Help, my rankings have dropped!

Help, my rankings have dropped!

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The search marketing game is not easy. In fact it can be puzzling at times. Just when you think you understand it Google it releases another algorithm update, which sends you into a spin.

Thankfully we don’t come across situations like this very often. However, we’ve been working on one project recently, which has caused our SEO technical team many a sleepless night and me to have constant heart burn and marriage problems. (Not really)

We took on a client 12 months ago and helped them achieve number 1 for a keyword, which made them a lot of money. Enquiries were flooding through daily for 6 months.

We created a strategy for this client, which we were proud of and still are.

Content strategy

We scheduled a content strategy, which allowed us to update the client’s blog regularly, and would share the content using G+, Twitter and LinkedIn groups.

Outreach

We came up with a hit list of great industry blogs and begin pitching content to key industry influencers. We were totally rocking this! The client was happy and picking up positive press everywhere.

On site

We constantly improved the content. Description of products and services were industry leading. This was inspirational stuff. It felt like we’d be nominated for an Oscar for this work. I cried several times with happiness after proof reading our content teams work.

And then suddenly…

Out of nowhere…

The main target keyword just dropped to page 4.

We were totally perplexed and the client was even more confused. It went from a holiday in paradise to a holiday in hell. Enquiry levels dropped and we were getting hourly calls from our client who I can only describe as the angriest man in the UK.

Recovery

We were totally confused and immediately began an investigation into what had happened. There was nothing showing in Webmaster tools and we knew that the links built were au-naturel, as we’d built them!

Don’t panic!

We began analysing the link profile and noticed that around the time the keyword dropped, some really weird forum links were hitting the site. The site should have been cleaner than Alan Sugar’s Bentley, yet every day these awful links were being built.

We began the disavow process and it soon became clear that the site was being negative SEO’d by a competitor.

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What we did next

The only thing we could do was to continue with the strategy and to continue to show Google that the client was updating their site with great content and engaging with their audience.

The flaw with Google disavow process is that you have to show them (Google) that you are trying to remove the links yourself. The problem is if you have played no part in building these links then why should we spend hours and hours contacting webmasters begging them to remove the links.

We are still working on recovering this problem. The disavow process is on going and we are filling the site with great content and building meaningful links into the site.

If you’ve suffered from anything similar we would love to hear from you and how you solved the problem

Geraint

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