The most frustrating thing in the world is when Google kicks you from the first page and you find your site 5 to 6 pages deep. The reasons for this kind of drop are normally down to violation of Google’s guidelines, however sometimes you just can’t put your finger on it.
The first thing you should do as soon as you notice any drop is check your site first, some common questions to ask yourself are;
- Have I changed any content on the site?
- Have I added a significant amount of outbound links?
- Have I checked my inbound links recently?
- Are any of the links pointing to my site looking suspect?
- Is my site structure sound, is Google still indexing my pages?
- Am I accidently hiding any text or links?
- Have I been in control of the domain from the start?
- If not is it possible someone else may have violated Googles guidelines?
If you cannot get to the bottom of why your rankings have dropped, you need to move on instead of tearing your site to pieces. If you have experienced a drop to page 3 or 4, the chances are it is a simple algorithm change and your site will usually return to normal after a week or two, however there could be another issue.
Do you really think whilst your plugging away optimising and creating backlinks that your competition are simply stood still?? If you do you have the SEO game all wrong.
In competitive markets the SEO game is like a race, how can you optimise and acquire backlinks the quickest without attracting unwanted Google attention?
If you have been slacking on the link building or forgetting to create new content then expect to drop rank because your competitors will eat you for breakfast.
OK, you’ve been a little slack, now you have to catch up, how do you start??
The first place to start is by looking at your competitiors links, what is their link popularity? Where do they have their links from? How are you going to match, then exceed it?
Also look at anchor text distribution, what percentage of their links are anchored with the targeted keywords? How many of their links come from diverse domains?
You are going to have to beat each factor in order to move your ranking up.
Content is a little trickier but there are a few things you can check.
Have they added new pages, a new blog or more text to older pages? Have they added relevant outbound links to their text?
Have they had any content that has gone viral which has brought in links left right and centre? How are they using the targeted keywords in the title, meta and alt tags?
You need to look at all these things to ensure your competing. Neglecting this step will constantly see you lagging behind. You may need to start an intense link building campaign to catch up or it may be as simple as using your keywords more effectively.
Remember your competitors will be looking at your site and trying to figure out how to knock you off your perch, don’t give them the window of opportunity.
I would suggest 3 things to minimise the chance of been over took:-
- Have a consistent and regular link building strategy
- You MUST have a blog or some way of adding new content
- You MUST engage in social media to attract natural links to your site
Of course there is more than this but applying the above will keep you there or there abouts..
As always, thanks for reading.Line Break
Author: Tim (293 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.