Google continues to make changes in how they determine the rankings of websites. There has been at least five major update in the last three months alone. You can expect this to continue as Google aims to improve the quality of the results shown.
In 2011, Google stirred a lot of debate with their Panda update. They released several versions including Panda 3.5 in April 2012. The Panda updates focused on duplicate content and poor quality content. Later that same month Google released Penguin targeting webspam, keyword stuffing and techniques that don’t benefit users. Whether you can identify the exact update or not your rankings may have been affected.
Why have my ranking dropped?
Recently I have been contacted by firms with websites and optimization with competitive vendors. They want my expert advice on why their rankings have dropped and their traffic is down. The most common problem is that their content has not been updated regularly and it has become stale. Your vendor should make sure regular updates are made. Most attorneys are too busy or are not interested in making the changes themselves. That’s why they outsource this service. The vendor should be proactive and not wait for the firm to raise this issue.
The second most common problem is the lack of quality linking. The website with few links or those linking to poor content sites will either not rank or have dropped with the recent updates. Google is better than ever at discovering “black hat” technique and they will penalize for any technique that is against their published guidelines.
Update your content
Content is still king for SEO success. The search engines are becoming increasingly good at spotting poor quality content. It’s critical to update and improve your content.
Consider adding a Blog to provide fresh information on a regular basis. Properly written Blogs are the fastest way to improve your rankings.
Know where your links coming from
Links have always played an important role in rankings. But number of links is not as important as the quality of links. Evaluating the quality of your links and make sure you get a wide variety links from quality (not spammy) sites.