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3 Things You Should Do Immediately If Your Search Engine Rankings Suddenly Drop

When your search engine rankings fall, you get frustrated and confused. Very quickly. Find out what you can do when this happens so you can get back to the top where you belong

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†††† Anyone who depends on search engines for traffic Ė which is just about all of us Ė has a common disorder. It is our preoccupation with our rankings. It only makes sense that this be so widespread. After all, those rankings often ARE our business. At least as far as supplying those prospects we so desperately need.

†††††††††† Itís safe to say that all of us have woken up to see our rankings drop from page 1 to a status that can only be compared to being enrolled in the Federal Witness Relocation Program. You canít be found. And thatís bad news.

†††††††††† Hereís what you should do when this happens. You may not be able to fix the problem quickly, but youíll at least be in a much better position to address it and deal with it.


††††† ††††††† This is very important to remember. Take it seriously, but donít lose it. There are many reasons why rankings can drop. Sometimes itís due to one of Googleís famous algorithm shake-ups. This might be a temporary shift that will see your rankings restored in short order. The key here is to avoid the urge to do something that will only hurt your site, its long-term rankings & your business itself.

††† ††††††† Many people will jump to work and make large-scale changes in their site. They try to bring it in line with what they think the search engines want now. This can actually hurt their standing in the search engines as they alter the structure and layout of their pages. It confuses the search engine bots and creates an impression of confusion, a lack of cohesion in the site. Thatís bad for rankings. So, remember Ė Donít Panic. The drop may be temporary. If it isnít, an impulsive Bulldoze & Rebuild job is not the way out.

  1. Think Back: What Have You Changed Recently?

Sometimes your rankings plummet because of something you did. For example, Iíve had rankings drop because I screwed up the code on some redirects I did in my .htaccess file. Did you add some new pages lately? Check that the links in them, and to them, are pointed correctly. If you write the destination URLs wrong youíre feeding the search engines a bunch of 404 Error pages. They donít like that.

†There are many things that could cause the rankings to slip. Keep in mind that you should look at changes youíve made as long as 2 weeks ago, just to be safe. Search engine bots vary in how often they come by your site, so they may be reacting to an alteration that is old news to you, but new to them.

  1. Keep Going

†††††††††††††† ††Itís tempting to turn to the dark side of SEO, become a Black Hat when you see your rankings drop. Especially when you see a weak site, or a totally irrelevant one, outrank yours. Weíve all been there.

††††††† †††††††† But you know what the right choice is, even if itís hard to resist doing a little cloaking. What you must do is continue building a solid site: adding relevant, targeted content, working on your site structure so that all content can be found & indexed by the search engines, working on links to your site. A little boring? Yes, sometimes. But itís the best choice, especially for those of us looking to be in business for the long-term.

††††††††††††† ††††† Keep in mind these 3 steps next time you see rankings fall. Itís okay to be frustrated. Itís okay to be confused. Itís even okay to be a little angry. Let it out, constructivelyFree Reprint Articles, and then get back to work. Itís the surest path.

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Jon provides Hawaii SEO & Internet Marketing services including Paid Search (PPC), Copywriting, Web Usability, Analytics and more. Jon beats stress by swimming in the ocean, walking his dog on the beach and paddling, most recently with the Waikiki Beachboys.

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