If like us you tend to watch your search engine positions on a regular basis then you may have noticed a few changes recently. Google’s index has been going up and down like a yo-yo and some clients have seen their sites dropped completely only to reappear two days later.
Despite the economic havoc this causes, there is nothing that we or anyone else can do about it. Google is still trying to work its way through the years of poor site and link building which has been undertaken by many businesses and figure out what deserves a place in its index and what doesn’t. Sadly it still can’t get there and every time it ‘tweaks’ the algorithm then local businesses over the country suffer.
The difference between being top of the search engine results and nowhere can be the loss of thousands of pounds of business every day and many businesses have built their business on a solid online presence. The absence of any viable competition means that dropping out of Google’s index can be life-threatening for many firms.
This variability appears to be closely confined to Google as the Yahoo and Bing indices appear to be broadly stable and firms which have good content are still showing on page one. Sadly, as combined these two search engines have less than 5% of the search market in the UK, then all eyes naturally go back to Google who announced the latest algorithm update, Google Panda #24 on 22 January 2013 and claims that it affected just 1.2% of all queries. The problem here is that if all that 1.2% are confined to a handful of sites or sectors then the impact could be massive.
Our advice if you’ve seen your site bouncing in and out of the index is to hold tight as it will eventually calm down. The only concern you should have is if you‘ve paid for millions of links from dodgy sources of having been scraping other peoples content onto your site, in which case don’t expect to return any time soon….
We’ll look tomorrow at just how Google assesses sites and what you can do to improve your rankings.