November 16, 2011
Today's article was a scary one to write. Not because it was difficult or I wasn't sure about the topic. It's just that it's a complete rewrite of my Meta description article from 2004. While I wrote an update in 2007, that version is on a different URL from the 2004 version, which just so happens to be the most visited page of my entire site! (Most of the visitors come from Google.)
While I've known it was the most popular page on the site for quite some time, it never hit home how often that article is viewed until I started keeping my Real Time Google Analytics open most of the day. At almost any given moment there is at least 1 person (often more) reading that old article. While the information in it wasn't horrible, it was most certainly out of date because Meta descriptions are used differently now. I've been feeling horribly guilty about so many people having that old article as their first (and sometimes only) impression of my site that I decided to take the chance and rewrite it.
This time, I'm putting the updated version at the old URL that gets all the traffic, while deleting the old version. It's a bit scary because Google could easily take away all the traffic they've been bringing for the old version, but it's a chance worth taking to ensure that people are getting the best possible, accurate and up-to-date advice from me. And who knows? This new version may lower the bounce rate for that URL because it's possible that many people saw the old date and left quickly. I'll keep a close tab on traffic, bounce rate and newsletter sign-up conversions, and let you know what happens in a future newsletter.
Crossing my fingers... Jill