How Often Should You Update

One of the most asked question is how often sites should be updated. There are two camps. One camp say create the site, doing some SEO and let Google do the rest. Then move on to the next site. There is really nothing wrong with this method but it has one major flaw – Live by the Google, die by the Google. If Google decides to change their search ranking (and they always do) your site(s) could become worthless.

The other camp says create a site and keep adding to it with updates. The goal being the readers will return to your site to read what is new. This type of site is not as dependent on Google for traffic, and if the site is really good, traffic can build up quite quickly with simple word of mouth. The question then is how often must you update a site to build traffic and keep users coming back?

The answer really depends a lot on what type of site you have. For example, if you have a blog then you need to update it everyday – that is what blogs are for. Don’t have anything to write about? Then you’re not looking hard enough. No matter what subject your blog is about, there is always something going on. Look at all the big blogs on the net? Not only are they updated everyday, they have over a dozen new posts before lunch!

If you run a content site then your updates don’t need to be as intensive as a blog, unless your site also does news. Then you need to update that everyday. I’ve been to sites where the news is almost a week old and there hasn’t been a new entry since. These sites would be better off by removing the news section. Ideally a content site should have one new article per day (5 per week) if they wish to grow traffic. Two to three articles per week will maintain your traffic level. Do less than one per week and you’re traffic will drop.

Another thing one should consider is Google likes sites that are updated a lot and will rank them higher in search results. This blog has been around for years but I never did anything with it till recently. Google had removed my number 1 spot for the search term “John Chow.” Within a week of starting this blog and posting daily updates, Google put me back in the number 1 spot. Now I found I show up in Google searches for the strangest things, like “raising 16” and “woodwards wristband.”

So back to the original question; how often should you update? My answer is – all the time. The more often, the better. Remember, visitors like to see new stuff when they visit a site. The same goes for the Google spider.

10 thoughts on “How Often Should You Update”

  1. Marco says:

    Which blogs do you frequent John?

  2. John Chow says:

    I don’t frequent too many blogs. All the personal blogs listed on my lists and a few other ones. Like Engadget, Gizmodo, Tech Dirt and Pro Blogger.

  3. fornls says:

    Hi John.
    Thanks for the information. I would like to write fiction content of my own in my blog. I don’t know whether anybody will read it.
    I will also try to update as much as possible.

  4. Ryan Marle says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for all your insight. I also wanted to ask if it is possible to write too much where people just start to skim over it because it becomes overload?

  5. John Chow says:

    There is no such thing as updating too much!

  6. Kalle says:

    Thanks John. I have a question. I am looking back at your old posts from 2006 and find that you don’t have many comments, but the posts you write today has like 20-50 comments each, no matter what you write about. When did your site explode, and what was the main reason?

    Kalle 🙂

  7. I agree with continuously updating a web site, especially daily updates with a blog. My blog had 8200 page views last month and the bulk of the traffic occurred on the days posts were made. I’m going to buy a PDA so that I can write blog entries anywhere, anytime.

    I was planning on creating 2 CMS sites, but I don’t have the time and I would rather work on software development. I’ll hold off on the new sites until I’m able to do these things full time. 🙂

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