Do I need to tweak the SEO of my pages every month?

I’ve been told that because the search engine algorithms are constantly being tweaked and updated, that my pages will also need constant attention to make sure they stay optimised.  Most SEO companies I’ve spoken to say thats why they charge a monthly fee as well as the initial fee, because they will tweak my pages every month when they detect algorithm changes.  Is this all true?

The purpose of SEO is to prepare the pages of a site for the search engines, such that they can be easily indexed and stand a good chance of appearing well in search results.  This involves a number of things, including (but not limited to) checking the page titles, meta description, the meta tags, alt tags, sitemap, and the body content itself.  Having done all this, and having written good keyword rich copy content for the pages, the SEO task is complete.  The focus of each page has been made clear, and includes a good selection of related key phrases in the copy.  Both the title tags, and the meta descriptions reflect the content of the pages on which they appear.

Once we’re happy that our pages are as good as they can be, and that they are ready not only for our users, but also for the search engines; we publish them and wait to be indexed by Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.  With a spot of luck, we find that our pages begin appearing in the search results for lots of related searches quite quickly, and our website traffic increases.  We see an increase in business, and we order that Aston Martin we’ve wanted for some time.

One month goes by, or maybe two, by which time you must assume that the Google algorithm must have been tweaked and updated a number of times.  Perhaps your pages are now doing better for some search terms than others, and you wonder if you should now go through the SEO process again for your pages?

Well, surely you have to ask yourself if the focus of your pages have changed?  Or are people now using different words or phrases when searching for what your website discusses?  Are your pages less search engine friendly?  Do the meta tags and titles no longer accurately describe the content of the pages they are on?  Can your pages still be easily and readily indexed?  Basically, do your pages need to be tweaked in any way at all?  99 times out 100, the answer is “No they don’t!”.

If the SEO task has been done correctly, and the pages contain well written, grammatically correct, copy that is keyword rich, what on earth would you do to tweak them?  There’s nothing wrong with them and they need no attention whatsoever.  If you were to make any changes, you might find that instead of increasing your website traffic, you actually cause it to fall.

It is true that the search engines like new and regularly updated page content.  They don’t, however, have any interest in pages that are changed purely for change sake.  If the information or message of the page is the same, but you keep rearranging the words on the page, you’re not only wasting your time but you could well be causing more harm than good.  The new content the search engines are looking for, is just that.  New Content.  That usually means adding new pages of content to your site, perhaps through a blog or news articles, etc.

Any SEO company that claims they will be making regular updates to your website in order to maintain high rankings after algorithm updates in order to justify your monthly fee, is assuming you don’t understand anything about search engine optimisation.

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