A client of mine recently sent me the following snippet of text from his company’s SEO person named "Ron":

I double check with Ron about what constitutes changes to our site that may cause issues with our SEO and this was his reply:

You can change whatever you want after we have established positions……EACH time major changes… i.e.new pages, new sections, structural changes, etc are made there is the possibility Google will throw you in the sandbox…we never know until you look at them if they are a risk…..minor content changes are USUALLY okay..as long as they are reSEO’d…all I can tell you is go ahead and do what you want…if you lose positions afterward…it is what it is….we will do our best to avoid that from happening….but no one in their right mind makes changes to a site that is just newly changed and being indexed…it becomes a spiral of failure….

When I read this I cringed and couldn’t believe this person is still in business:

  • If I were the owner of the company, I’d ask "Ron" why cnn.com and msnbc.com rank very well for "news" on Google, they always seem to be "changing" their content! 😉
  • Google’s Sandbox is a set of filters that can apply to new sites in order to reduce web spam results. Old sites have a bit more trust and the filter doesn’t apply. The site in question is over 3 years old.
  • Making changes to a site is not bad, in fact, if you have poor rankings already then you have nothing to lose.
  • Adding content or sections to a site can help a domain pull in more customers because more pages (tickets) are being placed into the search results (lottery).
  • As long as your pages don’t look like spam, you will generally be ok. Don’t link out to other spammy web sites and don’t organize your pages to be unreadable by a human (don’t stuff keywords)

Bad SEO AdviceI was also told by my client that "Ron" advised his client company that changes to the site would be best made every "6 months".  Unfortunatley, and to the best of my knowledge, they continue to use "Ron’s" services while paying "Ron" a lot of money each month to "optimize" their company web site. I’d get a second opinion!

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