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Have Your SEO Rankings Dropped in 2014?

16-Jun-2014

The reality is that many website owners experience a drop in rankings without fully understanding why. Much of it comes down to not keeping up with search engine algorithm updates as these occur. Moreover, when you don't keep up, your website falls behind. It's that simple.

The most important thing to know about algorithm updates is that Google drives the world of search engines. As their algorithms are updated, other search engine providers invariably follow. Google's two most important updates over the last couple of years, Penguin and Panda, have largely shaped how today's websites have evolved. Both updates could be directly related to the drop in your search engine rankings this year.

Content Value

Google embarked on a campaign a few years ago to reduce the number of low-quality sites showing up in its search results. Their first effort was to attack embedded links by way of a Penguin update in 2012. That update targeted the so-called black hat practices that SEO experts and web developers would use to manipulate search engine results – tactics that were in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines. That effort proved only marginally useful in ridding the web of junk. Therefore, Google took the next step with its Panda algorithm.

Panda has been updated numerous times over the years, including the latest update, which began rolling out in early spring. The Panda algorithm now places a heavy emphasis on the value and relevance of content, particularly where blog posts and informational articles are concerned. If your content does not meet the standards of the new algorithm, you could actually be hurting yourself with every piece you upload to your site. The thing to remember is that the quality of your content is most important

Social Media

When the Panda algorithm was first introduced in 2011, its primary focus was to remove low-quality sites from the top of Google search engine rankings. The big winners of the algorithm change were social media sites and sites offering hard news. Losers included business and corporate sites focusing mainly on advertising and product listing. Since then, the algorithm has been improved somewhat. However, social media still plays an important part in Panda.

The panda algorithm pays attention to deliberate or coincidental associations between a company's website and its social media outlets. A strong social media presence can significantly affect search engine rankings and, by default, website performance. However, the opposite is also true. Not having a strong social media presence could be a very serious problem for search engine rankings.

If you have noticed a drop in your rankings this year, your problem might be rooted in the Penguin and Panda updates. We urge you to have your SEO evaluated, especially regarding the quality of your content and social media presence. We also recommend you take a look at our simple, easy-to-understand SEO Guide 2014. This guide will answer most of your questions about improving your site's rankings and keeping these where they ought to be. Do not let Google's Penguin and Panda updates be the ruin of your online presence; learn how to use the updates to your own advantage. If you're unsure how to do this, we're on hand to give you the help you need.

Robert Wakefield

Robert Wakefield

Robert Wakefield founded Siteglide in 2012 after having worked in the web design, SEO and IT sector since the mid-90's. Robert's main interests include website usability, visitor experience, SEO and website marketing in general.

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