We have been hearing rumblings that many websites are seeing a fluctuation in search traffic in late 2016. In fact, a number of the websites in which we have access to Google Analytics have seen an upward trend in monthly traffic in December. The exact date is hard to decipher but it looks like sometime between December 8th and December 15th websites started to see an adjustment in their search rankings. So, did Google release a new “p” named animal out into the wild? Is the Google pterodactyl algorithm update now flying around the web?
From what we have seen, there have definitely been some major adjustments in the search rankings. In fact, some of these rankings are eye opening. Websites we have never seen for specific keyword phrases are now on the front page. Remember, this is the time of year when Google plays around with the search rankings because they know most people are strictly searching for retail related keywords. This gives Google a chance to test out business professional or B2B keywords as a large majority of searches are not looking for an eye doctor right before Christmas.
With this in mind, don’t get too excited if your website has jumped from page 8 to page 1 in a matter of a week. This does not mean you are going to stay there. In fact, any drastic jump is a bit worrisome. Instead of thinking your company found the best SEO guy on the Internet you may have simply found a guy that has black hat or shady practices that helped you jump for a brief amount of time. Remember that one day, or one week, a trend does not make. A website needs to rank well for many months to feel secure that the SEO has been done correctly.
The best way to determine the strength of a website is by looking at the search traffic and the link portfolio. Both of these pieces of data can be accessed through the Google Search Console or the old Google Webmaster Tools. If your website search traffic and search impressions has been consistently increasing for the last 90 days your SEO team is doing something right. If there is a drastic move higher for no reason you will have to wait to see if the search rankings remain where they are.
If you have seen your search rankings drop and would like to see them increase feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you determine the cause for the drop in search rankings and assist you in getting more business from your website.
My Search Traffic Dropped
After writing our article about the potential Google Algorithm Update in December 2016 we receive a number of emails from business and website owners that have seen a drop in search traffic and search rankings. The drop seems to start between December 4th and December 12th and has continued until today. So, what is causing this sudden drop? Did your SEO company do something wrong? Do you have a very poor back link portfolio to cause this algorithmic penalty?
First of all, we must explain there is a difference in a manual penalty and an algorithmic penalty. If you did not receive a message in Google Search Console you were hit by an algorithmic penalty. This means your website is not up to Google standards when it comes to content, backlinks or backend coding. The only way to know what is wrong is to have an experienced Internet Marketing firm look at your website. Even then, some firms may not have a clue as to what is going on.
If you have questions about your website feel free to email us at email@example.com. We will do our best to help you understand what might have gone wrong for your website to drop in the search rankings so much. Also note that a drop from page 1 to page 2 is likely not a penalty. This is simply Google turning the knobs of the algorithm to provide better search results. If you have dropped from page 1 to page 2 you can recover your rankings rather quickly with some proper optimization.
Have you seen a drop in your search traffic? When did this drop start? What are you doing to get your search rankings back?
My Website Disappeared From Google Search
Not only are websites getting hit with algorithmic penalties in December 2016, some are completely disappearing from search. We have conducted a few studies and noticed websites that were once on page 1 cannot be found anywhere in search. So, why is this the case?
There are two reasons your website no longer shows up in search. The firs reason is basic and can be fixed rather easily. If your SEO or Internet Marketing company has redirected your site or changed the backend coding it may have caused confusion for the Google Spiders. We have noticed this several times in the last few years. An SEO company will want to 301 redirect a website to another website and will do it incorrectly. They may 302 redirect a page which is a temporary redirect. This is going to cause Google to think the page or website has only be temporarily moved. With a 302 redirect, the search rankings are often all over the board. Sometimes a website completely drops from search.
If your website is going to be redirect, it needs to be redirected properly. It is also important to know where the website is being redirected to. There is the possibility that your SEO company is redirecting your current ranking domain to a domain that is penalized or has been penalized in the past. If this website is still penalized or has a shady backlink portfolio the rankings will drop.
The second reason for the disappearance in search is Google has deemed your website not suitable for a high search ranking. Most of the time, this means your website will drop five or 10 pages and not completely from search. There are times in which you will notice that your website doesn’t rank anywhere for highly competitive keyword phrases. If you have actively worked to build hundreds and thousands of links and your content is scrapped from another site, Google will likely deem your site unsuitable for high search rankings.
If either of these issues has caused your website to disappear from search email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you recover your rankings or build a new website that will have amazing content with a clean backlink portfolio. While we work with mostly personal injury lawyers, orthodontists and mortgage brokers, we are open to discussion of helping any business that benefits from ranking at the top of Google search.