindex”ed and keep you out of trouble here. In 2017 I saw many sites get into trouble because many blog posts that were only a sentence or two announcements, or even other structural pages intended to be informational for the user on the site, but not for indexing, got indexed and ate up their “crawl budget”, or the number of pages Google will allow your site to be in their index. If you waste this space with pages you aren’t trying to rank with, you will have other, more important pages, not get in the index. You also risk Google viewing your site as having too much “thin” content in general, which can push your whole site down. If you have a lot of this type of content, you should have a “noindex” strategy in place.
At 2018 SMX Advanced, one of the leading cause of site migration failures was incorrect or just non-use of 301 redirects. I still regularly see this problem today. Many web developers don’t know how important this is and how important it is to redirect one page to a specific replacement. Formulaic redirects help with part of your issue, but if you redirect to a page that doesn’t have “replacement content”, the ranking you had in the past will go away. 301 redirects allow the “links” that had been going to the old page, to automatically be sent to the new page. This is important for user experience, but the 301 version of the redirect (there are other types) also allows any link strength (top individual SEO factor) to also be credited to the new page. Sites that go under redesigns and don’t do 301 mappings of all of the old pages will often disappear in the rankings and the company isn’t sure why. I have seen it time and again from sloppy migrations by people that don’t know what they are doing. 301’s are absolutely critical.
Technical SEO is Complicated
Technical SEO is becoming more and more crucial as five page sites just don’t really cut it anymore. With growth, we need to make sure we handle the technical aspects as well. This post only really scratched the surface. Make sure you have your SEO handled by somoene who knows what they are doing, so it doesn’t put your business at risk. These days, SEO is an almost required part of your business plan, don’t trust it to some cookie cutter plan that won’t work in the first place, and more than likely will completely ignore important technical adjustments. Call us.