Many people noticed a drastic change in their search rankings around the 7 February. Google, has not made any official announcement but the shift in rankings indicate an algorithm update occurred.
There was panic across online forums and social media with many asking questions but not getting an official answer, just speculation. For marketing agencies like ourselves and SEO consultants, we had to act quickly and deal with clients that had been affected.
Investigating the change
We investigated the update immediately and one outcome was the unrelated Google backlinks algorithm change that happened earlier this month. Many experts are reporting affects on sites that depend on negative backlinks but the mystery update was apparently a content quality shift.
If your rankings were not affected then this indicates that your link building strategy is gaining natural and organic links. This also shows that your on-page content is well balanced, informative and unique. We are seeing some volatility followed by a resettling of some rankings, with an improvement to some websites page ranks.
One major client has a very competitive keyword which was stable at 5 before the update. By using ‘white hat’ techniques we were able to get the website from position 19 to 5 within a couple of months. So with the sudden drop to 13, it caused understandable concern, but by the 11th February, the ranking was at 3.
At Netinspire we have always been honest in our dealings with clients about SEO. It’s more of an art and with the impact of individual changes to websites and external factors, it’s a challenge to measure which changes may have had an effect.
Our SEO tips
- Target keywords – Look at long as well as short tail opportunities
- Research – Require rank improvement? Do your research! Competitor comparison is a good place to start
- SEO service provider – Pay on promised results
- Ranking drops – Don’t panic! The first step, check online resources for news on algorithm updates
- No shortcuts – Remember SEO is a long term exercise and you may not see immediate results