I used to rank no1 for a keyword which drove a decent amount of traffic every day with an internal page
Over the lifetime of a page, I used to 301 old (out-dated and not-searched for) pages on the same topic, to one single up-to-date page on the topic (the page that ranked no1).
It wasn’t a money key term, so I didn’t keep an eye on things. I wasn’t trying to manipulate things too much, just consolidate any ranking power in one location (all the pages had picked up natural links).
Anyway, just out of curiosity I checked the performance of the page recently and found for the last few months the page had tanked in Google – flatlined.
The target page (with natural links, on a well linked to page) wasn’t there at all (another page on the site was, but ranking lower on the first page).
Steps I took:
- removed ALL the 301 redirects going to the topic page (or more accurately URI)
- and then I changed the URI (the web page address) of the topic page
- and put a single 301 redirect from the old URI to the new URI
A few days later:
- I have a no1 again, and it’s my target URI
- and a double listing
- and a pretty big spike in traffic on that one key-term
That’s all I did.
Cool URI don’t change, of course, for accessibility reasons (a bit unpractical advice from the W3C) but changing the URI, and removing the old 301 redirects seemed to have a positive impact in Google, don’t you think?
Thinking out loud….
- Perhaps Google thought I was trying just a bit too hard in keeping the original URI at number 1 with those redirects, even with natural links.
- Perhaps the original page had picked up a light internal anchor text penalty over time ( I play about with that stuff a lot) and changing the uri has had a positive effect?
Like many things in SEO, perhaps everything, it’s impossible to isolate.
The important thing is I’ve got my no1 back, I’ll check on it again in a few months with some tighter tests running on it, i’ll move on to the next no1.
If you have an internal page that used to rank, but doesn’t, and you are doing some of the same stuff as above?
You’ve nothing to lose by giving the above ideas a try.
I’ll be publishing more granular-observational-type posts in the coming weeks – I think it’s more valuable and you can get seo news on a 100 other websites.
Published SOON – how I more-than-doubled my traffic to an old page by making a few simple tweaks (image below)….