In January, we decided to replace our home page with a video of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech.” Given the murders at Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the tribute seemed even more meaningful.
We also understood that switching out content in such a radical way would affect the rankings of our keywords temporarily. What surprised us was how far they dropped and how quickly. Within 5 hours of posting the MLK speech, all of our keywords for the entire site plummeted off the first page of Google. And it looks like a few made it all the way to oblivion. What we did was provide an object lesson in what not to do to SEO on your home page. Here are all the rules we broke.
- Make sure that the content is relevant to the main topics of your site.
- Provide deep links to key pages.
- Make sure that your meta tags relate to the topic of the site, and not the movie of the week.
- Develop logical, tiered content that relates to the topics presented on the home page.
That’s all it takes to drop 30 points on Google. But gosh darn, it felt great to break the rules, and for such a worthy message (See our Facebook Album “#Freedom2Me”). Next time, we’ll use a different technical approach to avoid the SEO punishment.