It is quite an obvious fact that changes made to contents on your website can cause a shift on the position of your search engine result page. However, the nature of search engines’ reaction over changes on webpages is not known, and it is not clear why the changes should occur and what is responsible for them.

Let’s have a closer look at the answer to this question, from a recent search engine patent.

About the Changes
Multiple search engine patents handle the changes on your webpage. Six years ago, Google came up with a patent that detailed the effect of webpage changes on site rankings. Just recently, another patent was granted to Microsoft, which describes the effect of changes on webpage over search engine ranking.
The new patent to Microsoft reveals the features or elements on your webpage that search engines would monitor.

What are the website elements that search engines monitor?
Going by the new patent, below are webpage changes that influence the placement of a site on search result pages:

  • Webpage featured keywords
  • Keywords related to a webpage
  • The webpage’s link, featuring anchor texts
  • The sizes as well as colors of images featured on the page
  • Where images or text are placed on the page
  • How often the document changes over time
  • The measure of webpage content that has undergone modification
  • The search phrases or keywords used by visitors to search for the page
  • Tags assigned to the webpage

How do changes in these features affect page ranking exactly?
Going by the patent, there are two categories of searches; the ‘informational’ and ‘navigational’ searches. The effect of the changes on the ranking of the webpage is determined by the category to which a search query is classified.

When looking for a specific site, a navigational query is used; an instance is search for odesk or facebook – this search would take the user straight to the homepage of the sites.

For informational queries, an instance is “how can I remove my lace wig”. A situation where a visitor is searching for info regarding a recent event (such as 2011 ABC Fashion Week), any page that included this search query can be listed on the search result page.

When navigational queries are involved, static content webpages may be boosted. The procedure is compatible with certain webpages, but could be problematic when home pages that embark on regular content update are involved.

What is the implication of all these to your webpage?

Although Microsoft got this patent, it appears as though Google implements this process. Search engines are not just merely concerned with the recent version of your site.

Also, they’ve not forgotten what was obtainable in the past. Changes on your webpage may point to change of ownership, they could be red-flagged for spam, or could be an indication that you have had a total revamp of update your website purpose.

Any time you embark on modification of your webpages, bear in mind that you are sending a signal to search engines – know for yourself as to which signal you are sending across.

When you take up on your website optimization, avoid optimizing any page that is already ranking high for one of your existing keywords. It is rather more sensible to optimize a different page using the new keyword.

It pays off well to optimize more pages of your site. Use different but relevant keywords to optimize your webpages. This way, you will be sending a message to search engines that your website is bothered on an identifiable theme or topic.

Author's Bio: 

Jeff Matthews is a freelance writer who wrights about Internet marketing ideas To know about this subject and Jeff please visit