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Where Did My Website Go An Explanation To Search Engine Results

Title:

Where Did My Website Go? An Explanation To Search Engine Results

Word Count:

1032

Summary:

There are many reasons why your website’s position in the search engine results will vary. One day your website could be in the top 10 for a particular key phrase, and the next day you’re not on the first page. Changes to a website’s rankings are constantly occurring because changes on the Internet are constantly occurring. But, we can narrow the cause of the change down to four different sources: your website has changed, your competitor’s websites have changes, Google has m...

Keywords:

website design,internet marketing,website promotion,search engine optimization,seo

Article Body:

There are many reasons why your website’s position in the search engine results will vary. One day your website could be in the top 10 for a particular key phrase, and the next day you’re not on the first page. Changes to a website’s rankings are constantly occurring because changes on the Internet are constantly occurring. But, we can narrow the cause of the change down to four different sources: your website has changed, your competitor’s websites have changes, Google has made an update in the algorithm it uses to determine search results, or you or a competitor got busted using black hat SEO techniques.

Your Website Changes

In order to stay current, many website are updated on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. The small changes that are made to the page can have an effect on your page’s keyword density, and this could in turn have an effect on your rankings for any particular keyword. Minor website updates should not influence your positioning very much. But, if the changes are drastic, or your website had previously been fine tuned by a search engine optimization specialist, any sort of change will certainly affect your rankings.

Aside from on-page optimization, another factor that affects your website’s ranking is the number of other websites that link to you (backlinks). If a large and reputable website (.org, .edu, and .gov especially) add or remove a link to your website, this could have a significant effect on your ranking – especially if you don’t have very many backlinks to begin with. Another explanation for ranking changes could occur due to server downtime. If a robot tries to crawl your website and your server is down, your website will probably be temporarily dropped from the search results.

Changes to your own website should affect your search engine rankings the least of these four explanations, unless of course you unleash a search engine specialist to re-vamp your website, then you should notice a significant increase within a short period of time.

Changes in Google’s Algorithms

Yes, I am referring to Google to generalize the whole search engine market, but lets face it, not only do most website get most of their traffic from Google, but the term “Googling” has become synonymous with web search. In simpler terms, the algorithm is a mathematical points system which determines your website’s placement in the search engine results. Nobody knows exactly how Google determines search results, but us search engine optimization specialists have identified approximately 600 factors that affect rankings. A change in the algorithm will certainly affect your website’s ranking, but the change probably won’t be too drastic. Google would not make a significant change to the algorithm because it would probably knock the world out of orbit. Well, probably not, but a big change would have significant repercussions for both Internet websites and users. Therefore, Google prefers to merely fine tune this algorithm to ensure against drastic changes.

Your Competitor’s Websites Change

Depending on your industry or geographic reach, your website could be competing against several dozen to several thousand other websites - all fighting for position with certain keywords or phrases. This fact alone makes it far more likely that changes in your competitor’s websites will effect the search engine results than changes to your website alone. Every website owner out there wants to be listed on the first page or make the top 10 results for particular keywords or phrases. The problem is that there is only room for ten websites, and you may be positioning for a popular key phrase. Not all, but some of your competitors are updating their website and adding new pages on a regular basis. These additions add more competition to the search engine race and make it more difficult for you to achieve your top 10 position.

Not only are new and existing competitors making changes to their website, but they also could be pursuing link building campaigns or employing the skills of a search engine optimization specialist. By optimizing a website for certain keywords and phrases, or acquiring new backlinks to the website, a significant improvement in the website’s ranking in the search results can occur. Changes in your competitor’s websites will probably explain most of the fluctuation of your position in the search results.

Black Hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques

Website owners should not have the ability to manipulate the search engines results. The fact that SEO specialists have the ability to do so violates the integrity of the search results. But, the fact of the matter is, we have rough (but not exact) ideas of how Google’s algorithm works. Most SEO specialists use techniques that are referred to as “White Hat”. These techniques are more natural, and while Google doesn’t like the search results to be manipulated, white hat techniques are not frowned upon.

There is another breed of SEO specialists who use “Black Hat” techniques – these are little tricks that at one time were considered acceptable forms of SEO, but are now frowned upon by the search engines, and by employing them, the website is very obviously trying to game the search results. Generally, SEO specialists who guarantee quick results employ black hat techniques to the detriment of your long-term positioning. These techniques can work great at first, but if you get caught your website will be significantly penalized – forever. Black Hat SEO is like breaking the law, and once you have a criminal record it affects you for the rest of your life.

Conclusion

I’ve outlined the major reasons for changes in search engine results, but sometimes the changes really can’t be explained. These changes are referred to as hiccups. After a ranking change, it’s best to sometimes just wait it out – within a week or two your website may return to its original position. So, the best thing to do when you notice a change is not to over-react. As long as your website has been professionally optimized for the proper keywords and phrases, and possesses a large and ever growing list of backlinks, you should stay on top.