Can deleting RankMath improve my SEO?

delete RankMath

The short answer is Probably Not.

UPDATED: I wanted to circle back to this topic after a couple weeks of A/B testing on multiple websites.

While I did see some immediate improvement after removing Rank Math, it was short lived on every site I tested. I would remove Rank Math, see a traffic jump lasting a couple of days, then the site would go back to the usual traffic pattern.

I believe this is a worthwhile experiment for any SEO or site owner to run.

Original article:

I disabled RankMath on a website I maintain while I was running some conflict resolution tests and forgot to re-activate it. A couple of weeks later I am back on the website and their traffic & time-on-site metrics are through the roof. Well.. vastly improved.

Without giving too much info about this sites web traffic away, I present these screenshots from our SiteKit installation.

Pretty impressive jump in impressions and traffic.

Traffic jump after RankMath removal

I figured this must be a fluke. Recent volatility in the SERPs could easily explain away this jump but I decided to take things a step further and disable RankMath on my personal website. Guess what, more improvement.

Wild jump after RankMath removal

Next I wanted to dig a little further into why a product (RankMath) that is supposed to help with ranking is actually harming it and holding sites back. There are reports online suggesting that using the Instant Indexing tool creates some type of penalty with Google, removes a sites posts or pages from the SERPs, and/or lowers the page rank for associated pages. I think this is only part of the problem.

What about SEO shortcuts?

Google has been pretty clear trying to “game the system” and it could be that tools like RankMath and the Instant Indexing tool are considered just that. Trying to game the system. SEO is constantly evolving, as an SEO it is our job to make sure that our clients content is indexed and found in search. In the early days of our trade we could use every tool available but those days are over.

As LLMs come for the work SEOs do, we need to stop focusing on shortcuts, plugins, ranking tools, etc. and bring the focus back to tight, high quality, informative content.

Author: Michael Winchester

Website developer, field recordist, instrument builder. My background is largely based in design for the music industry; websites, micro-sites, and apparel. With that experience, I bring a fresh approach to corporate and construction-related web projects looking to stand apart from the competition. My goal is to help clients better understand different aspects of SEO and website development; I write short, easy-to-digest articles on search engine optimization and website performance-related topics.In my free time, I enjoy field recording, sound design, and building unusual musical instruments.Michael Winchester is a website developer and search engine consultant in Southern California. Michael Winchester Design | (562)283-5688