Most of the sites we work on have never had great rankings before, and most have been inactive, without any new content, for a long time. With the addition of fresh new SEO article content, on-page SEO for existing content, a new blog, social media marketing and link building, search engines will often respond with a very favorable ranking increase within the first 90 days. After that initial peak we work on developing steady sustainable growth in rankings and traffic.
The explosive initial increases won’t continue over the long term and the steep angle on the graph will level off somewhat. It’s common for website owners to consider discontinuing the SEO program when the slope of the curve levels off a bit.
We’ve tracked the rankings of clients with a short term agenda and those who stayed the course with a long term strategy for over eleven years. After aborting the program, the work done in the previous months will continue to yield dividends for a while longer. Rankings will often increase for a while. Web site owners will therefore feel they made a sound business decision, but with no further SEO, new content or online marketing the inevitable decline in rankings and traffic begins. For very competitive industries websites can lose their rankings very rapidly. For certain niches, or for sparsely populated regional keywords the first page rankings may last for many months.
We welcome the comments of other SEO professionals. What have your findings been, when SEO has been abandoned?