Weekly SEO news: 21 July 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Have your rankings dropped recently? Don't panic. Before you do anything, you should find the cause of the problem. The better you understand the reason why your rankings dropped, the better you can prevent future ranking drops.

In the news: risky grey-hat SEO methods, Google will send fewer messages to webmasters, Yahoo also works on search without a search box, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Five solutions to five reasons why your Google rankings have dropped

Have your rankings dropped recently? Don't panic. Before you do anything, you should find the cause of the problem. The better you understand the reason why your rankings dropped, the better you can prevent future ranking drops.

five solutions

There are five major reasons why your web pages are ranked lower than before:

Reason 1: your website changes

Most webmasters update their web pages regularly. As long as the changes are only small, this won't have a big effect on your rankings. However, if you re-design your web pages or if you optimize a page for a different topic then search engines might re-calculate your search engine rankings.

Many webmasters believe that Google has a filter for changed web pages (the so-called 'sandbox'). If you change your web pages, Google will temporarily downrank your website to make sure that you are not spamming them.

Solution: If you have web pages that have high rankings on Google for important keywords, only change these pages with great care. Make sure that most pages of your website are relevant to the topic of your site. Relevancy to the topic is as important as relevance to a particular keyword.

Reason 2: the links to your website are problematic

If you have an old website with a grown link structure then it's not likely that your site rankings will drop because of a link change.

If the links to your site are mainly paid links or automatically created links then it is likely that your website has been penalized by Google. Sudden changes in the link structure of a website make a website suspicious.

Solution: If you still use shady link building tools or services, stop it now. The links that point to your website must make sense to website visitors and search engines. If you don't work on your links that point to your website then your website will be replaced by websites with a better link structure.

Reason 3: the websites of your competitors change

Everybody wants to be on Google's first result page. For that reason, it's only natural that other websites will be listed better than yours if you don't work on your web pages.

Many websites target the same topics as you do. If these other websites have better content and better links than your site then it's only natural that these sites get better rankings.

Solution: You must offer better content than your competitors. Make sure that you offer many web pages that are relevant to the topic of your website and that you have better links than your competitors.

Reason 4: your web pages contain spam

Search engines don't like spam. If search engines find out that you use cloaking, hidden text, doorway pages or any other spam technique on your web pages then it is extremely likely that your website will be penalized.

Solution: Don't try to cheat Google. It's simply not worth it if you want to develop a sustainable business. Remove all spam elements from your web pages. Just because your website hasn't been penalized yet doesn't mean that search engines won't find the spam elements in the near future.

Reason 5: technical problems

Your web server can be the reason for a ranking drop. If your website is down when the search engine spider tries to access your website then search engines cannot give your web pages high rankings because they don't know your pages.

Some websites display the correct web page in the web browser but the server returns an error code. In that case, search engines won't index the web pages.

Solution: Make sure that your website is hosted on a reliable server that has no downtime. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler will inform you if there are any technical issues on your web pages that can cause ranking problems.

Almost any website owner will see a significant ranking drop sooner or later. Don't panic if this happens to you. Try to find the reason for the ranking drop and then act accordingly.

seo first aid

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to make sure that your web pages get the best  rankings possible. Try SEOprofiler now and see for yourself:

See plans & pricing

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Google dominates the U.S. mobile organic search visits in Q2

"Google has a relative strength in mobile, having generated 89 percent of mobile organic search visits in Q2. In comparison, Yahoo represented 7.1 percent of overall mobile organic search visits, while Bing produced just 4.1 percent."

Grey hatFifty shades of grey hat: the SEO experts weigh in

"Grey Hat SEO encompasses a vast, heterogeneous, and rapidly-evolving body of 'below the radar' optimization methods.

Because there's no fine line distinguishing these methods from the 'Black Hat' tactics expressly prohibited by search engines, Grey Hat SEO exposes the marketers employing it to an unknown quantum of risk."

Google: we will send fewer messages to webmasters

On Google+, Google's Gary Illyes announced that they will send fewer messages to webmasters:

"In the next few weeks Search Console is going to change how and to whom we send messages. After the change, we will send messages only to the direct owners of a particular site; owners of parent properties will no longer be sent messages for their child properties."

YahooLike Google, Yahoo wants to reinvent search without the search bar

"Smart Stream aims to function as someone's personal assistant, anticipating whatever information a person might need and making it available on the phone's home screen.

Like Google's personal assistant app Google Now, Smart Stream pulls information from various apps on a person's phone like their calendar and location, as well as other signals."

Bing Ads: Bing shopping campaigns is now available to all U.S. customers

"Bing Shopping Campaigns is a new campaign type in your UI that makes it easier than ever to advertise your products from the Bing Merchant Center store."

Search engine newslets

  • Rich snippet creator for Schema.org markup.
  • Google is going to reopen Map Maker.
  • WSJ: Google takes stricter approach to costs.
  • Google announces 'Purchase on Google'.
3. Recommended resources

New version

SEOprofiler helps you to get high rankings on Google and more customers. It offers all the tools that you need:

  • automatic weekly website audits
  • tools for keyword research and analysis
  • competitive intelligence tools
  • automated ranking checks
  • website analytics
  • tools for spam-free link building
  • link disinfection tool
  • social media monitoring
  • white-label reports (web-based and PDF)
  • new: AdWords Profiler and Ranking Profiler
  • and much more.

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4. Previous articles
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