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Top reasons why you might lose ranking on search engine results page

SearchEngine Top reasons why you might lose ranking on search engine results page

Search Engine Ranking

Search engines use complicated algorithms and methods to determine a website’s value, which is expressed as its “ranking” compared to other websites. There are various factors that come into play with search engine ranking. Knowing what these factors are can help you determine the best course of action, should your website experience a drop in search engine ranking. Here are the top reasons why you might lose ranking on search engines:

Change in scripting language

Commonly people will decide to switch from one scripting language to another, for example changing from .asp files to .php files. This can cause page breaks in existing files, which will in turn affect page rank. If you use the Apache server, then one solution to this problem is to create .htaccess files which provide instructions on what to do with the new .php files.

A good example of how failing to take the appropriate steps when making significant changes to your website is that of Andrew Fashion, who went from making millions to being in debt. This was because he refurbished his entire website without paying attention to relevant SEO techniques that could have helped him make the change-over without losing page views. The new site was not indexed, and so visitors were no longer able to find the site.

Poor quality links

Pages that are covered in advertisements from paid link exchanges will tend to be devalued by Google, as these are counted as advertising spam. However, back links to your site are necessary to increase page rank – so how do you hold these two concepts together?

  • Build up relationships with webmasters whose interests are similar to your own, and offer spam-free link exchanges.
  • Make use of ‘natural’ links – simple hypertext links that are embedded in body text, or included in navigation bars. These are more appealing to readers, and to the Googlebots.
  • Encourage other websites to create natural links pointing back to your site.

Note: Creating domain farms is counter-productive! A domain farm is a series of similar domains created by a single web author, all interlinked with the intention of increasing link-based pagerank for each domain. Google algorithms can detect this, and the whole ‘farm’ will be devalued, and possibly de-indexed.

Unreliable host servers

If a search engine spider visits your website and it is unavailable because your host server is down, it will remove that page from the index. There are two steps you can take to prevent this problem affecting your website:

  • Choose a reliable web host that is up at least 99.5% of the time
  • Regularly investigate whether your site is still properly indexed, and resubmit pages as necessary

Some general tips and advice

  • Keep your content original (Google can spot plagiarism from a mile away)
  • Update your site regularly, as up-to-date sites displaying information relevant to the interests of visitors will produce much better results
  • Provide “static” versions of key web pages, as these are more spider-friendly than other types of pages, so more likely to be indexed and to achieve a better ranking

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