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Blog Effecting Rankings


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7 replies to this topic

#1 EricCantona

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:44 AM

Hi Folks,

I am a bit stressed at the moment. We have introduced a blog to our site as a means of talking about a variety of items ranign from product specific posts to sponorships and everything in between. We want to add fresh content to our site and syndicate this to our social media platforms, as a means of content marketing and to hopefully boost natural rankings.

Our blog hangs off our website (website.com/blog). I have been posting twice a week for the past 4 weeks, and when I looked at our rankings I noticed they ahve dropped considerably for several key terms.

3 -> 7th

I am bit scared because I recommended getting the blog in as a means for creating an area we can post fresh content, but at this early stage it appears to be hurting us.

Is it that the content is not relevant to our products? Is it the sudden frequency of posts? I

Appreciate in help or advice you could give guys

EC

#2 qwerty

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:05 PM

I doubt this is what you want to see in response to your situation, but my advice would be not to worry. The ranking drop you're describing (unless you meant page 3 to page 7) isn't that much, especially considering the period of time you're talking about.

If you're actually experiencing a drop in rankings that's going to stay in place and the blog really is to blame, it would probably mean that either you're publishing real garbage there or the blog is set up in such a way that it's causing indexation or canonicalization problems. You've been publishing two blog posts a week for four weeks. When you do a site: search, do a lot of new URLs show up in the results, like multiple tag pages listing the same posts?

#3 EricCantona

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:07 PM

QUOTE(qwerty @ Mar 7 2012, 06:05 PM) View Post
I doubt this is what you want to see in response to your situation, but my advice would be not to worry. The ranking drop you're describing (unless you meant page 3 to page 7) isn't that much, especially considering the period of time you're talking about.

If you're actually experiencing a drop in rankings that's going to stay in place and the blog really is to blame, it would probably mean that either you're publishing real garbage there or the blog is set up in such a way that it's causing indexation or canonicalization problems. You've been publishing two blog posts a week for four weeks. When you do a site: search, do a lot of new URLs show up in the results, like multiple tag pages listing the same posts?



Hi Qwerty,

One important thing i failed to mention, and which I am going to have difficulty articulating. We now have two separate CMSs. One for the main site and one for the blog. The blog is hosted on a separate server, but the server is located in the same warehouse in the same country. The blog is designed so that it fits exactly with the main site, we used reverse proxy method. So users never know that the blog and site are ran from two separate CMS. All the linking etc is exactly the same on the two sites.

The posts we are doing are not 'garbage' content and are written by qualified journalists, they are posts about one of our sports sponosrhips with weekly previews. I am just wondering if the relevance of those posts are affecting things, because we are financial services company!

I did a search and the recent blog posts appear, but there weren't multiple tag listsing with the same posts, just the individual posts?

We only updated our site about once a month, could it be a combination of the fact that we have added a whole new portion to the site hierarchy and we are now updating bi weekly?



#4 torka

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

The CMS and server issue should not be a problem (assuming there's nothing technically amiss in the way you set it up). Our company website is on three separate domains using five different CMSs (don't ask...). We interlink from one to the other extensively, treat the whole mess as though it's a single site (because, well, it is a single site smile.gif). Been that way for years, and we've never had any problems with SEO.

The point is, in most cases, Google can deal with complicated site configurations. They do it all the time.

Unless the new content is of extremely low quality, adding more content to a website shouldn't be a problem, either -- especially not to the extent of lowering the rankings for existing pages. Why would Google punish you for adding more high quality content? That just doesn't make sense.

Likewise, if what you're updating with is of reasonably good quality, more frequent updates shouldn't be a problem. Google really doesn't care how often you update your site. If you get in the habit of updating more frequently, they may eventually get in the habit of sending their spiders around more often to check on what's new, but that's about the only thing that will change simply because you start updating more often.

