Repairing Website Ranking After Major SEO Blunders

One day you’re in the #1 spot on your favorite search engines for your keywords and terms.

Woman with a Crystal Ball

Within days, you start to witness something that makes your heart find refuge in your stomach – not only are you no longer top on the search engines results page (SERP) but your website is falling quickly down the site rankings, or worse, your website is no where to be found.

Regrettably this happens to even the best of websites but first you need to figure out what happened and fix it fast!

Being SEO Clumsy

Mistakes can happen when your working on your website.

During redesign or even simple updates, coding errors can occur that leave your website with less than desirable content for search engines to feed on.

Link Structure Change

Problem:
If you are redesigning your website and change the link structure, the search engines are following a road that no longer exists. Simply removing the .html from the end of your page links can cause the search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc) to get lost finding their way to your awesome content.

Solution:
Have your website developer verify that your HTACCESS file is redirect the old links to the new links. This is sort of like providing the search engines with a “change of address” card so they now where each of the corresponding pages now resides.

Temporary Redirects

Problem:
The person that is working on your website decided it would be a good idea to hide certain sections of the website while it is being worked on.

Solution:
Your robots.txt file may have a coding error that is keeping the search engines from all pages on your website. Recode the file and resubmit your website to the search engines (if you were no longer being indexed).

Website Coding Errors

Problem:
Your website was being indexing wonderfully until your web designer or developer added some nifty code to give your website more pizzazz!

Solution:
Run the W3C Markup Validator on your website to find any error codes and fix them. Also look at your code and see where your content shows up. If your code is 6 pages long and your content shows up on page 6, work with your website developer to move any extra code to external files to raise the content.

Being SEO Naughty

The other side to the SEO coin is being naughty and practicing the dark arts known as SEO Black Hat Tactics.

This is when you use tactics you shouldn’t, hope you don’t get caught and the search engines figure out your little scheme anyway.

Once you employ black hat tactics, such as white text on a white background, you can kiss your rankings goodbye for anywhere up to a year.

If you are lucky, you have not been permanently banned or blacklisted, which will give you a chance to obey the SEO laws and employ SEO white hat tactics.

Afterwards, it may be as easy as resubmitting your website but I’ve heard stories of companies having to negotiate and beg Google and the other search engines to let their website be indexed.

Ultimately, it is up to you to keep on top of your website’s performance and SEO strategies being deployed.

Stay within the rules of the search engines and stay diligent in the health of your website to protect you, your company and your overall brand.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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  • Thank you Shannon for this post and sending me the link to it on Quora. The section for link structure change is very relevant to our current situation.