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If you make repeated SEO changes, do your rankings drop?

     
11:28 am on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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i dreamed about the reason we drop yesterday....

one site, no mod to title/meta etc... is #2...
one site i try to optimize was #7 then #5, then every 7 days it changes
and drops and more i work on it more it drops, im on 3rd page now.. i saw scale from #5 to #35....

it seems that if you play with the seo part they detect and push you down
12:52 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Id be interested in this also, im a "tinkerer" where as other sites I know havent been touched in a year or so are romping away with increases by the month
1:25 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've stated for years that "fiddling" with things, especially the sensative areas (eg Title element), is a big no-no.

Test well away from your money pages, and then implement changes in one go.

Some important things to bare in mind:
1) Rolling back changes will not result in previous ranking (you can't uncook an egg).
2) Some changes take a while to bed down - ranking signals "ramp up" over time BY DESIGN.
3) Some areas are INTENED to do certain things- to convey certain meanings. If you are constantly changing those things, it suggests you do not have a clear idea about those elements. If you don't trust the page, why should the search engines.
1:29 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Oh, welcome to the forums, frank77 :)
3:40 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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yep and i see nonnamers that where ranked #3566456 being top 1 to top 3 now...
so this is definately a problem..

also #1 is #1 on bing and yahoo as well...

no website only a flash animation and guess what ?

no title no nothing, nothing in the page and ranking #1
----------------------------

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=windows-1251">

</HEAD>

<BODY BGCOLOR=#272E2C LEFTMARGIN=0 TOPMARGIN=0 MARGINWIDTH=0 MARGINHEIGHT=0 rightmargin="0" bottommargin="0">

<center><br>

<TABLE WIDTH=774 BORDER=0 CELLPADDING=0 CELLSPACING=0 >

<TR>

<TD style="border:5px solid #903832"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="766" height="650">

<param name="movie" value="flash.swf">

<param name="quality" value="high">

<embed src="flash.swf" quality="high" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="766" height="650"></embed>

</object></TD></TR>
3:47 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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here are stats on changing stuff and trying to get back to #1




Google



This week:

16

1 Aug 2012



Last week:

8

25 Jul 2012



Best position:

1

5 Jul 2012



Worst position:

34

5 Jun 2012



Avg. position:

9.1
5:15 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Absolutely don't tinker with titles and descriptions and the same applies to keyword density. 99.5% certain that at first G will lower your ranking at first and then it takes 3 months or so for G to start to reflect tha changes and rank you correctly.

Just today one of my pages went from halfway down page 4 to number 9 on page 1. Around three months ago it was around halfway down page 1. Trying to get it higher I combined 3 pages into one and wham bham it dropped to page 4 and stayed there for three months.

G is not as clever or as quick as we think, it takes significant time for G to digest changes and re-analyse.
6:09 pm on Aug 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

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well they do it quick enough to DELIST you....
3:00 am on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Absolutely don't tinker with titles and descriptions and the same applies to keyword density.


I have heard that it is not good to change a title tag a lot.

Is the same true for a meta description?
3:02 am on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Meta description is not a direct ranking factor, gouri. I doubt that it would cause the same kind of trouble. I also doubt that there's a lot of reason to change it too much. Once you've got a description that Google uses and that gets a good CTR, that's all you need.
7:47 am on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If I want to, for example, change a META title, I do it at the same time that I am updating the content on the page and always make sure that each complements each other.

I think straight SEO tinkering is pretty much a thing of the past anyway. Most old SEO factors like META desc/kw tags, content positioning, density, alt tags, etc, etc... are either redundant or have such a miniscule impact on ranking it's not worth the effort tinkering with them alone anyway. SEO is much more about being authoritarian these days IMO.
9:21 am on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Things I've found can knock rankings when altered are:-
1) Navigation anchor text
2) Meta title

Whenever I've experimented with these, rankings get worse each time I change them and only recover once I've left them for a couple of months.

Major changes to content can also trigger a temporary ranking drop for a page (if dramatic), but can also produce temporary ranking improvements of course (due to freshness perhaps). Depends what type of changes you make to the content and possibly whether Google trusts the page (which I think is based on the historical pattern of changes to the page).

In the past I've accidentally left empty category pages on the server (forgot to 301 them) and discovered them still ranking on page 1 weeks afterwards with only a small drop in ranking. They hadn't changed much in years (products fairly consistent, internal linking and meta title unchanged) so Google probably really trusted those pages and only dropped them a few places over the course of several weeks, despite them having no content other than a page title and introductory sentence!

Trust comes with stability over a long period of time I think, and that makes your site more resilient when you need to make changes.
12:10 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Meta description is not a direct ranking factor, <snip> Once you've got a description that Google uses and that gets a good CTR


Yes Tedster - In my experience I cannot stress how important meta descriptions are using the most important couple of sentences on-page and then leave alone. Don't just chuck any old text in the meta description!
1:53 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Agreed - meta descriptions are a very important marketing tool for a site. Once you are ranking, the CTR becomes a big issue, and that snippet becomes very important.
2:23 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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... until Google comes along and changes it for you (ork ork)
2:45 pm on Aug 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

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BTwhow to implement richsnippets for SERP to show that ?