How to Avoid Disaster When Your Search Rankings Fail

You’ve spent a huge amount of time, resources and effort in getting your website into the top organic search results for your chosen keywords and phrases. You wake up one morning and realise that traffic to your site has fallen significantly along with your search rankings.

Why can this happen? How long will it take to gain back those rankings? It can be disheartening to see your hard work result in a rankings drop but, before you run around in a panic, it might be worth checking on the below factors first.

Competitors

For any given keyword or phrase, if one website’s rankings improve, someone else’s website has to fall off the top spot. So, if you find that your rankings have dropped, you might want to see what your competitors have been up to and try to adjust your strategy accordingly to regain your position.

This is the reason why your SEO strategy must be ongoing. SEO is never finished because your competitors are always improving their website in order to rank more highly. To avoid competitors outranking you, keep an eye on their websites and social media profiles in order to understand their strategy and what they’re doing so that you can keep your site ahead of the game at all times.

Google Algorithm Update

Google is constantly updating its algorithms and, although they’re not all as big as Penguin or Panda but when it does change, rankings can be affected negatively if your website does not comply with the new algorithm. The best way to combat this is to follow SEO blogs and guidance to keep ahead of changes and update or change your site or strategy accordingly.

To make sure your site is likely to remain compliant, follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines to ensure you follow best practice at all times.

Lost links

If you know anything about SEO, you’ll know that backlinks to your site show Google that your website has authority and contains quality information that lost of people are interacting with. So you spend a huge amount of time building relationships in order to build links organically. However, sometimes those links can be removed or become temporarily unavailable, causing your rankings to fall.

When links are lost, you will have to spend time trying to find out where from and if you build or replace them. Spending time on a ongoing link building strategy will help to minimise the impact of losing links.

Site Speed

Site speed is a major Google ranking factor so it’s important to keep an eye on your page speeds to prevent a drop in rankings.

Page Changes

If you have updated pages recently, Google may have changed the rankings because it no longer sees it as relevant as it used to be. The below factors could have affected the page’s rankings so, if you’ve experienced a drop, you can always revert the page back to it’s previous state to regain the rankings:

  • URL change
  • Keyword removed from page title
  • Lower keyword density

Changing Internal Links

If you have added or removed internal links it could change the way Google values your site.

Stale Content

Google looks at how recently and how often a website is updated when ranking the site. If your site hasn’t been updated for a while, think about putting some fresh content on there or on your blog page to try and breathe new life into your rankings.

Avoid Blackhat SEO Techniques

Whilst tricks such as fooling Google with hidden text or placing artificial links across the web may have worked in the past, Google is now able to detect these things and may penalise your site as a result. Make sure you follow best practice to maintain your position and don’t be tempted to pay for quick wins because they could cost you your rankings in the long-term.

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