What if I stop doing SEO on my websiteSEO For

What happens if I stop doing SEO on my website?

Are you considering pausing SEO for a while on your website?

I tell you what can happen depending on the situation your website is in.
You will be aware of the consequences that abandoning SEO has on a business level.
I share a real case so you can see what usually happens when you stop doing SEO.

I understand that SEO can cause some people to feel a certain aversion. After all,…

I understand that SEO can cause some people to feel a certain aversion. After all, it’s a discipline that can be quite frustrating if you don’t enjoy it, as results usually take time to appear.

If this is your case and you’re thinking about abandoning your SEO strategy, I want to propose something: don’t do it without reading this article first.

I’m going to tell you what typically happens when you stop doing SEO for a website, and we’ll look at a real case where we worked on SEO for a while and then stopped applying it.

Do you want to know what happened?

Stick around until the end to find out.

When might you consider not doing SEO?

Many people see SEO as a one-time task.

I’ve seen businesses hire an SEO agency for a few months and, even after achieving results, they don’t renew their services.

There are also those who start doing SEO on their own for their website but, at some point, get tired and put it aside.

That is a huge mistake.

SEO is a long-term strategy. We need to work on it day by day if we want our website to be valued by Google.

If we abandon it, sooner or later, our project will start to suffer.

Possible scenarios after stopping SEO

It would be foolish to think that the consequences of neglecting SEO are exactly the same for every website.

We know that the positive results of SEO efforts become noticeable sooner on some websites than on others, depending on their authority or the industry they belong to.

Similarly, the effects of pausing SEO will also impact some sites sooner than others.

To give you an idea of what happens when you stop doing SEO, I’m going to show you three different scenarios below.

If your website has not started ranking yet

You’re still at the starting line. It’s like your website is starting from scratch.

Or even worse, since Google has visited your page several times and hasn’t deemed it worthy of attention.

If you abandon SEO now, almost certainly your site will never manage to rank.

Consequences of not doing SEO when your website has not started ranking yet

You’ll stop creating content geared towards what users are searching for online. Additionally, your website won’t be prepared for Google to crawl it, understand it correctly, and give it the relevance you would expect.

If it ends up ranking, it will be by sheer luck. Something that is very unlikely to happen.

If your website starts ranking

When you see your website starting to take off, it’s not the time to stop SEO.

Quite the opposite. You’ve already seen that your efforts are working. So, why would you stop now?

Don’t do it. If you stop working on SEO when your website is on the rise, rest assured you will end up suffering the consequences.

Surely, the natural trend you have achieved will help you continue climbing the ranks for a while. But there will come a time when the curve will reverse, and you will start losing visibility.

Consequences of not doing SEO when your website starts to rank

If your website has been around for a while and is already ranking

If you think that once you have a stable, well-ranked, and authoritative website, you can stop doing SEO with complete peace of mind, let me tell you that you are making a big mistake.

It’s true that a website with these characteristics is harder to dethrone in the SERPs, but time will eventually set things straight.

Surely, your website will maintain its positions for a while. It’s even possible that, due to its authority, it will continue ranking more URLs.

However, by abandoning SEO, your content will no longer be updated according to Google’s quality standards and will also be more exposed to search engine algorithm changes.

Gradually, you will start losing positions for certain keywords, most likely the more competitive ones that bring you the most traffic and business.

Your visits will start to decrease, and consequently, so will your revenue.

Consequences of not doing SEO when your website has been around for a while and is already ranking

What happens to your website if you decide to stop doing SEO

In the previous section, I gave you a glimpse of the repercussions of stopping SEO on your website.

But how exactly is your website affected when you don’t work on SEO?

Let’s take a look.

1. Even if you keep publishing new content, it won’t be effective

Giving up on SEO doesn’t mean you stop creating content. Of course, you can continue publishing new articles or improving existing ones. However, you will be flying blind, guided only by your own intuition.

Within SEO, Keyword Research plays a fundamental role when it comes to planning your website’s content. It not only allows you to identify relevant keywords for your business, but it also helps you properly categorize your pages and discover new content ideas based on what users are searching for.

Additionally, thanks to SEO, you can semantically optimize your articles to improve their performance.

Consequences of not optimizing SEO content

On the other hand, if you base your content strategy solely on your own instincts and not on keyword research, you risk your website not attracting anyone.

This is often the case with personal blogs that you start with great enthusiasm but end up being read only by your family or friends.

