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Unusual Rank Drop for 2 keywords

 12:18 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey folks, I would like to get your opinion in this. A 10 year old website has just dropped from #4 and #7 for 2 keywords, plural and singular. It is now at #44 and #32 respectively. It has been strong on Page 1 for about 2 months. The 10 other keywords for this site has not been affected, they are still in tact in Page 1 and Page 2.

The only thing I can think of is keyword density, I used SEOQuake it it has 10% keyword density for the keywords that dropped. These keywords were also used in the links of the menu and mentioned a lot in the content. Could that be the possible problem? Or anything else you guys can think of?




 1:04 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It could also be that an important backlink was lost or devalued. Where was this ranking before the two months at #4 (a notorious test spot)?


 1:15 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It could also be that an important backlink was lost or devalued. Where was this ranking before the two months at #4 (a notorious test spot)?

It was at the bottom page 1 before #4, then mid page 2 way before. What do you mean notorious test spot? How about the keyword density do you think it has a big impact? Because the site is filled with those keywords that dropped, although it has always been like that even from the beginning but only had this problem a couple of weeks ago


 1:56 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey Louie,

What I've noticed on my site was that my secondary focused 3 word term (city-service-name) for an extremely competitive term took Spot #1 on page #1 in Google a few weeks ago. Also, very unexpectedly, I am also placed spot #1 on page #1 for (country-service-name) grabbing a national spotlight -- I really hadn't built much focus on that one because I thought it would be unattainable for such a young site with next to no backlinks even though highly optimized.

But here's the kicker -- my primary service focus is also a 3 word keyword term (city-service-name) but yet it had been sitting on page 72 and wouldn't budge. I mulled it over for quite some time and had convinced myself that "Google didn't like something I said somewhere, on some page" but couldn't figure what was upsetting the ogre.

So after waiting weeks and seeing it not budging I began to browse through my pages to try to understand why it loved my secondary focus but banished me to page 72 for my primary focus. That's when I came to the realization that wherever I made mention of my secondary term throughout all pages I provided links to it because it was a natural thing to do while explaining the full service nature of my business to potential customers. But I never linked my primary term hardly anywhere because the whole site revolves around it and it's obvious. So I figured it would be overkill to link those keywords. I figured they are linked in the header section and the main navigation section that should be enough right? Wrong! The ogre seems to be profiling the "templated areas" of the site, excluding them, and focusing on the paragraph content.

So about 2 weeks ago now I went through my 37 pages and wherever my primary keywords were in body paragraphs I linked them to 2 or 3 different pages on the site that were specifically relevant to that term. The ogre took the cheese! Ive been watching the page climb this week...page 13...page 12...11...10 today...

So it may be worth considering wherever you have mentioned those terms throughout your pages add some links in there if you have a specific page you can point them to. But go easy, I have no more than about 6 or 7 "intra-site links" per page of 1500 - 2000 words of content. And of those intra-site links they cover various supporting topics related to my primary and secondary focus.

Hope this is explained clearly enough. Also, as a side note my keyword density is no more than about 2.0-2.5% site wide -- I was actually aiming for 3% but just couldn't get there because of my tendency to chatter a lot and dilute the density! You think?!


 2:05 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think keyword density is a now a dead idea that is NOT represented in today's Google algorithm. Density tools are mildly helpful to make sure the content didn't skip over the keyword.

What do you mean notorious test spot?

The URL ranks part of the day and #4 and the rest of the day on a deeper SERP - at least page 2. I've been calling this phenomenon "dayparting" but earlier we were calling it "yo-yo rankings". Depending on the time when you check your rankings, you may miss the fact that your ranking is actually on a yo-yo.


 2:10 am on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks SevenCubed and Tedster.

@tedster, we hourly monitor our ranks regularly each day by scanning Google DC for exact ranks and so far during the time the site was on Top 4 it didn't yo yo. Really strange thing is, the rest of the keywords are still ranked on top, except for these 2. Any more ideas or experience on this will be much appreciated

Robert Charlton

 7:12 am on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Really strange thing is, the rest of the keywords are still ranked on top, except for these 2.

How competitive are the phrases that don't rank well now compared to those that do?

Often, a drop in linking power to a page can cause a page's ranking to fall for some queries but not for others. The phrases that drop do so either because there's been a loss of anchor text credit that was keeping them up there, or else because they're simply more competitive than those that continue to rank.


 7:47 am on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)


this could be a keyword specific penalty, often caused by over eager link building for those phrases.

Could you fit in to that category?

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