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Take the Worry out of Content Updates
Take the Worry out of Content Updates

Stay on top of rank changes after you've updated your content

Sidra Condron avatar
Written by Sidra Condron
Updated over a week ago

There are plenty of reasons to update your content. It might be outdated, inaccurate, or maybe it needed new info added. I know that I always hesitate when I update an article that's already ranking for keywords: what if this backfires and I tank my rankings?

Since no rankings are ever guaranteed, the best you can do is make mindful, relevant updates, and then track your rankings for any changes.

We have a method built into SpyFu that lets you track any set of keywords in a group. That way you can see if a set of related keywords start dipping. Create a group out of the keywords that your article was already ranking for. You can monitor your performance on all of them together. If your changes tipped your rankings, you'll see it.

Why Would I Use This?

I refresh our content depending on its age and performance. Sometimes I refresh a piece that is doing well in the rankings, and I want to see if I can improve it even more.

Recently, I updated an article titled "5 Google Analytics Best Practices for Beginners." Every change had a reason, and that was to drive the relevance and readability of the article. Still, I didn't want to miss anything if those changes caused its existing rankings to drop.

Here's how to start tracking keywords:

First, create a project in the MySpyFu Project Manager on the far right edge of SpyFu.

  1. Slide it open to start.

  2. Choose "Create Project."

  3. Enter Your domain, and name your project.

Create Your Group

With your project still open, click the "Create Group" button in the upper right.

You'll be asked to give it a name. This is tied to your content, so be as specific as you'd like. I used "Update: Google Analytics article" since I planned to track multiple article updates.

Very Important: Click that group name to open it. You'll see a prompt to add keywords. Leave it for now. However, make sure that your new group name is listed in the sidebar like this, and then click the edge of the panel to close it and return to the SpyFu main page.

Find Your Article's Keywords

Now search your domain in the main SpyFu search bar, and choose SEO Research>SEO Keywords.

This default list will be all of the keywords that your domain ranks for. Since you want to track the keywords that your content is ranking for, we're going to single them out with the URL filter.

Here's how:

I want to find the keywords for "" That last part of the URL is different from all of our other blog posts, so I can type that into the filter and get only that article.

  1. Find the URL filter

  2. It applies the path that you typed

  3. Your list shows all of the keywords that ranks for.

Before you got here, you created a group and opened it. That group's name should still be in the black bar to the right. Now we're going to load all of these keywords into that group so you can track them.

Hint: I added only 50 keywords with the "select all" checkbox next to Keyword. Why? At the bottom of the results, I was using "Show Rows: 50" when I had more than 100 results. I should have switched that to "Show Rows: 250" to get every keyword in one action.

Set Up an Automatic Update via Email

Now I can check on that group's collective performance at any time. SpyFu's MySpyFu project manager will track the rank changes, clicks, and improvements/losses. I can also set up a report to recur every week so I don't have to remember to check in.

I used "export to PDF" in the upper right corner of the Group's performance chart, and that opens up the options so I can schedule a weekly email to alert me to any rank or click changes following my update.

What Next?

Ideally, those changes should make for more relevant, readable, and timely content in Google's eyes. However, should it dip in rankings and stay down, then I want to revert those changes. I keep notes on what I changed and when. Some changes (like broken links and out-of-date information) should not be reverted, but you can watch for on-page adjustments you made and switch those back. Note the changes, mark your date, and start your experiment over.

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