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Have Your Results Moved From 1st to 2nd Place?

Rare will be the SEO expert who will tell you they can keep results in the first place. What you will hear is that you can establish a dynamic place within the ‘Top 10’ or ‘Top 5’. Now, when they tell you that your ranking can hold in first five results, you will often be surprised and please to find your site in first place. This result may change. It can move, and will (usually) move by one or two results (dropping to second or third place). A larger than 3 place drop could be a sign to worry about. A slight change may be because of something simple and easy to fix, such as your not having updated a new blog post since several months. Yet, a minor change could be a warning sign for a further drop that is on the way. Here is a rapid, partial overview of some issues which MIGHT be the cause for a shift in position …

First: Google is often changing their core ranking factors. So stay informed. There is a superb source for information in the weekly videos recaps by Barry Schwartz.

Changes in the trust that a search engine places in your content can come about if you do not keep to a regular rate of updating blog posts.

Search engines look at a site, and not just an individual web page when they determine the vital trust that they give to your content. Cross-link between pages and make social media links to deep pages (not always to the home page).

Look at the backlinks and the source code of the site that has risen in ranking. Often seeing new backlinks takes third-party tools days or weeks, not hours to be indexed. Other data may also take time to appear. So your audit of the competition may need to be done several times.

Things to look for include: New description meta tags, a variation in their page name and/or other on-page SEO changes.

Next, move to off-page factors. Examples can include a move to a dedicated IP, the purchase of a domain name for over 10 years (which people debate may OR MAY NOT have importance as a ranking factor), and items in this checklist.

TURN TO YOUR SITE: Seek errors and make corrections. Look for over-saturation of keywords, think of the sub-headings, think of alternate words, improved grammar, style, and then once this is checked, it is time for a coffee and lots of new paragraphs (for there is nothing “old” or “new” about a blog post; they should be “work in progress”. Your objective is always to be an authority in the niche topic or the keyword chosen).

Wait! As the notion of “quality content” is a subjective use your stats to be sure of your content’s value. Look at the average user time. Any increase for both site visits and article/post retention time (per 1000 users) is a good sign. If you‘re seeing visitor average time at 4 minutes or higher for an individual page and most of the visits originated from a search query, then be reassured, you will rise in ranking shortly!

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