What To Do If Your SEO Rankings Suddenly Drop

By | March 7, 2020


James Schramko here from SuperFastBusiness.com having a chat about SEO actually, and I wanted to bring along Gert Mellak from SEOLeverage.com. He’s been helping us with our website stuff. And of course, we’re seeing some amazing improvements with SEO. I wanted to share some of the tips. In our case, we could see a little while back, we had better rankings than we enjoyed just a little bit before we engaged Gert to help us. So Gert, today’s question is, what do we do if we have great rankings and then they suddenly drop? Like what would be your crisis mode plan that you initiate in this instance as a professional SEO? Absolutely. Basically, the most important reason why someone gets in touch with us because you never go to the doctor if you don’t have any issues usually, right? It’s because as long as your content strategy is working out fine, organic traffic is growing, nobody really cares about SEO. But most clients really come with this particular issue to us. And the first thing is really to audit a complete site, to see what’s going on here, to know the bits and pieces that are moving on the website. Every website is different. It depends on the market you’re targeting, how everything is set up, the theme you’re using, the programming, if everything is in place, the degree to what you have optimized your SEO already. And then we always are aware of any Google updates that are happening. Google updates their algorithm. And the main reason they do this is to adjust their search result to changing user expectations. So 10 years ago, when you searched for a movie theater or something like that, you expected different results than you do today. So Google is constantly adjusting on what to show based on the data they collect on what’s working, what provides the best user experience… Just on that topic, they tend to update very often. I remember, they used to update their algorithm daily, it’s not like just you know, once every quarter or once every six months. And the other thing is that when they do make updates, sometimes they talk about it. Sometimes they hint about it. Other times they don’t say anything but all the SEOs out there start sort of gathering and comparingdata and trying to speculate what changed. And that’s why you’re connected more with what’s happening than what they’re going to publish. Right? Exactly. There are minor updates that happen every day, apart from testing. So you might see in Sydney, for example, you might see different result than in Melbourne because they are just testing something in Sydney. Then they do very big updates, or many of them called core updates where they really adjust to user expectations. But I mean, we have tools in our toolbox, where we see if there are vast changes in search results. So it’s like your weather forecast for us. When we see something’s happening, we take our clients sites, we see what’s going on, we can advise clients as soon as possible if we see their rankings are going into the wrong direction. And this is absolutely helpful. Once you know what has been happening, you have different strategies to cope with that. Very often it’s based these days on speed and on user experience. User experience, meaning not only that you have a great article but also the way of how you structure the article, what you put first, what you put second, how this really relates to what we call the search intent which is the reason why someone executed the search query in the first place. So all these things come into place. And then we really try to find the best probable reason for the ranking drop. Sometimes it’s multiple reasons and but very often comes into place as well is backlinking. So when there is something like negative SEO where competitors in very high competitive niches are going to place, very negative, unrelated links to your site, and this can also bring your rankings down as effect even Google usually tells us that it is not. But we have seen this time and time again. And there are things on how you can cope with this, how you can make sure that Google ignores those links and doesn’t take them into account when determining the ranking position your site is going to show up. Like, so if someone took out nasty links as if they were you trying to beat the system, and then they penalize your site, then you have to say to Google, listen, these links are not to be counted. We didn’t put them there. We don’t know who did. We want you to disavow them. And sometimes, I guess, in extreme cases, in very competitive markets, you have to do some serious offsetting to recover from something like that. And you want to do it as soon as possible, right? Because there’s a serious cost to continuing on with a broken link profile. Absolutely. We usually do backlink audits in these cases, where we take all the backlinks that might be hundreds and thousands and really take what is probably having a negative effect on your rankings. And I mean, spammers got much smarter. A few years ago, they used to place casino links and sometimes from adult sites and things like that. But now you might be a plumber in Melbourne and they place link like plumber in Sydney, for example. They just try to confuse the algorithm. So Google doesn’t have a clear idea of what your site is about. This very often is enough to bring your rankings down. Well, that’s very helpful. So basically, if we notice there’s a change in our rankings, we should get in touch with Gert. SEOLeverage.com Absolutely. That’s what I’m here for. Thank you so much for sharing. Interesting. Thank you for having me.

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