2. Your pages will have more and more errors

Regular SEO audits are essential to detect and fix errors on your website that affect crawling and indexing.

Consequences of not doing SEO audits

If you don’t perform these audits, your pages will have more and more errors and will be rated poorly by Google, potentially even leading to manual penalties.

Here are some examples:

  • Broken links and 404 errors.
  • Slow loading pages.
  • Duplicate content.
  • Indexing errors and issues with the sitemap file.
  • Missing meta tags.

3. Your authority will suffer

When you don’t do SEO, you also don’t work on link building. Therefore, if you get any links from other websites or social media, it won’t be because you sought them out.

You might think this isn’t a bad thing. After all, this is precisely what Google wants: for backlinks to be created naturally.

However, if your website isn’t a leader in its field, nor as popular as Wikipedia, why would anyone want to link to it?

Most likely, those external inbound links will come from low-quality pages or be toxic links that can harm your reputation.

Therefore, not working on link building means losing control of your backlinks, as well as missing out on opportunities to boost your authority and, consequently, your website’s visibility.

4. You will lose your web ranking and your visits will decrease

All of the above inevitably leads to this point: a drop in search rankings.

Not doing SEO means ignoring the guidelines that Google and other search engines follow when evaluating the quality of websites. Both now and in the future.

In other words, your page may currently be optimized for search engines, but a change in Google’s algorithm can undo all your work.

That’s why, if you don’t apply the latest SEO techniques, you won’t follow Google’s latest recommendations and in the end, your website’s ranking will suffer.

If you don't do SEO, you won't follow Google's algorithm guidelines

Your page will receive fewer and fewer organic visits and, therefore, you’ll see your revenue take a hit as well.

5. Your competitors will surpass you

Let’s say that despite everything I’ve told you, you decide to take a break and pause SEO for a while.

Do you know who will continue working on SEO?

Exactly, your competitors.

They will keep implementing all kinds of techniques to try to rank their websites at the top of Google.

And if you don’t, you’ll be giving them a huge advantage.

Rest assured that they will outrank you in the SERPs and take a significant portion of your traffic, if not all of it.

Competition will surpass you if you don't do SEO

Consequences of Stopping SEO on a Website. Here’s a Real Case

To wrap up, I’m going to share a real case of a website where we did SEO during its launch and then stopped working on it.

Due to confidentiality reasons, I can’t tell you which website it is, but I will show you its visibility graphs on Semrush, both for organic traffic and positioned keywords.

Example of a website where SEO was stopped

Next, I will explain these graphs in more detail over time.

After 2 Months of Not Doing SEO

We stopped doing SEO in March 2023. Until then, we had done a good job, and the website was gaining traction. More and more keywords were being positioned, and the volume of traffic to your site was increasing.

Two months is almost nothing in SEO, so the results right after stopping SEO continued to be positive. The website kept rising during the first month and stabilized in the second.

Example of not doing SEO for 2 months

If you look at the keywords, the trend is the same: a slight increase and then it stayed almost the same.

Keyword evolution when not doing SEO on a website for 2 months

After 6 Months of Not Doing SEO

The website remained stable for a while, but starting in July, the visits began to decline.

Example of not doing SEO for 6 months

Notice that this behavior is not due to any Google update, as they started rolling out after our decline.

Loss of keywords from not doing SEO on a website for 6 months

In fact, the drop in ranked keywords began to occur a bit earlier, suggesting that traffic was maintained thanks to the keywords that appeared beyond the Top 20.

After 12 months of not doing SEO

The decline in organic traffic was already evident and the situation worsened even more until today we have less than half the visits we had at our peak.

Example of not doing SEO for 12 months

And the trend is still downward. If we don’t take action, the website will most likely end up buried deep in Google’s search results.

This is a clear example of what can happen to your website over time if you don’t keep working on SEO.

So, think twice before making such a delicate decision.

Conclusion: Don’t abandon your website’s SEO

In this post, we have seen the disastrous consequences of stopping SEO on your website.

Although the specific outcome will depend on the state of your site, it is most common that, sooner or later, the SEO ranking you have achieved will start to deteriorate.

Therefore, my recommendation is not to give up easily and continue paying attention to SEO. This way, you can always follow Google’s guidelines and then climb your website to the top search results.

Eduard Coromina
Boasting more than a decade of experience in the SEO field, working with both companies and individual professionals, I've spent the last four years at the helm of SEO for DinoRANK. During this time, I've contributed to its development and rise as a key player in the SEO tool space. See you in the SERPs — the learning never stops.

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