How to Deal with Search Rank Fluctuations

HowToDealwithSearchRankFluctuations

If you are involved in an SEO marketing strategy then you are probably concerned with your website’s rank and check it on a regular basis. Your rank helps you determine if your SEO efforts are working and tells you how your website is fairing in a specific marketing. It is common for your rank to switch back and forth between a few numbers in the same range but if it is fluctuating all over the place then this can be a problem.

In order for your SEO rankings to work well there has to be some type of consistency. It can be frustrating for business owners to see their search results page rise one day and then have trouble locating it just a week later with the same keywords. Ranking fluctuations are a part of Google’s algorithm so it is important to do all you can to protect your page rankings.

What Causes Fluctuations

Before you can learn how to minimize rank fluctuations, you need to understand why they happen. There a few different factors that can go into causing a rank change but they tend to occur more often on pages that are lower down on the results page. Higher ranking pages might have smaller fluctuations but they also happen more often.

One of the reasons fluctuations occur is due to search engine algorithm updates which can cause your rank to increase or drop for a few weeks temporarily. Sometimes smaller updates go unannounced so you might not understand why your rank changed. Updating your own content and making major changes can also cause your rank to fluctuate as search engines crawl your new content.

If your website is having certain technical issues it also might affect your search rank and cause it to fluctuate. If you have implemented new strategies or incorporated some complicated code which is slowing down your site speed it could drop your rank due to lack of accessibility to crawlers. Other changes such as new inbound link strategies can cause a fluctuation because of the sudden influx of links which will cause your rank to rise dramatically.

How to React to Fluctuations

When you experience a serious fluctuation in your search engine ranking, you should avoid panicking and making more changes right away to combat the fluctuation. Since the rank drop may be due to recent changes to your site, going back and changing more tactics will not help the situation in the long run. Instead you can decide to wait and see if any negative fluctuation will bounce back on its own once it has adjusted to recent changes.

If you are really concerned about your site’s fluctuations it can also be a good idea to watch your competitors’ sites and see if they are experiencing similar changes in their rank. If this is the case then it might be due to the search terms being used. You should always make sure that keywords and tags are placed properly in order to help the situation.

Internal Linking and Site Speed

To help avoid rank fluctuations there are a few strategies that can allow you to keep a more consistently rising rank overall. One tactic is to use internal linking to help leverage keyword targeting in your own site. You should try to diversify and avoid using rich anchor text to prevent rank changes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your site speed is included in Google’s search ranking algorithm. This has to do with the user experience because if a site loads too slowly, people are more likely to close your site and move onto something else. Always make sure that your site is loading quickly and efficiently to avoid any problems with your ranking.

Link Building Strategies

If you build a lot of links too quickly, search engines will recognize your site as gaining links at an unnatural rate especially when they are only to one page. This type of link building will set off red flags and might lead to even more ranking drops in the end.

A better strategy is to build links to a variety of different pages without using any rich anchor text. Using links to different pages can help stabilize and ultimately increase your search rankings without setting of any red flags. This type of link building will contribute to the authority of your site as a whole and boost your keywords at a site wide level.

Any time you notice search rank fluctuations, you can wait it out before making any changes or eventually start using more careful strategies to ensure that your page has a consistent rank. Being cautious about the strategies you use and keeping your page up to date can help you prevent any further fluctuations and allow your rank to steadily rise.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google Summer Updates

google penguin

Search Quality Highlights
There’s been so much Google news lately, that it’s hard to pick a starting point. First off, Google released search quality highlights for June and July. Out of the 86 updates, here are some changes that caught our attention:

– “ng2. [project codename “Other Ranking Components”] Better ordering of top results using a new and improved ranking function for combining several key ranking features.” Could it be any more vague?
– “Lime. [project codename “Freshness”] This change improves the interaction between various search components to improve search results for searches looking for fresh content.” Highlighting the importance of consistent updates!
– “Challenger. [project codename “Snippets”] This is another change that will help get rid of generic boilerplate text in Web results’ titles, particularly for sitelinks.” Just another example of how Google hates spammy sitewide links and boilerplate anything.

Next Penguin Update
In a keynote at SES San Francisco, gave SEOs everywhere quite a scare when he mentioned that the next Penguin update will be big. Online, Matt went on to later clarify that he meant that Penguin updates will take longer (as opposed to the almost monthly Panda updates) because it will incorporate “additional” signals. As we mentioned the vagueness of these additional signals, the overall goal is to create a more noticeable impact that will improve user experience.

7 vs 10 Results
Have you noticed less results in your searches? Google has been testing 7 results per page, as opposed to 10. On these certain searches, you’ll probably see more sitelinks for branded terms. Less results on a page means more clicking and more opportunity for paid ads… interesting. On the other hand, some proponents believe that Google is sending them higher quality results for their queries so that they’ll have to do less digging around for what they want. Any thoughts on either argument?

Panda 3.9.1 Refresh
The latest Panda refresh was unleashed this past Sunday. Again, Google has been criticized for releasing these updates on the weekends as webmasters have a hard time analyzing data that usually naturally trends downwards because of cyclical search behavior. This update supposedly only affected less than 1 percent of queries and it will take a few days before all the dust settles so that webmasters can properly analyze their rankings.

For now, that’s it for Google but don’t expect things to slow down after summer! What are you worried about and what would you like to see addressed?

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

What are the Benefits of a SEO Friendly CMS?

Now more than ever, good content is a critical part of effective search engine optimization. Having a content management system (CMS) will help make this process easier – meaning that you can update your site more often with relevant content.

From a user standpoint, a CMS is very user-friendly and easy to use. But it’s time to look behind the scenes and see just how you can find the right SEO friendly CMS to help your search efforts.

Custom URLS – It’s important that you choose a CMS that gives you the option to create your own URL. SEO friendly URLs are tailored towards users and are more likely to have a higher click through rate. Sometimes, dynamic URLs can look spammy or relevant and lead to more problems in the future, especially if you are dealing with a website redesign.

Custom meta elements – An effective CMS should give you easy fields where you can fill out fields for title, description and keyword tags. Each page should have a unique Title tag that accurately reflects the content on that page. Did you know that aside from the content itself, page titles are (arguably) considered the most important element? Beware of a CMS that duplicates meta elements on each new page if you don’t customize it. I’ve come across sites that have hundreds of pages with of duplicate meta elements – not a good thing in Google’s eyes!

Speed and Usability – The main reason for using a CMS is that it is easy to use and that you can do it yourself if you need to. Older content management systems aren’t as user-friendly or practical to use. I recently had to use a CMS that took at least 5 minutes to save before you could view your edits. And of course, if you need to make more changes, that’s another 5 minutes just to preview! A CMS is meant to save you time and hassle, not make a bigger mess for you to deal with!

Affordability – When you have a website, there are multiple aspects that you have to consider including: web design, web copywriting, paid and organic search. Choosing the right CMS also means that you should see how it fits into your budget. If you “splurge” on a fancy/expensive CMS that you never have time to use, what’s the point? It could also take up the majority of your resources so that you don’t have anything left over to devote to a truly effective campaign.

A SEO CMS can help make website management an easier process and your organic search campaign more effective. Feel free to comment or give us a call (323) 340-4010 if you have any questions on a CMS for your small business.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.