4 reasons why your website is sliding down the Google rankings

SEO services are still fairly new – there is no accreditation or governing body to look out for customers.  Therefore it’s up to the SEO companies to inform their clients about the process, how it works, what could happen, what you should expect and what to watch out for.

We like to be honest with our clients – it’d be nice to promise them everything but one of the peculiar things about SEO is that you can’t guarantee success.  It’s a little bit similar to Marketing in that you can create a fantastic advertising campaign that everyone loves but it might just not be effective in getting you sales.  We can promise that we’ll do things that have worked in the past and that we’ll try any new techniques that we feel are promising but we can’t guarantee success.  We’d love to, but we can’t demand that Google puts you in a certain location.

Anyway, as part of explaining more about SEO to our clients, today I’d like to talk about the SEO process and primarily why it’s not a case of doing a fix and then living happily ever after.  SEO is a competitive undertaking and requires ongoing work to keep your website as high as possible.  You don’t need to keep an SEO consultant or SEO company employed full time but it would be sensible to retain them for a couple of hours each week in order to do some strengthening work to keep your website up there.

To explain why you should do this, you need to understand what can influence your rating in Google.

1. Google keeps its search ranking algorithm hidden and constantly changes it.  So a technique which worked one day may not work another day. If your website placed particular weight on a technique which has been downgraded then you need to update your website to rely on another technique or criteria.

2. Your competitors want to beat you!  If your website gets above theirs for a certain keyword then you can be sure that they’ll want to get their ranking back.  They may not manage to do so but if they do then you will go down the ranking.  Multiply that by all of your competitors and you can see why the search engine rankings are always moving and why you always have to keep on top of it.

3. Your search engine position relies on links from other popular websites.  If the websites that are providing the links become less popular (perhaps due to some of the factors mentioned in this article) then it’ll have a knock-on effect on your website.  Therefore you have to ensure that you always have a reasonable number of links from popular websites and if a new popular website emerges then you have to work to get links from them.

4. Google likes websites that are current and updated often.  Whether you do that yourself or you pay an SEO consultant to do it is up to you but if you don’t update your website frequently then you’ll start to go down the search results.

I hope now that you can see that SEO isn’t just a fix that you apply but that it must be an ongoing work in progress. Instead of investing a huge amount to get to #1 for a keyword and then disappearing out of the results a few weeks later, consider setting aside a smaller ongoing expense to maintain a listing in Page 1 of the results.  The results will be less dramatic but over time they will be more likely to pay for themselves.

Gregor Spowart is a partner in Mass Media Design, a website design and Internet Marketing company based in Reading (Berkshire), Swindon (Wiltshire) and Cardiff.  Gregor is an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) specialist.