Have Your Google Rankings Dropped in Feb 2017?

google-rankings-drop-Feb / March 2017

As mentioned in a previous article – Evaluating SEO Proposals – a lot of NZ SEO consultants and companies do not follow best practice. Nor do they comply with Google’s webmaster guidelines or terms of service. Instead, they implement “black hat / grey hat” shortcuts to boost rankings. This often includes using external links to your site posted on their own PBNs – private blog networks. That artificially boosts rankings in the short term but is a clear breach of Google’s Terms of Service.

Have your rankings just taken a tumble?

If you’ve previously employed an SEO company to improve your rankings, and their methodology was PBN links, that may well be why…

A number of reputable SEO authorities report a great deal of ranking turbulence from 1 Feb 2017. They attribute that to Google implementing new mechanisms to detect and discount such spammy links. As a general rule, any aggressive link building efforts are high-risk.

See: http://searchengineland.com/unconfirmed-google-algorithm-update-may-better-discounting-links-spam-268637

If you are lucky, Google may have only discounted the spammy links- meaning you are no longer getting any ranking benefits from them. If the link profile on your site is significantly outside your “industry standard profile” – you could incur a manual penalty for flagrantly breaching Google’s terms of service.

Either way, some remedial action is appropriate. The people who did the link-building work on your behalf may be reluctant to accept responsibility for the harm to your rankings. However, there are things that can be done to assist. If you need help, ask for a free, no-obligation SEO audit

In March, Google “Fred” algorithm was launched. It seems to be primarily aimed at hitting advertising-heavy sites with poor quality content. However, I’ve also seen sites with low quality content and a some site-wide banner links outward that also suffered badly.

There’s a constant process of change in Google’s algorthms, with hundreds of subtle (and a few that are not so subtle) changes each year. All my business SEO packages include a comprehensive site audit that assesses all the parameters that we can possibly influence. This is not an automated superficial review, its a hands on / eyes on manual assessment that takes several hours to complete.

  • The product is a benchmark document that catalogues what we can and should do, and why its recommended.
  • The objective is compliance with webmaster guidelines and current best practice
  • The outcome of implementation of the recommendations is a site which is the best that is can be, without any trickery or subterfuge involved.
  • The result is an improvement in rankings and traffic.