Contrary to the myths which seem to be released every year, SEO isn’t dying. On the contrary, as CPC levels increase to record levels, more and more businesses are realising just how important an organic strategy is to their core business. It effectively provides them with free leads – which can’t be said of the PPC alternative.
Bearing this in mind, if you do wake up one morning to find that a page, or even your entire website, has dropped out of the search engine results pages, it poses an obvious problem. Depending on the size of your organization, the inquisition is going to vary, but suffice to say alarm bells will be ringing.
This is the reason we have penned today’s guide. Let’s now take a look at four areas you should analyse if you find that you no longer rank for a keyword that you have been competing for over recent times.
The (dreaded) noindex tag
Used correctly, the noindex tag can be incredibly powerful. However, on the other side, it can also result in some significant problems. Let’s not forget that this is a tag which signals to Google that your page should not be included in its index. As such, as long as it is present on a page, that page will not receive organic traffic.
As such, the obvious thing to check is your page’s code. For some of you, this might be manually logging into your FTP and making the change. If you use a website builder from Web Eden or any other similar service, you might have to make a change in the backend editor for the changes to take effect.
You have been hit with a penalty
The noindex tag issue is an easy problem to fix; within the space of a day you should be back to normal. However, if you are hit with a manual penalty, things will take a complicated turn.
Particularly if unnatural links have been your downfall, you will need to identify the spammy links pointing to your site and either take action to remove them or submit a disavow file. Both processes can take weeks to go through, which is why so many people have shifted away from black hat link building over the last few years.
The core elements of a page
When we talk about the core elements, we’re referring to the likes of the H1 and title tag. Whilst the effect of these is minor to what it was several years ago, it is still a big indication to Google as to what your page is about. Bearing this in mind, if these tags have changed, it could be the biggest reason yet why a particular keyword is not sending your website traffic anymore.
Your website is down
As strange and obvious as it might sound, another big reason for out of the ordinary ranking drops is because the site keeps going down. Whenever Google tries to reach it, it is returned with a 404. Over time, this is naturally going to hinder your rankings significantly.