Filed Under:  U.S. & World

Site Not Ranking? Past SEO May Be To Blame

Contributed by on January 18, 2015 at 3:04 pm

SEO Web Site SchemeWhen Google releases a new algorithm update, many businesses scramble to make drastic changes to the way SEO is performed. Continual Penguin and Panda updates have caused many businesses to lose their website rankings nearly overnight. The last Penguin update affected less than 1% of businesses, but past updates saw up to 3% of websites affected.

With Penguin, Panda and other algorithmic updates taking place, many small businesses are finding that their rankings have disappeared.

Changes in rankings aren’t altogether a direct result of a penalty. Sometimes, these changes are an indirect result of algorithmic changes. In other cases, however, a site may lose its rankings because of improper or unethical SEO practices.

To determine the cause of ranking loss, a thorough backlink profile should be assessed with using Google’s Webmaster Tools. Past SEO methods that involved “black hat” techniques may be to blame for the issue. Spam or low quality links are the first major concern and should be removed using the “Google Disavow” tool. Google Webmaster Tools will provide insight into a website’s current crawl errors or penalties.

Major concerns, such as thin content or poor quality links may not be the issue at all. Competitors may have increased their SEO efforts and are simply causing sites to fall out of the rankings.

There are also hundreds of other small algorithmic changes made each year by Google that are never considered major news.

Low-cost SEO and tactics that try to “trick” Google are becoming obsolete. Going up against some of the brightest engineers in the world, the focus needs to shift to quality SEO practices. Direct traffic generation should also be a major focus going forward.

Improved site and content quality is a growing concern. Search engines want sites to be focused on user experience and quality.

Google has stated that they will still crawl penalized websites and adjust rankings when changes are made. Tweaks should be made throughout the year to better optimize site design and content.

Marketing the right way moving forward is increasingly important. Past SEO efforts now need to be combined with social media, content marketing, PPC and personal branding for a full marketing approach.

Past tactics provide an opportunity to reevaluate business marketing strategies and make vital corrections to ensure stable rankings.