What can you do if your ranking have dropped?
Some webmasters face the problem that their good web site
rankings have been dropped or that their web pages have not
been listed at all. If your web site rankings have been dropped,
you can do the following:
1. On-site optimization factors you should check
It is very important that your web pages are spam free.
Maybe you have changed something on your pages that search
engines might consider spam. Even if you didn't want to
cheat, search engines might get the impression if you use
certain elements on your web pages.
Make sure that your web site doesn't use keyword stuffing,
hidden text, cloaking or redirections. If you use any of
them, search engine might tag your web site as a spam site.
In that case, all other optimization efforts are pointless.
If you have new web pages that aren't listed, make sure
that your web pages have enough text. Search engines need
text to index web pages. Don't use frames because some
search engines won't
index your pages then.
Even Google has difficulty to index dynamically created
pages. If you must use dynamically created pages and if
your web page URLs contain questions marks, the & symbol
and other special characters, consider rewriting your URLs
so that your pages look like static pages (that's the way
Amazon does it). Your webmaster can help you to do
this. Dynamically created pages are often the reason
for bad rankings.
Make sure that your robots.txt file
allows search engines to index your web site. A broken
robots.txt file can send search engine spiders away.
It's also important that you have plain text links on
on your pages, chances are that search engine spiders cannot
follow the links so that it looks as if your web site consisted
of only one page. Plain text links help search engines
to spider your site.
Search engines analyze many different elements of a web
page when they determine the ranking of a page. It's important
that you check
all of these elements.
You should also make sure that your web pages have valid HTML
code. While most HTML errors don't cause problems, some
of them can prevent search engine spiders from indexing
2. Off-site optimization factors you should check
The number and the type of web sites that link to your
site is very important. If you want to get high search
engine rankings, try to get as many links from related
web sites as possible. It's not only important that many
other web sites link to yours. It's also important that
the links are from related sites and that the link texts
contain keywords that are related to the keywords for which
you want to have high search engine rankings.
If you did have good rankings that suddenly dropped and
none of the on-site factors mentioned above apply to your
site then it is very likely that the search engine has
re-evaluated the links to your site. In that case, the
search engine either thinks that the links to your site
are not from related sites or other web sites now have
better links than you so that they are listed higher.
Note that the other web sites needn't have more links
than you. They just need better links that are related
to the keyword for which you want to have high rankings.
In that case, you should try to get
new links from related sites that contain your keyword.
3. General things that can influence your rankings
Make sure that your web server is fast and reliable. If
your web server doesn't answer fast enough when a search
engine spider tries to visit your web site, then your web
pages won't be listed in search engines. For that reason,
it is important to choose a reliable host. Don't go for
cheap, go for quality.
Another important thing you should consider is that Google
will put your web site into the sandbox if you have a new
web site or if you change your web pages. That means that
it can take up to six months weeks until you get regular
rankings for your pages on Google. The phenomenon is explained
here. Other search engines have similar filters.
It's hard, but the only thing you can do is to wait. If
you have optimized web page content and good incoming links,
you will get high search engine rankings. It just might
take a while until you're out of the sandbox. It will happen.
In addition, it takes some time until search engines pick
up new pages. Search engines have to visit your web pages,
they have to evaluate the found pages, they have to build
a new index and then they have to publish the new index.
Depending on the search engine, this might take 4-12 weeks.
If you already have other pages indexed by a search engine,
new pages might get indexed faster but that's not always
If your web page rankings have dropped, don't panic. Sometimes,
search engines are just testing new ranking algorithms. Wait
2-4 weeks to find out if your rankings have really dropped.
If your rankings have really dropped, take a look at the
list above and make sure that your web pages have all elements
that are needed to get high search engine rankings. You will
get your rankings back then.