Weekly SEO news: 27 February 2018
Welcome to the latest issue of our newsletter!

Here are the latest website promotion and Internet marketing tips for you.

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

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Don't panic: how to react to ranking changes

This happens to many webmasters at some point: you check your rankings and you find out that your rankings have dropped. What can you do if this happens to your rankings?

Keep calm and use SEOprofiler

It is normal that the search result pages change

The lower results usually fluctuate much more than the higher results. If your website is new in the top 5 results, you can expect more fluctuation than websites that have been listed in the top 5 results for a longer time.

You can also expect higher fluctuation if the keywords are related to a hot topic. If Google shows results that are marked with "two hours ago", or "one day ago" then it's likely that the keyword is related to such a hot topic.

If your website was ranked in the same positions for several weeks before the rankings dropped, you should take a closer look at the changes.

Step 1: find out what actually happened

Before you can react to the changes, you have to find out what actually changed. Here are some questions that can help you to identify the problem:

  • On which search engine has the ranking change occurred?
  • Has the change happened in a particular region?
  • Which pages have been affected by the change?
  • Has the ranking change influenced your conversions and your website traffic?
  • Did the same happen a year ago? This might be a seasonal issue.

When you have identified the pages, you can go into detail:

  • Which keywords caused the traffic change?
  • Which competitors gained rankings for these keywords?

The Ranking Monitor in SEOprofiler has the answers to these questions.


You might find out that the ranking changes happened to short category-level keywords. You also find out that the pages and websites that gained rankings had informational character. The pages and websites that lost rankings were shopping sites.

Things like that happen quite often. Google's algorithms might have re-evaluated the intent behind a query group. In that case, Google decided that people who search for these keywords are interested in getting information, not in buying.

Step 2: React wisely

Do not arbitrarily change your SEO tactics. Find the reason for the problem and then react wisely.

If your competitors now have better rankings than your site, analyze the pages of your competitors to find out why they rank better than your pages. The Top 10 Optimizer tool in SEOprofiler can help you to do that.

If all of your pages dropped, there might be a technical problem on your website that is the reason for the ranking drop. The website audit tool in SEOprofiler identifies things that can have a negative influence on your rankings.

Improve your pages now

Search result pages change all the time. It is not necessary to react to every shift in the search results. In general, you will get better long-term results if you stick to a plan that follows SEO best practices and that helps your users. Measure your results for at least 4-6 weeks before you draw conclusions.

The tools in SEOprofiler help you to create solid web pages that stand the test of time. You can create your free SEOprofiler account here:

Get started now

2. Internet marketing news of the week

GoogleSearch outpaced social for referral traffic last year

"Actions taken by social sites to curb the influx of malicious content is turning out to be a real boon for search referral traffic. [...] Search drove 34.8 percent of site visits in 2017 compared to social networks which accounted for 25.6 percent of referral traffic. [...]

Google was the top overall traffic referrer for the year, and owned a 36.82 percent share of visits during the second half of 2017."

John Mueller: hreflang is the most complex part of SEO

"On Twitter, Google's John Mueller said that hreflang is one of the most complex aspects of SEO.

The hreflang tag is for websites with content in multiple languages. For example, a page might be available in English and German. The hreflang tag can help you to make sure that Google shows the German version of the page to German visitors."

John MuellerGoogle dropped support for the news meta keywords tag

"On Twitter, Google's John Mueller confirmed that Google stopped supporting the new meta keywords tag months ago. The news meta keywords that was a tag that Google introduced in 2012 for news publishers. It only worked for news publishers that are sources in Google News."

Google: canonicals in Sitemaps are less powerful

"Some websites use Sitemaps to show Google the canonical versions of their web pages. Google’s has updated the official page about canonicals and they say that Sitemap canonicals are ‘less powerful’. [...]

We don’t guarantee that we’ll consider the sitemap URLs to be canonical, but it is a simple way of defining canonicals for a large site, and sitemaps are a useful way to tell Google which pages you consider most important on your site.”

+++ SEARCH +++ ENGINE +++ NEWS +++ TICKER +++

  • Google search algorithms are not impartial. They can be biased, just like their designers.
  • Google's Gary Illyes announced onstage at PubCon webmaster conference that Google plans on rolling more sites into the mobile-first index over the next weeks.
  • Introducing AdSense Auto ads.
  • Google is testing black titles in search results.
  • Connecticut franchisor sues Google for $209M.
  • Federal judge says embedding a tweet can be copyright infringement,

3. Previous articles