Monitoring Search Engine Positions
Since search engines are the first stop for people on theInternet looking for goods or services, the position yourwebsite appears in search results is an important factor.If your URL shows up far down the results list, the chancesof the consumer never finding you increase incrementally.Once you achieve a high search engine position, it isessential that you make sure you maintain the high rankingyou have worked so hard to achieve.
This means you must come up with a strategy to monitor yoursearch engines positions. This strategy is crucial to thesuccess of any marketing campaign. Think of your searchengine positions as your online portfolio. Would you letyour stock portfolio be ruled by chance and marketfluctuations, or would you keep close tabs on your stocksso you could buy and sell when the time is right? This isthe way you must consider your search engines positions.
Be aware that at first, after you have launched your searchengine campaign and done all the right things to increaseyour rankings, you will most likely see a continual upwardclimb. What you need to be on the lookout for is the momentthat upward climb reaches a plateau. When this happens,your search engine position campaign moves into stage two,the monitoring and protecting stage.
In stage two, do not be concerned about the short-termfluctuations in your positions. These are similar to thesubtle rising and falling of stocks in a portfolio.Short-term movement is an integral part of the wholeprocess. It's the long-term changes that you must watch forand prepare to act on immediately.
Analyzing the long-term trends of search engines positionsis imperative. The way in which search engines rankwebsites may change at the drop of hat. If you are unawareof these changes - many of which are subtle yet can bedeadly to your ranking - your position may drop to thebottom of the list before you can get your bearings. Toprevent this kind of precipitous drop, you must create asystem to monitor your positions on a monthly basis. Devisea chart to keep tabs on your top ranking positions or yourtop pages, and make sure to watch "the market" closely.
Each search engine uses a formula to compute websiterankings. When a search engine changes this formula in anyway, it may raise or lower your ranking. Some searchengines use a number of different formulas, rotating themso that a formula doesn't become overused or outdated.Depending on which formula is being applied, your searchengine position may suddenly drop or rise in ranksignificantly. Therefore, you must check your positionsfrequently in order to catch when a search engine changesformulas and what effect it has on your positions.
You must also deal with your competition - a crucial factoryou must always be vigilant about. Your competitor'sposition may suddenly rise, automatically lowering yourposition. Or their position may drop, pushing your positionhigher. Each month, expect position changes due to thecontinual changes that are occurring in your competitor'sposition, and be prepared to adjust your marketing strategyto compensate for decreased rankings. Monitoring thesefluctuations will also give you vital information about howto improve your website to increase your position in searchresults.
Of course, you must discern what the most popular searchengines are in order for your monitoring efforts to beeffective. Right now, there are ten popular search enginesthat direct most of Internet traffic to your sites. Thechallenge you face is that these top ten may change frommonth to month.
This means that your must not only monitor your searchengine positions, but you must also keep track of theranking popularity of the search engines you aremonitoring. Find out which search engines people use mostfrequently every month and be sure to live in the present!People are fickle about their favorite search engines, andit takes constant vigilance to follow their dalliances. Thesearch engines they loved when you first launched yourcampaign may be old news in the next few months. You mustadjust your list of engines according to the whims of theInternet users. Check outhttp://www.searchenginewatch.com/reports/netratings.htmlfor a current list of website favorites.
Another factor to monitor carefully is a sudden drop ofyour positions in all search engines. This is not the sameas monthly fluctuations - this is a neon red warning sign!It could mean a number of different things.
It all your search engine positions have plummeted, it mayindicate that search engines spiders - those sneakyprograms that seek out your site and rank their positions -have found some type of problem with your website. If youhave recently changed the code, for instance, the spidermay become utterly confused and consequently drop yourpositions disastrously. If a spider creeps up on yourwebsite when it is down for adjustments or changes, you mayactually disappear from a search engine index entirely. Ora search engine may drastically change its formula, andsuddenly all of your website come up as irrelevant. If thatsearch engine is a current favorite, it may create a dominoeffect, causing all of your position to drop in all searchengines.
Some search engines rely on the results from other searchengines, and it is vital that you know which engines theseare and keep track of all the engines they influence. Thebiggest problem here is that search engines will sometimeschange affiliations, and this can create a major shift inthe geography of the Internet. For example, recently Yahoodecided to display only results gleaned from Google. So youmust not only monitor your own positions, but you must keepabreast of seismic shifts in the landscape of the Internetas a whole.
Finally, pay attention to your keywords. Keywords are thefoundation bricks of the entire search engine system, andthey demand individual scrutiny in your monitoring efforts.If you have found that a number of your positions haveplummeted, it may mean that a page of your website hasbecome invisible or inaccessible to search engine spiders.Or the competition for that particular keyword or phrasehas recently rocketed into outer space. In either case, youmust act quickly and efficiently to regain lost ground.
Your search engine marketing campaign is an investment. Ifcosts you time and money on a continual basis. Protect thisinvestment as diligently as you would your financialportfolio. In the same way, track your positions from anobjective perspective, and monitor your positions on aregular basis. Make sure your time and effort reap rewardsby keeping your eye on the big picture - your long-termmarketing campaign.
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