Insights on Why Your Website Has Dropped Organic Placement

I found this terrific article and wanted to share it with you. It is “10 Reasons Your Site’s Search Engine Ranking Dropped
by Paul M Ventura on SitePro News. You can read the full article by clicking the  article title above. Paul shows some terrific insight into why your site may  have dropped organic placement on Google in light of some of Google’s recent  algorithm changes.

In a nutshell here are his reasons interspersed with some of my own  comments:

  • The Google Honeymoon Ended
    I’ve seen this before, new  sites start out strong and then after about four weeks fall to their more  realistic organic placement on Google. If you evaluate the site in the first  several weeks that the site has been added to the index you may be placed well,  but check again in about 8 to 10 weeks for more realistic expectations on where  your site will normally reside so you can start improvements.

  • Google Sandbox Effect Started
    This isn’t talked about  much, but I have seen in highly competitive industries such as real estate  site’s not even get listed in the Google index until other sites have started to  link to it. They can sit in the sandbox all alone for as long as six months
    while Google evaluates where they belong organically. A good plan is to do  article writing for links during this period to start building links. Another  recommendation is to do press releases during this period to start building  legitimate links as well.

  • Algorithm Updates/Link Juice Lost
    With the Panda/Farmer  update having penalized many article syndication sites, I feel that Paul has  some good insight here in that your site may have had links from these sites  that were penalized and so your site dropped in placement as well.

  • Malware
    Don’t think you have it? Well if you have a  WordPress blog on-domain, you’d better be monitoring. Why wait until Google has  you banned or blocked in the organic results. It is better to proactively scan  your site and WordPress files on a regular basis. I was even hacked and never  had been before. It can happen to the best of us with serious consequences.

  • Server Issues
    Has your site been down? We have several  clients where they are hosted on small no name companies and on their Google
    Webmaster Control Panel the robot is constantly reporting it cannot find or  access files. Move to a new host when possible if you are seeing this problem.

  • Robot.txt File Problems
    Webmasters can get carried away  with permissions to the Google spider. I’ve seen two situations where the  webmaster inadvertently disallowed access in this important file that all search  engine indexing spiders access before they spider your website. Make sure you  have the correct permissions and block only the files you need to block.

  • Penalization
    Did your last SEO firm or webmaster use  “black hat” techniques, hidden links, and keyword stuffing to get you organic
    placement before? How about keyword dense text the same color as your page  background? Think you are clean? Think again. I saw hidden text on a large  attorney website that had been installed by their website designer to scam the
    system. Don’t get your website penalized by these tactics. Google will not be  mocked.

  • Broken Links
    Check and check again. For blogs you can  use a plugin. For other sites use Dreamweaver to scan for broken links.

  • Duplicate Content
    I install on my site meta tags that  show me to be the content owner. Make sure when you add new content pages that
    you tag yourself in the code as the owner. Google is getting pretty smart on  this one, but there are still scrapper sites that may grab your content. When I  find them I send a cease and desist notice to the webmaster and if they don’t  remove my content I report them and the page to Google’s spam department and if  I get really made to their web host with a take down notice. Don’t make yourself  crazy over this, but it is a good idea to check your top trafficked pages with  online scanning tools. I use Copyscape and Dustball for this.

  • The Google Dance
    Grab your partner right? No, the  Google Dance is a phenomena where your search results will fluctuate wildly the  first week and sometime two weeks after Google does a big algorithm update. Hang  on and don’t freak out the first time you check your placement. Check again in  one week and then in a second before you start remediation just to make sure you
    aren’t dancing with Google. If you are your site will pop back up at the end of  the dance. Maybe not in the exact position, but nearly where you were before.

I think Paul nailed the ten topics in the article, the comments on each topic  are mine garnered from years of experience.