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Google: Sometimes SEO Might not Be Your Answer for Ranking

Often, there is no SEO solution, according to John Mueller of Google
John Mueller of Google says there are sometimes no SEO solutions

The Google company’s Analyst John Mueller tells a frustrated site owner that sometimes no SEO solution can make a site rank higher in search results.

This is stated on Reddit in a reply to a thread titled: “If I hire an SEO expert service would they be able to find out what’s wrong with my website and help me improve it?”

Additionally, the site owner states that over six years ago, all traffic to their website disappeared.

“I just blog, I don’t do any coding or anything, I don’t do link building either,” the site owner writes. 

A professional SEO could help bring their traffic back since they have not actively utilized any search engine optimization methods.

Mueller answers that SEO might not always be effective in all situations, which may not be what the site owner wants to hear.

SEO Won’t Help:

Mueller says SEO might not help the website in question given that it lost traffic six years ago and has not recovered.

This is not a result of Google penalties or technical issues, since both of these things can be fixed with SEO.

The strategy employed on this website may be outdated, says Mueller: “One of the things to keep in mind is that it’s possible that there’s just no SEO solution. 6 years is a long time, and the web + Google News + everything around it has evolved quite a bit. Sometimes it’s not a technical issue, sometimes it’s not something you can fix by just “buying a bunch of links”, sometimes it’s just that the site strategy is now obsolete.”

It is possible for a website’s strategy to grow stale for a variety of reasons, many of which are beyond its control.

Life evolves significantly in six years, according to Mueller.

That’s enough time for topics to lose relevance and information to become outdated.

Site Relevance and SEO:

SEO will not help a website whose content nobody cares about.

The same goes for websites that sell old products, as Mueller gives an example of a website selling VHS tapes.

The best SEO practices in the world don’t matter if no one looks for a site.

“You can have a fantastic website, make it super-fast, have “high authority & trustworthiness” (however you want to define that), but if you’re selling VHS cassettes, you’re going to have a bad time. It’s more obvious when there’s a physical product involved, but if the content is your product, it applies just as well.”

It is unusual for Googlers to discourage people from seeking help with SEO’s, which makes Mueller’s comment on the Reddit thread notable.

At times, it is important to consider this angle.

Is it an SEO issue, or is the world moving on if a site keeps losing traffic despite your best efforts?

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