"You've spent months and years trying to do search engine optimization and finally you are ranking on Google. However, one morning, you woke up and realised to your great horror that your website is nowhere to be found for your targeted keywords. In fact, even if you google for your company name, your website doesn't show up. "
Does this story sound familiar to you ? Well, due to the ever changing landscape of Google, this can actually happen. Here's some of the possible reasons why this has happened:
1. Something is wrong with your site - you have been penalised by Google
There are 2 ways that Google can penalise you - 1 is manual and 1 is algorithmic (i.e. driven by the Google automatic rules behind the scene). In the first instance, someone from Google has manually imposed a penalty on your site.
In the other instance, your sites have been automatically penalties due to the release of some updates. For instance, some famous updates in the past released included Google Panda that penalised low-quality / spammy / thin content, keyword stuffing etc. Or the famous Google Penguin that penalised unnatural link profiles that are set up to manipulate rankings. In 2013, there was the Google Hummingbird algorithm changes that gives search results that better match searcher intent (by interpreting longer, conversational keywords) rather than individual keywords itself. Google Pigeon dramatically changed the results Google returns for queries in which the searcher's location also influences the outcomes. And then, in 2015, there was the Mobile Friendly updates that ranks websites that are mobile optimised higher. Recently in Jan 17, Google had also started rolling out this Intrusive Interstitial Penalty in January 2017 that punishes aggressive pop-ups that might damage the mobile user experience.
2. Your competitors have outranked you
Remember , it's all relative. Doing SEO well doesn't mean you will be on page 1. If your competitors have made more effort or strategised better than you in SEO, it is possible for them to outrank you. You can think of it like a race, you can run very fast but since there's only limited 3 medals to be won, you need to be faster than everyone else to rank on top.
3. Your website has some on-site issues
If your website was not set up properly or did not follow good SEO principles, Google may not be able to find you when crawling through your pages. For instance, if your site has many broken links, or has bad internal linking , or you have missing headings , all this affects you. All these you can figure out by using Google Webmaster Tools.
4. Your site has been losing links
Backlinks help to boost your google ranking. However, likewise, if your backlinks were removed by the webmasters for those sites, this can cause your ranking to drop as well.
5. Google Flux
Okay, you have followed all good principles and you have ruled out all the possible reasons above but still your site is not ranked. Well, this is just a sudden slight or big drop in ranking due to some unknown reason. Usually, the site should be back up in a few days. Hence, you just need to ride through this.
Does the above sound all too technical or confusing for you ? Well, you can outsource all these technicalities to us if you want. Just contact us for an no obligations discussion to see how we can help you optimize your business.