This member notices that a local competitor changes a word or two on his home page every day. She wonders why this is. I explain how to help Google know when your page actually changes and how not to spam Google with fake updates.
Rick: Good morning, Angela.
Angela: Good morning, Rick. Nice to talk to you again.
Rick: How are you doing?
Angela: I’m good, thank you. How are you?
Rick: I’m doing great.
Rick: Okay so the first question you asked was that you were monitoring a website and you noticed they changed the footer. Can you give me the URL of that website?
Yes, it’s Nanuet…
Rick: How do I spell that?
Angela: Nanuethomesandcondos.com, that’s right.
Rick: Okay and so then the footer is… what are you referring to? This down here or what?
Angela: I am referring to that, yeah. When I was monitoring this, I’m monitoring it through a change detection… changedetection.com and I noticed that about every other day, the footer gets changed. There’s only one word that gets changed like instead of saying blog@WordPress… obviously, this is only… oh, it doesn’t matter. Instead of the word blog…
Rick: Yeah, it’s hosted at WordPress.com.
Angela: Exactly. Instead of saying blog@WordPress.com, it might say clone or they just change one word and I’m wondering does that matter? Is it good to do that? Is it a plugin? Are they doing it manually? Is there any way to tell?
Rick: I would assume that they are doing it manually. There’s no reason to do that via a plugin and I would also assume that they are doing it because for some reason or another, they imagine that it will… that Google will see it as a change and will come back and revisit their site.
Rick: I can’t think of any other reason for doing that but that’s not… I don’t really think that is a good practice because what Google’s going to figure out is that there is no change. Google is not going to consider that to be a change. And what you’re better off doing is having a sitemap that gets updated whenever you actually make changes to a post or a page and the having recognize you know, when the last change was. And if you want the page to always look like it’s being changed then you probably should actually change it because resubmitting pages repeatedly is considered a spamming technique to Google. And Google is likely to frown on that.
Angela: I’d do the same thing to, yeah.
Rick: Yeah so I wouldn’t expect that this benefits them in any way and I would guess that the only reason they do it is because somebody told them that if they want Google to pay attention to them that they should do that. Now the funny thing about that is that there actually are tools that you can tell whether or not Google has indexed and when they have indexed your pages and you know, how much time Google spends and all the rest of that kind of stuff on your site which are you know, much more accurate and will give you a good… if you’re concerned that something’s not being properly indexed, you can use Google Webmaster Tools to get to the bottom of that and not really have to worry about it.
Angela: Right and I’m sorry… were you going to say something?
Rick: So that’s what I would suggest. I mean, if you have any concern about whether or not your page is being ranked properly or I’m sorry, being indexed properly just you know, set up your Google Webmaster Tools account and then go and check. And I’ve got all bunch of videos on how to set up Webmaster Tools and set up a sitemap and all the rest of that stuff so that would be how you would really deal with this question that I think they’re trying to address but I don’t know for sure.
Angela: Just an FYI, this website… the gentleman who did this website used to work for me and so we’re going after the same keywords. I trained him about keywords and things like that. And so, while I… in the past, I would have said, “Don’t do this. This is not a good practice.” Now I’m… certainly not a competitor, they’re not going to do that. But we are both at the top of Google when you search for those keywords and I used to be ranked over him and now, he’s ranked over me with very little content on his site. And so, that’s why it’s a concern to me otherwise, I wouldn’t pay any attention to it.
Rick: Have you done a little investigation on his site to see how many sites he has linked in and things like that?
Angela: No. I’m confident there’s not too many linked in.