Search Engines prize new sites almost as much as they love fresh content. Google in particular rewards new sites simply for being new, helping them break through the ranks and jump the queue to achieve a high position in SERPs. But the lustre of a new site soon fades.
When the Search Engine giants finish playing with their new toys, they often toss them into the abyss - which, for website owners, means a low search ranking (somewhere between page four and infinity). Can anything be done to catch the eye of a master who seems indifferent to the needs of his underlings? Can established sites that begin to slip down the search rankings atone for whatever mistakes they may have made? Is a position in SERPs even recoverable?
Yes, yes and yes. The problem is that all website owners face two major obstacles to staying afloat: understanding why a site is sinking; and competing with every other site of equal or comparable standing that’s in the same boat.Coming of Age.
One of the common reasons for a sudden drop in ranking is that a site has ceased to be new and interesting. Google has to give new sites an initial advantage, otherwise they would never be able to compete with established rivals. SEO professionals call this phenomenon the 'honeymoon period'.
When the honeymoon ends, a not-new-enough site can lose its ranking overnight. Age is the predominant factor at work, because plummeting sites are neither young enough to deserve help nor old enough to be regarded as an established player. The solution to this problem is simple: website owners have to bide their time, building authoritative, high-quality links to their site while creating fresh, compelling content.Corruption.
Older sites that have managed to swim to the surface can also be pulled back under without warning. Toxicity may be to blame, as Google and other major Search Engines monitor sites for malware. If malware is detected on a website, Search Engine users are informed that visiting it could be harmful.
As a general rule, big, red warning displays that blanket the screen and encourage potential customers to turn back are bad for business. Website owners should conduct a thorough audit of their software and hardware, checking source code for vulnerabilities and migrating from a shared server to a more secure environment.Content.
The importance of publishing unique, insightful content cannot be overstated. When Google implemented its first Panda update (there have been more than twenty to date), thousands, possibly even hundreds of thousands, of websites disappeared from SERPs overnight. This was not about sharks or age-related problems. Google had changed the rules of the game.
Content farms and their customers were branded as spam and sent to the bottom of the pile. Sites with fresh, compelling content were promoted to the top. At least that was the objective. To appease Google, website owners must invest in high-quality content that is genuinely informative, useful and original. They should fix broken links and make sure that content is updated but never duplicated. They must also be patient, as Google can be fickle and unpredictable.
So long as businesses focus on providing informative, customer-focused content while keeping an eye on malware and Google updates, it is possible to rise to the top of the SERPs once again.
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