Searchmetrics “Changes cannot be saved” error message

You know the drill. You encounter a problem with a popular app, and a quick search reveals someone else has had the same issue. That solves it. So when I was working on a document in Searchmetrics, a massive SEO tool, and this kept popping up …

Searchmetrics error message

… I was surprised to see not a single mention of the issue anywhere. Very strange.

The issue is in Searchmetrics Content Manager, within Content Experience. It allows you to write SEO-friendly copy by cross-referencing yours with existing content covering the same subject. The full text is:

Changes cannot be saved to an outdated version of the content. Please refresh the page to view the latest version first.

Error message, Chrome browser, Searchmetrics, Windows 10

Well, I finally got to the bottom of it, and it turned out to be down to an annoying habit of mine that I can’t shake off.

Once, back in the day, I lost about two hours’ worth of edits on a PDF when Acrobat crashed. Since then, I have instinctively pressed Ctrl+S (quick save on Windows) all the time. I mean, I’m talking after every sentence. It’s fine with MS Word and Acrobat, as they’re local files running on an application on your computer. But when you’re working on an online content management tool (such as Searchmetrics Content Manager or Google Docs), the only local bit is your own browser.

So when I’m working on a document within a browser and I do a quick save, it wants to save the content of the browser page (essentially the HTML). That can throw a bit of a wobbler when some of the “content” is an input box that you’re working on. I’ve done it plenty of times with Google Docs and it doesn’t seem to make any difference, but Searchmetrics doesn’t like it. Hence the error message.

So, the simple solution is:

Don’t quick save documents on Searchmetrics Content Manager!

As soon as I stopped quick saving, the issue ceased. Sure, I had to tie my left arm behind my back, but since I always type with one finger anyway, it wasn’t a problem. Incidentally, I don’t know if this happens with any other browser, or with iOS, but if you’re getting that message, maybe give this a try – if you can break the habit of a lifetime, that is.