Something that periodically comes up is how Google will treat a site if it goes much broader or much narrower from the topic area it started in. Some shy away from straying too far from that topic, concerned that the signals and rankings that they have built up could somehow suffer when Google sees they are changing their topic area.
Here was the specific question:
Let’s say my site has been touching different topics at once, and I decided to focus on one topic (i.e. doctor profiles, but before i had pages about diseases and hospitals). How would Google see this change? IMO, it’s an improvement, but would Google see?
John Mueller from Google sees this as a natural evolution from a website. He doesn’t recommend creating entirely new sites just for changing or altering the site’s topic area. But he also says that this is nothing that site owners should “shy away” from doing.
That is kind of a normal change on a website. The themes of a website change over time, that’s not something that I’d say you’d need to shy away from or create separate sites if you want to touch upon a new topic. So that’s something, personally I see that as kind of a normal organic change of a website where maybe you expand on some areas, you kind of contract on other areas, focus more here, go a bit broader there, that’s totally natural, that’s not something I’d kind of shy away from.
He does also raise the concern that site owners should still ensure they are doing what is best for their visitors.
I guess the normal advice on growing a site is something you might want to look at is how people react to your content. Do they still understand what your pages are about? Can they understand which things belong together? Those kind of more general marketing user experience type of questions, I guess.
So don’t worry about narrowing or broadening your topic area, worry more about if what you are doing it best for those who actually visit your site.
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Craig Kiessling says
So if I am understanding you correctly, it’s about the “natural” and “organic”-ness of the growth (or shift or contraction)?
If that’s the case, then it seems to make sense, as that’s what most of Google’s bit is about. Unfortunately, too many people attempt to create templates to make it seem natural – whatever it is we are talking about, instead of just playing the game fairly.
It’s like what I see all the time in architecture. Tear down an old building and re-build it to make it look old. Absolutely dumb. But as we see in both of these areas…It’s far-too-commonplace to be ignored.