joined:Jan 28, 2019
On 4th October for the search term 'exampling' we dropped from number 2 to number 9 on Google searches (this was confirmed in Google Search Console).
We also paid an external SEO consultant to review our site and see why we are dropping on the term 'exampling'.
We've implemented everything and we're still dropping, the consultant thinks we may have been penalised in error (as we are a legitimate business and we're not trying to do anything untoward).
On the term Exampling in the UK we used to rank 1st and 2nd (you could go back 2 or 3 years and still see this).
The thing we do find confusing is that we still rank very highly (if not 1st) for 'exampling uk' and 'exampler'.
Since October last year our ranking has started looking like it's having a heart attack. We're down to position 98 now and it's really starting to impact our business - people just aren't finding us to add projects - which means our revenue is well down on what it should be.
Timeline of events of changes:
2nd October 2018 midday: Added a CTA using something called [snip] over the homepage - this was a full screen CTA [snip] (which may have had render blocking elements on).
4th October: we added a Google MyBusiness page showing our corporate headquarters as being in the UK (we did flag this on the Google MyBusiness forums and both people who responded said adding a MyBusiness page would not affect our drop in rankings).
4th October: dropped from number 2 to number 9 on Google searches (this was confirmed in Google Search Console)
4th October: Removed the [snip] popup
5th November: Server redirect so anything coming in on / was redirected to a page without a /
12th November: Removed around 200 junk pages (so old pages, test cms pages etc that were live and still indexed). Redirects from any 404s resolved
19th November: Updated site maps and video site maps to reflect new content and remove old content. Reviewed the whole site for duplicate meta tags and titles and updated accordingly with unique ones. Fixed issues in Google Search Console for Google search console for 404 and Mobile usability. Removed embedded YouTube video from homepage.
11th December: Removed old content and content seen as not useful from indexing; [snip] 'honey pot' pages, old blog, map pages, user profile pages, project page ‘junk pages which have little SEO value’ (comments, contact project owner, backers, report project) from indexing, added ‘no-follow’ to widgets linking back to us
3rd January 2019: Changed the meta title from "Start Exampling on Exampler UK - Where Ideas Happen" to "Exampler UK - Where Ideas Happen"
7th January: Disavow file updated to refuse Local World sites (these were sites like exampling.citynamepost.co.uk which used to link to us showing projects in local areas - our SEO expert felt may be seen as a ‘link farm’)
11th January: Updated our ‘About us’ page with more relevant content
15th January: Changed homepage title to include 'exampling' again, footer links updated to point to internal pages rather than linking off to [external site], homepage ordering of link elements on homepage changed (so moving [review platform] link further down the page, removing underlines on one item that was not a link, fixed and instance where two h1 tags were used), removed surreyuni. ntu. Subdomains (i.e. https
://ntu.exampler.co.uk) from our system (these were old sites we used to run for different clients which has projects in geographical areas displayed)
18th January: Added the word 'exampling' to project pages (from a Keyword project to a Keyword Exampling project)
We're at a loss as to why we are still dropping. Please note that the above changes were implemented after we'd been ranking fine for a couple years on the 'exampling' term - the changes were to try and address the drop in ranking. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
[edited by: phranque at 1:19 am (utc) on Jan 30, 2019]
[edit reason] exemplification/removal of specifics [/edit]