Has Your Content Been Devalued by Google
Sometimes your website traffic from SEO will fall. If that happens it can be too easy to blame external factors such as a penalty, bad link builder or your tech team.
And the penalties are actually devaluations that will affect your website ranking – unless you fix them as soon as possible. Maybe your website page speed is too slow or your content is thin and just not as good as the other websites that now rank above you.
It is also possible that the lack of traffic from SEO is because your site lost ranking due to a redesign in the search engine results page (SERPs).
What Should You Do When Your Content Has Been Devalued?
What you do next depends on whether or not your website still shows up on search engines. If your website has been completely removed from the top 100 search results, then it has most likely been penalised. A penalty should not be confused with an algorithm change, which can feel like a penalty and can also cause a huge drop in organic traffic. Algorithm changes can be difficult to determine as Google never officially announces them, however, there are many blogs on Google’s algorithm updates such as our blog post on the recent Maccabee changes.
If your site is still ranked within the top 100 but not on the first page then that means you have not been penalised and there has most likely been an algorithm change or your page either has thin content or duplicate content. So that means that there are some adjustments that you need to make to increase your website ranking again.
Delete Duplicate Content
Google, and other search engines, automatically see your content as devalued if it is duplicated from elsewhere in your website or another website on the internet.
Duplicate content happens when the body content and metadata of your page are the exact same as another page. Most of the time duplicate content is not caused by another website stealing your content, but rather incorrectly formatted redirect links. Ensure that all your web pages are redirected correctly.
Also, ensure that each page in your website has a different keyword. It may not look bad from a business perspective to have four blog posts on the same topic with the same keyword but it will hurt your website from an SEO perspective.
Remove Thin Content
Business owners probably think the content on their website is quite good, however, sometimes it can be quite thin. The best thing to do when your page has dropped in rankings is to look at the web pages that are ranked in the top ten and ask yourself:
- Are they providing a better solution to the customer’s problem?
- Is the content longer or shorter than previously top-ranked content?
- What is the page speed?
- What is the site structure?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can adjust your website’s content and structure to reflect those web pages ranked in the top 10. However, fixing thin content is easy but it may take a few months or even a year for you to regain your ranking in search engines.
Most websites don’t actually get a penalty from Google, but it’s usually easier to blame that than to blame your website’s content or UX. However, next time your website drops in ranking, test the load speed of the site and if that isn’t an issue maybe it’s time to hire a copywriter to rewrite the content for your website.
Are you ready to improve your digital presence and increase your Google rankings? Contact us now and speak to Louie, our in-house SEO expert with over 15 years of experience under his belt.