Older Websites Not Likely To Rank Well

Posted by ketan parmar

January 29, 2014

SEO 15 min read

If yours is an old website, the one that has been around for 10 or more years, it won’t be surprising to see newer websites taking the place that once belonged to you on SERPs. Any ideas on the reason behind this? Is it because of spamming or lack of freshness?

The latest video released by Matt Cutts in the webmasters helps the series addresses this topic of what could be done by an older site to maintain the ranking over time. He says that the owners of these older sites are so very satisfied with their website that they fail to update it and keep it fresh.

old website

This isn’t so unusual, because many a time when the site is ranking well for a longer period of time, the webmaster gets worried regarding the change that could have its effect on the rankings. As a result of this, the site could become outdated, with the searches getting attracted towards fresh sites.

Cutts asks us to take a look at our site. There are a number of times when you land on the site through a search result. The template, page layout or even the content is not changed for years even though you are in the business for let’s say 15 years. It seems to be a stale kind of an older site, and that is something that might not make the users happy about your site. It could be dangerous!!

There is no way that you could be content with your website as there are new sites that are traffic-hungry and provide a better user experience. Such websites could grow and push you down if you don’t continue to adapt and evolve with the current trends. Cutts has seen many newer websites coming up and snatching away the rank from well-established sites that simply were too satisfied with their position and the work, thus ensuring their site was updated to be what the searchers were expecting to see. He is asking us if our site is providing the best user experience. As if we are not providing a fresh experience to the users, something that the newer websites do, then eventually your target audience may want to migrate and upgrade to a greater user experience and leave you behind.

So, it seems that the main issue isn’t that the algorithms are causing the downfall of the older websites and bringing up the newer websites. In fact, it seems that newer sites overtake the older ones only because they provide a far better user experience, or they offer information or other features that the older site is not regularly updating and is lacking in that part for long.

Bing is also in the same league, as Duane Forrester offered an important reminder in one of the recent blog posts stating that a website may have enjoyed success with its SEO efforts in the past, however, it is not necessary that it will continue to be the same. Hanging on to the same technique for a long time, regardless of it being social, SEO, paid search or email will prove to be harmful to the website. Things tend to evolve and the change applies to all. Investing all the time on just SEO is not diversification. There are examples of many businesses that stay laser-focused on a particular idea and when the change happens, they are taken aback by the sudden change of events. Change is the only constant. The way the web is used has changed. The web has changed. Users expectations from the web have changed. Thus, search has to keep up with the trends. The models and strategies that worked around 5 years ago may not necessarily work in the current scenario. SEO tactics that used to work earlier might not work now.


With any online marketing strategy, it should be the foundation that the website provides what the searchers are looking for, regardless of the website is a new one or an older one. This also includes providing great information with the help of quality content and also ensuring that the older website doesn’t become an old affair. Google and Bing have their respective algorithms and no one single thing would guarantee what would work in either of them. All the aspects related to the web, including the audience are ever-evolving. Webmasters need to evolve and adapt to these changes to continue enjoying success.


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