SEO On Page – Off Page
Factors That Affect Ranking
Good and Bad
Lost Search Result Ranking
If you are looking for constant change and drama -> SEO is the right field for you! Just when you think you learned it all… Your website is in the top 10 ranking for your preferred keywords, your website is getting targeted visitors and those visitors are converting into customers…
Along comes a new search engine algorithm change like the recent Panda / Farmer update from Google to create a total panic in the search engine optimization (SEO) world and havoc amongst website owners confused by the sudden decrease in customers on their websites.
Across America websites that previously had great keyword rankings in the Google search results received drastic drops to their Google search rankings. The reasons for the drop in ranking were as vast as the websites affected. It basically came down to quality content, website speed and clean code. [Sarcasm Alert] Shockingly, these were all topics the search engines had in their best practices recommendations for great rankings… Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.
Following Search Engine Trends
There is an entire sub-group of SEO professionals that exist solely to interpret and find hidden meanings in all communications from Google. This pop-analysis works when a Google representative is speaking and accidentally lets privileged information slip. However – I have to believe any and all written information is screened several times for possible algorithm leaks.
Google has stated flat out on more than 1 occasion; Google is not going to reveal its ranking signals. Not 1 signal and certainly not all 200+ signals. Did I say 200? Google is now claiming over 10,000 ranking signals for websites. Google recently stated in the Official Webmaster Blog that the Panda update is just 1 of about 500 algorithm changes Google will make this year.
Advice From Google’s Webmaster Blog:
Thousands Of Ranking Signals = Gaming the System Tricks
200 ranking signals morphed into 10,000 once Bing announced their 1,000 ranking signals. And over 500 changes a year are made to Google’s algorithm. Those are some big numbers to keep track of if you don’t spend every day thinking about them like an SEO expert would. This is why you need a professional doing the SEO on your website. However, you need a SEO professional that follows certain guidelines and ethics. If not, your “SEO Expert” might gain you quick ranking gains, but those gains will be short lived. And most likely those quick SEO tricks might get your website banned from the search engines. Or at the very least put on a naughty website list.
I’m convinced that Google and other search engines have a naughty list for repeat offenders. I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t keep a listing index of websites that have repeat Black / Grey Hat SEO practice offenses. And being on this list will cause your site to lose in the rankings.
Unfortunately and embarrassingly for a few SEO professionals there is a tendency by some to act like Gollum from Lord of the Rings whenever a new method to boost website rankings is found. Google is their “Precious” and consequentially there is a constantly struggle to glean any bit of knowledge. This tendency to chase quick fixes for ranking can lead to poor decisions when it comes to On Page and Off Page SEO techniques. This is bad for the uneducated website owner because these SEO professionals can and will convince the site owner that unethical or not proven techniques work without explaining the potential risks.
Educating Site Owners On Correct SEO
An unfortunate aspect of the SEO profession is under / non-education of website owners. Because of the ambiguous nature of information given to the general public from search engines it is very easy for people without a solid background in SEO to be given mis-information. A website owner might use or condone the use of Black / Grey Hat SEO tactics just because they have not been educated on proper techniques.
ELC has worked with websites that have been SandBoxed and even de-indexed due to these unscrupulous tactics. With hard work and implementing a long term ongoing SEO campaign each website regained lost rankings and saw gains for previously unthought of keywords. Large jobs like this can be profitable to the SEO professional fixing the mistakes, given the scoop and time needed to implement the fixes to repair the website’s reputation to the search engine. Sandboxed and de-indexed websites might be the elephant in the room as they can be the bread and butter of many web developers and SEO professionals.
Personally, I’d much rather not see a website get Sandboxed and / or de-indexed in the first place. Doesn’t matter if the website is a potential client or not. Frankly, unethical, shoddy and shameful SEO techniques gives SEO a bad name and causes website owners to lose faith in true SEO professionals. It’s like an honest mechanic getting a customer from a “Bait & Switch” garage or even worse a garage that flat out lied or did not perform the work. That mechanic has to overcome stereotypes and the misdeeds of others.
This is why I am such an advocate of educating potential and current clients. The more ELC clients know about the intricacy and multitudes of details involved in the SEO process, the more valuable our service becomes. Some might feel that SEO transparency will lose clients. I personally feel that the honesty brings more clients.
Search Engine Practices for High Rankings
I love visual concept graphs like the one below. One of the sites that I frequent is Search Engine Land. They have an incredible team of experts that explore various search engine issues and concepts. And when a subject is constantly evolving as much as SEO does… learning from other experts is key. You might want to recreate the wheel, but you won’t get a single spoke finished before your creation is helplessly outdated and no longer relevant.
Search Engine Land has taken the rather complex and often wrongly interpreted subject of SEO and broken it down into 4 distinct categories. They also put together a really great info graphic to help SEO beginners visualize good ~vs~ bad SEO techniques. It’s also great as a refresher for those tempted to use some of the techniques that will get your website dropped from the search results.
SEO Ranking Factors Overview:
There are four major groups of factors
On The Page Ranking Factors
Off The Page Ranking Factors
Double Click on The Image Below To See The Full Sized Version
You can learn more by reading Search Engine Lands overview on the Periodic Table of Ranking Factors I think it is a great primer for anyone looking to learn more about SEO and the factors that affect it.
Regaining Ranking Post Panda
The SEO Professionals at ELC didn’t get too panicked when the Panda update rolled out. A few of our client websites got hit. Rumors about the Panda update had been floating around for months. While Google was coy about what the update would entail, there was time for SEO professionals to try to shore up weaker websites.
All of the ELC associates including myself keep up with the latest trends with continuous education in the search engine marketing field, A / B testing on our test websites and from updates provided by the search engines to public. A few tweaks here and there… the Panda update changes were implemented and client site rankings were restored. The reason it was so easy is because we don’t use Black / Grey hat methods. If we did, recovering from the Panda update would have been a bit more difficult and time consuming.
SEO Website Optimization
Do you need help with your search position rankings or just want to take your website search potential to the next level? Contact us to find out how your website can be optimized for search and customer conversion.