Why Time is a Great Healer for Poor Performing Websites
A few years ago, when I first got into the SEO game, I was given the following advice: “Whatever you do, make sure you post content regularly. A site will quickly be forgotten about if you stop posting”. It made sense, so I stuck to it and made sure that all of my sites had a regular flow of content. To an extent, I still do, but there is one big exception: If the site is struggling, I forget about it completely.
It means no content, no updates, nothing.
And strangely enough, it works. This has happened with my own projects many times and at first I thought I was just getting lucky, but I have since started to learn from another SEO expert, someone who actually deserves that title and someone who has created countless successful websites.
He completely ignores the mantra of “regular content” and it works for him very well. In fact, I have seen the analytics of several of his sites and have seen the proof of this up close. One of them gets over 2 million hits a month and has been steadily climbing for 2 years, despite the fact that it hasn’t seen any fresh content for over 5 months.
It is counterintuitive, but if you have good content that Google wants to index, then it seems like it doesn’t matter. Of course, there are exceptions to this and there are a few things you need to understand.
First, the site needs content to begin with. You can’t create a site and then leave it sitting empty, expecting to get a flourish of hits. It doesn’t work like that. You should also stick to the regular, scheduled content mantra as you are uploading your first big batch of articles and if the site takes off immediately, keep it going. But if no hits come in, then there’s no point in keeping it regular.
After all, if Google barely knows you exist, why would it care whether you are posting regular content or not?
If you have a news website that follows topical events, a legal blog that stays on top current law changes or a sports site that covers previews, then it’s a different story. Fresh is probably better. But even then, if the site is struggling even though you have done everything right, then take a step back.
I’ve always enjoyed creating websites and I’ve always tried to make money from it. I was 14 when I first started, but back then I had no idea what SEO was. I used Dreamweaver to make my sites and the end product was often terrible and viewed by very few people (for the best really). Fast forward a decade and I was working as a content writer and getting a better idea of how to create sites and what to do with them.
A few years ago I created what was my first proper site, one that had a lot of work done on it with regard to good content and keywords. Let’s call that Site A. The content was good and I have several writers put it together. This was followed by a financial site that I still own.
These sites took a lot of my time and they signal the start of a career in website development for me. So, I pretty much forgot about them and moved onto other things. I didn’t add more content and the content on both sites amounted to just 200 articles.
But three years after they were created, which was 2 years after I had given up on them, they were getting hundreds of hits a day. Seeing that, I added some affiliate links to them and they started earning. Before long, I began adding more content and growing them and those hits continued to come in. In the end, I sold Site A and kept the second site. But more importantly, I learned that sometimes, a site just needs time, even if it goes against everything you think you know about SEO (adding lots of regular content, getting backlinks, etc.).
I have since had it happen to another few sites and these days I actually plan for it. If a site is not getting traffic within the first few months despite adding plenty of content, then I just forget about it from 6 months to a year. In that time, Google starts to pay attention and eventually the site’s traffic increases. And if it doesn’t then it likely wasn’t going to happen anyway and at least this way I haven’t wasted time and money on it.
I have used his method with a site that actually had very little content and was all about fun, review and comparison articles. It was fun to create, quick to build, and once it was ignored for a few months, the hits came in.