Are the only posts on your blog about the sports sponsorship? Or is it just one of many topics you've covered? If the only thing there is the sports stuff, I'd say it would be a good idea to include some articles that more closely relate to your business. Not because of SEO, but because you're missing a great marketing opportunity by not blogging about your industry. (On the other hand, if most of your posts are already on financial services related topics, then, in the words of the immortal Emily Litella: "Never mind." smile.gif)

Let me ask you this: how has your site traffic been? Have you seen a big drop? Or has it remained fairly steady?

I ask because, you know, Google has been personalizing search results for awhile now. It may be that they're personalizing your results to show your company's pages lower for some reason. For instance, maybe you don't click on them when they come up in search, and Google -- not knowing they're your own company's pages -- has interpreted that to mean you're not interested in them. Or maybe there are just some other pages out there that your friends on social media have liked and the great GoogleGods have decided you should get the chance to check them out, too, so they're showing them higher. There's really no way of telling sometimes how Google decides which pages go up top and which show up lower down.

So just because you see your pages lower in the results doesn't mean everybody else does, too. For that reason (and many more) rankings are often not the best metric for tracking site performance.

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#5 EricCantona

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:51 PM

Cheers for the speedy replies guys.

Thanks Torka. I think we are ok with the site configuration, and for the SERPs I made sure to log out of google account and clear cookies so I am sure of the results. Site traffic has remained consistent also.

I suppose the six sports post in a row may have an affect, and we intend on talking about our products we just havent had a chance to sit down and put together a comprehensive content calender / plan.

I'll continue to monitor i was just a bit shocked when I saw that the rankings for all of our main keywords fell on average 3-4 places 4 weeks after we put the blog live. I havent seen that sudden of a drop before


#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:18 PM

I doubt you have published enough content on the blog to have much of an impact on anything.

You might look at the rest of the Website and see if your company has been investing too much effort in aggressive on-page SEO. Examples of ways people get into trouble include:
  • Pursuing multiple keywords in page titles
  • Embedding large numbers of self-referential links in page copy
  • Relying on "flat site architecture" that crowds hundreds of navigational links onto pages
  • Repeating head term keywords in multiple navigational elements
  • Reusing boilerplate or generic copy (sometimes called "spinning" or "madlibbing")

In other words, if you feel like you'll benefit from doing MORE of anything, you're following the philosophy of "if ONE is good for me A THOUSAND will be great". This kind of greedy "optimization" often has the exact opposite effect on a Website's search performance.

Other possible factors that might lead to loss in rankings include:
  • A search algorithm change
  • Your competitors are making changes
  • Link decay (they either lose their value or vanish completely)
  • A lot of new content enters the "field", changing the search engine's frame of reference
  • Some big so-called "authority" Website like Wikipedia adds or enhances content that becomes more competitive

You really have to look at all possible causes of problems. You cannot justify the assumption that whatever you just started doing is having THAT much of an impact. It's conceivable such a thing happens from time to time, but not likely in my opinion.

#7 EricCantona

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 05:43 AM

Thanks Michael. I will have close look at what you have said. A few competitors have rebranded and I have noticed they have leaprfrogged up so this may be a factor.

I have now noticed guys that there may be duplicate versions of the blog posts:

When I do a post it is called website.com/blog/xxxxxx.html

But when I want this post to appear on our blog home page, I need to use a "shortcut" omethod in our CMS, this creates website.com/blog/xxxxx.shortcut.html

So there are two versions of each post I think. Could this be effecting things?

#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 02:48 PM

QUOTE(EricCantona @ Mar 8 2012, 02:43 AM) View Post
I have now noticed guys that there may be duplicate versions of the blog posts:

When I do a post it is called website.com/blog/xxxxxx.html

But when I want this post to appear on our blog home page, I need to use a "shortcut" omethod in our CMS, this creates website.com/blog/xxxxx.shortcut.html

So there are two versions of each post I think. Could this be effecting things?


Possibly. It's had to say. But it doesn't sound like an optimal strategy for user experience. Does the CMS only use a snippet for the shortcut? That should be fine.




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