Losing Rank — Your Slipping Website’s SEO Failure Revealed

So you’ve had a website on the top few of the SERPs slots for several months now, and you’re enjoying the benefits: traffic, money, prestige, the whole nine yards. But one morning, you notice that suddenly you’ve had a drop in traffic. You scurry over to Analytics, and find that your Google traffic has dropped. You hurriedly go to Google and type in your keyword and find that you’ve slipped from second place to fifth!

What happened?!?

Well, there are a few things that might have happened. Google might have updated their algorithm and decided that your site just isn’t as cool according to the new metrics. Some competitor of yours might have magically sealed up a few dozen PR 8 .edu backlinks and stolen your mojo. Maybe your competitors went and linked to you from a bunch of known link farms or blackhatters slew your ranking in some other way.

But the honest truth is that it’s quite likely you just plain didn’t keep up on optimizing your website. SEO is an ongoing game — like swimming up a stream. You have to move forward just to sit still, and you have to haul ass forward to get anywhere. Far too many businesses will start a blog, pay for a dozen blog entries from their SEO company, get ranked for a few keywords, and then forget about it. The result is exactly what happened in the first paragraph.

Someone familiar with organic SEO might be wondering why the ‘move forward to sit still’ paradigm is in play here. After all, don’t websites naturally gain authority and juice just by getting older? And it’s not like backlinks lose value as they age.

The truth is twofold: one, not all of the backlinks you build will last forever. Some backlinks vanish over time as old pages are deleted or entire websites fold. Others are discovered and deleted by administrators or editors.

Two, your competitors aren’t static entities. They’re playing the SEO game, too, and if they play harder than you do, well, they win. You can’t ever stop fighting for that top spot if you expect to keep it. If you think otherwise, that’s why your site is slipping. Get back in the game!