Should your business ever take a break from SEO?

For many reasons, it can be tempting to stop doing SEO for a while: it may be a budget, you may have had a bad experience with your SEO provider, or you may not see the results you thought you would.

When that happens, should you take a break from SEO? And if you do, what are the consequences?

Answer: SEO is a marathon, not a sprint

It’s like running an SEO marathon. If you stop because you get tired easily, your competitors will overtake you. The longer you take a break, the further the competition will go, and the harder it will be to get ahead.

Of course, no one is forcing you to do SEO. But you need to consider what you are against when you decide to stop spending time and money.

What you’re dealing with is an average of 12 changes to Google Search every day, millions of competitors for every keyword, and if you don’t maintain your website, it will create a poor quality site, making it even harder to rank.

That’s why the secret to SEO success is resilience. SEO can only stop if Google stops changing things and all your competition disappears.

There are three reasons why you shouldn’t stop doing SEO

Here are three things to consider before taking a break from your SEO:

1. There are an average of 12 changes per day for search

It’s no secret that Google always updates its search engine. In 2020 alone, Google conducted more than 600,000 experiments, “which resulted in more than 4,500 improvements in search.” That’s an average of 12 changes a day, folks.

Some changes are small, some are big. Some are advertised, many are flying under the radar. (You can see how many updates Google SEO is talking about here.)

In any case, tracking and understanding how these changes affect a website is not a basic skill for most businesses. So you need SEO experience.

That’s why SEOs spend so many hours testing and analyzing changes to Google so that their customers or employers can benefit from that knowledge.

If you suddenly stop SEO, your website is unlikely to be in the throes of Google for a very long time.

2. You have millions of competitors – yes, millions!

Try searching Google and see how many results appear. Literally, any query can result in millions or millions. These are your online competitors.

Out of these millions of results, your content should somehow appear on the front page. And if you want more clicks, your content should be among the top results on the page.

We’ve analyzed data from the last three searches on search results position and clickthrough rate, and in general, the first position always gets the most clicks:

Analysis of the click-through rates of three studies by Ignite Visibility, Sistrix, and Backlinko

Add to that the fact that you need to be an expert in various vertical searches (such as Google Images) and all the search features on the first page, not just 10 blue links, to compete effectively.

Every day you pause SEO is a day when your competitors can spend money and resources to get ahead.

Considering that it can take you five to seven months to start seeing the results you want from SEO, this is a time you can’t waste. (Also, some keywords need to be ranked even more; it took us two years to help put a customer at No. 1 in “games”).

Maintaining your website is a full-time job

While it’s true that quality websites can create value over time in terms of links and traffic, you can’t set and forget about SEO.

You need to keep track of the technology that drives your website and its content on a regular basis. And what kind of website you have and what kind of content there is.

For example, if you have content that Google calls “your money or your life,” you’ll need to review and refresh it regularly.

Also keep in mind that each site will require technical SEO repairs on a regular basis to ensure that it works in the highest performance of search engines and end users. Think: servers, content delivery networks, content management systems, page crawl issues, and more.

Please note that Google stated in its Search Quality Reviewer Guidelines that “old” unmaintained / abandoned websites or unmaintained and inaccurate / misleading content are the cause of low page quality ratings. “

Because Google takes care of keeping your website up to date and providing a good experience, if you stop SEO, you run the risk of affecting your ranking ability.

Final thoughts

When companies want to take a break from SEO, it’s because they don’t see the results they want. And this is usually due to other factors, such as budget cuts, hiring the wrong SEO, or inconsistent expectations.

If you have a budget of between 5% and 10% of your revenue, however, and you work with the right SEO provider, you should be able to get the results you want. And these results usually lead to more revenue for the business.

When SEO is boosting revenue, stopping SEO is rarely the question that any business is considering. If you treat SEO as an essential marketing activity for your business life, you will often win a marathon. If you give up, you lose.

New in Search Engine Land

About the author

Since January 1996, Bruce Clay Inc. (BCI) has helped to rank in search engines. BCI has become a leading search marketing company offering SEO services and consulting, paid click advertising (PPC) management, content development and social media marketing services. BCI also provides SEO tools such as SEOToolSet® and the Bruce Clay SEO plugin for WordPress. operates a comprehensive online SEO training and membership site that includes the acclaimed Bruce Clay SEO Training Course. More than 5,000 participants have learned SEO from Bruce Clay’s classes around the world, and now members can access it from all over the world.

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