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WordPress Updates and Google Ranking

This year has been a crazy one for me and this blog had been neglected. Back in January, I ran into breathing difficulties due to allergies and was hospitalized. I also set about relocating the studio back in June to a new location in Hough’s Neck, Massachusetts. Last but not least, I’ve been juggling numerous projects in between all of these life events, and simply haven’t had too much spare time nor desire to keep things updated.

Anyways, it all turned out for the best. I’m feeling a lot better and I now have a wonderful place to live and work. Plus, I have a great group of neighbors – I couldn’t be luckier when it came to making new friends.

All that aside, I finally got around to updating this blog to the lastest WordPress and decided that it was a good time to start writing some posts. I noticed that the ranking for my LunarStudio website did take a ranking hit in certain search categories over the course of this past year (“Architectural Rendering” for example took my website from the top 10 Google spot and nearly dropped of the page of SERPs.) Part of me speculated that it was due to Google’s new search engine algorithms which are constantly evolving. I also speculated that it was in part due to my blogs falling behind in both posts and updates. Since they are outdated, it would make sense for them to lower the ranking for the links headed back out to other sites.

Google is tricky in that the company doesn’t release too much information as to what increases a site’s search engine rankings when it comes to keywords. If they did publicly release all of their tools, people would be able to “game” the system more than they currently are. The whole goal of Google is to return relevant searches full of useful information and to avoid simply posting results to the highest bidder (that’s what Google Adwords is meant for.) So anything I post regarding this is ultimately speculative, but one that I feel makes complete sense.

So a few days ago, I updated my blogs and almost immediately noticed that I was getting feedback on articles that I wrote a while ago.  Also, a few of my other blogs brought in sales where it had been stagnant for most of this year. It appears that Google actually looks at the WordPress version that one is using. Where it’s pulling that information from, I don’t know. It might simply be that Google is seeing an updated Sitemap as that stores time-stamps  WordPress can also automatically ping Google upon updates if you’re using the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. If you’re using the latest WP, it probably signals that you are serious about security (Google doesn’t want to link to sites that are malicious), code readability, updates, and that you’re content is fresh.

In  summary, what I’m suggesting to readers and blog owners is that it’s probably in their best interest to keep their blogs updated if SEO (search engine optimization) and your reader-base is a concern to you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pen new articles every time, but at least take a few moments to keep your systems updated. I’m definitely experiencing a traffic increase on all of my sites even prior to writing these past two articles. Hopefully this article serves as a helpful reminder.