A few years ago, I wrote a monster post. It became so popular that it dwarfed all other pages on my website (even the homepage) – even though I never expected or intended for it to do so. In fact, as I write this, in the past month it received 73% of all hits to my website – so it’s more popular than every other page or post on the blog combined.
As time went on, I had a bit of a dilemma: the content slowly became more and more obsolete. It’s still partly true/helpful even today, but more and more people had been commenting on the post saying that my method no longer worked for them. Obviously I wanted to leave the post up, for both selfless reasons (e.g. as it’s still useful for some people, albeit fewer than before) and selfish reasons (e.g. TRAFFIC), but I felt that the current version of the post was lying to them, so I reluctantly decided to change the title, from an absolute, this-is-how-it-is-now-and-forever style of ‘how to’ headline:
How to Remove Slanderous Google Reviews – A Case Study
…to something suggesting that it was perhaps more time-sensitive and therefore not necessarily helpful any more:
How I Removed A Slanderous Google Review – A Case Study (2013)
It’s very subtle – I basically made it past tense and reiterated the year at the end. However I was genuinely concerned that it would be a massive turn-off to people browsing Google for help on the subject. The vast majority of the traffic that the post gets is via organic search, and I was well aware that the title change would update accordingly in the SERPs… What if someone thought “hey, this is old – I’m not clicking on that…”
In addition to the title change, I added a sort of intro disclaimer section:
I made the change on 3rd November 2015 – nearly 10 months ago. I thought it’d be interesting to delve into the Google Analytics data and to see if the change had had any majorly positive or negative effect on my blog’s traffic levels.
The Google Analytics data: a snapshot
I jumped into Google Analytics’ Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages section,* set the traffic to organic search only, and clicked on the post in question. Then I tinkered the date range from 3rd November 2015 (the date of the change) and the last full day of data (which was 29th August 2016 as I type this), and compared it to the previous period (6th January 2015 to 2nd November 2015). Here’s what I saw: