Can Websites Continue Ranking in Google Without New Content? 2 Site Examples

Rank websites in Google without adding new content for years

If you read my previous post, this new post may seem like a contradiction or that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

My last post set out pros and cons of publishing content daily.  In that post I make it clear I publish plenty of daily content on my biggest niche site.

This post is all about explaining and showing you that you don’t have to add content content regularly to a site for it to maintain search engine rankings (and therefore keep making money).

Talk about a real dichotomy, but then that’s the nature of my blogging business.  I own several sites, each in different niches that earn money in different ways.

The point of this article is to show you that you don’t have to publish content regularly to maintain rankings.

I have two niche sites that have held stable rankings, more or less, for years, and keep on spitting out revenue month after month after month.  The best part is I do absolutely nothing to these sites.

Niche Site #1:  B2B Niche Site

This site serves a particular business industry (it’s not Fat Stacks).  The audience is a defined group of business owners.  Revenue is earned via affiliate marketing.  The focus of the site is to attract email subscribers who then receive a series of very good email newsletters that promote a few products with affiliate links.  The entire thing is a set it and forget niche site.

Traffic History:

Traffic history screenshot for B2B niche site for 4 plus years earns totally passive income

As you can see the above site consistently pulls in traffic.  I’ve published maybe 5 posts in the last 2 years on this site.  I did a ton of work in the beginning publishing 80 articles targeting the main keywords.  I then wrote 30 very good email newsletters.  Since then, I’ve done very little with this site except updating WordPress and plugins a few times per year.

Interestingly, this site has earned more dollars than total number of visitors.  The reason for this is it successfully promotes a high recurring commission product so that affiliate commissions build up over time.

Total earnings over time:  $250,000 USD (very rough, but conservative estimate).

Niche Site #2:  Local Lead Generation Site

The second example of a niche site I own is a local lead generation website.  It attracts calls and contact submissions for a local business in a particular geographical area.  The local business pays me referral fees for the new business.

Here’s the historical traffic numbers:

Historic traffic numbers for local lead generation website

Over the past 2 years I’ve added 3 articles to this site.  Like the first site above, I put a lot of work into the site initially publishing approximately 50 articles and setting up the lead generation tools.  After that I waited for it to rank in Google search and collected lead generation fees for years.

Total earnings over time:  $120,000 CAD (conservative estimate).  Earnings are high relative to number of visitors because it’s in one of the most valuable local niches (legal niche) resulting in very high referral fees.

FYI, I ended the arrangement with this local business in early 2018 because the government rolled out laws that pretty much killed off the service offered.  It’s a long story, but it pertains to a new insurance regulatory scheme being rolled out in the jurisdiction that changed the entire industry drastically.

Did I do any crazy off-site SEO?

No.  I did some guest posts for the second site to get it ranking but that was some time ago.  As for the first site (B2B) I never did any link building at all.  I established decent authority status within the very narrow niche so it ranks fairly well for some good industry keywords.  In fact, site #1 above is one of my oldest sites that came through Google Penguin unscathed and hasn’t had any problems with any algo updates since then.

What about Social Media promotion?

I don’t do any social media for either site.  Social media requires frequent attention, which I don’t want to provide these sites.  I prefer they earn passively.  This also shows that you don’t need social media signals to attract search traffic.

What types of sites don’t need new content?

It’s simple.  If you are of the view you’ve covered all the topics you want to cover, it’s done.  Why publish more unless you use that additional content for traffic via social media or other sources?  There’s no need to publish content simply for the sake of publishing content.

I could definitely get more traffic to the above sites if I published more, but the increase wouldn’t warrant the time or expense.  I established solid traffic baseline numbers that earn well on auto-pilot.  I think investing more money regularly into content would push me beyond the point of diminishing returns relative to my other opportunities.

Balance your opportunities

I ended the last section with “relative to my other opportunities” which is an important statement.  Yes, I could earn more with both of the sites above if I invested more time and money into them.

However, I only have so much time and money to invest.  My other niche sites are growing very quickly and so my resources generate a better return investing in the faster growing sites.

If I had no other opportunities, I would put more into the above sites.  But then this is all besides the point.

What do I prefer – adding or not adding content?

I like both methods.

I earn more with my bigger niche sites where I add content regularly, but then they’re much larger niches with more earning potential.  I’ll never knock niche sites that earn decent revenue that require little or no ongoing effort.

Why don’t I set up all sites to be totally passive income producers?

This is a great question.  My main reason is that my biggest two sites where I do add content regularly earn outstanding income even though they require a few hours of work on my part each day.  My aim is to build them up for a big sale.  In order to do that, I need to keep working on them.

The fact is, my bigger niche sites work really well so I’d be foolish to ignore them by putting all my effort into building up more passive earning sites.

the Point

The point of this article is to demonstrate that you do NOT need to publish content regularly in order to maintain search rankings and to continue earning from search traffic.

I’ve published almost nothing over the last two years on both sites mentioned in this post, yet both earned well for years.

10 thoughts on “Can Websites Continue Ranking in Google Without New Content? 2 Site Examples”

  1. Jon,

    Always enjoy your journey; thanks for sharing it with us.

    Question; with your local lead gen site…how did you track and ensure you were paid for the leads you generated? I’ve always seen the value in local lead gen but I couldn’t answer the above question.

    Have a great weekend.

    Portland, Oregon

    1. Hey Mike,

      good question about local lead generation tracking. I used a call center to field and forward all calls. They noted down names and phone numbers. I also used Wufoo forms for the contact form leads. I like Wufoo because I can export the data into a CSV and forward it to my local clients. Trust is required; I trusted my client that they would pay for the leads. They did as far as I could tell. They were very professional and it was a great arrangement until the industry changed.

    1. Hey Eko,

      both sites are very different except both focus on attracting leads in one form or another. If I were forced to choose one type of the two, I prefer the B2B coupled with email marketing over local lead gen. Local lead generation is pretty dry stuff, but can be very lucrative if you land a few clients and set up a good win/win arrangement.

  2. Jon,

    Thank you for the great content you put out.

    Is it possible to share earnings graph for the niche site #1? I would like to see how it was progressing.

    My initial intention is to learn how to build websites like this. I understand that it is not high earnings potential as a website where you are constantly adding content, but I like that it is as passive as it can be after you put out some work into it.

    1. Hey Ivan,

      a graph is a great idea. If I get to updating all monthly income reports I could do that. A bit busy right now, but a great idea for down the road.

  3. I have a site (about 7 years old) that I don’t update for at least 2 years because it’s not very profitable niche (education) (80$/mc). Now, it has 3-4 times as many visits as it used to have when I left it and it’s still growing.
    I have, on average, 800 visits a day.

  4. Lead generation is a very lucrative and often overlooked area of online business. I’ve been involved with several successful lead generation projects.

    A local car dealer values calls made to the dealership’s sale office at about $11 per call. A local orthodontist values inbound query calls at $45 dollars per call.

    There are thpousands and thousands of businesses who will pay money to anyone who can make theoir phone ring.

    How to track the calls you are driving, and make sure the merchant pays for your referrals?

    The easiest way I have found is to drive respondents to an 1-800 number (any toll free exchange, like 1-866, etc.)

    This service costs me only about $3 per month per phone number and less than $0.07 cents per minute for the calls that get answered. In return I get a detailed spreadsheet of every inbound call … date, time, minutes online, even the “real” phone number the call comes from, because *67 does not work when calling toll free numbers in the USA and Canada.

    There’s no question in a client’s mind if my adverting produced inbound calls or not, and the cost, compared to my profits, are trivial.

    And North American consumers are preconditioned to “love” toll free numbers, even in these days when long distance charges are minimal.

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