Background: A few months ago, we optimized a client’s website for a few keywords. Within 3 months, it was on Page 1 of the Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP). No, it wasn’t a fluke as not only did it just stay there, we eventually reached the top spot (yes Rank 1) for those keywords in the next few weeks.
What happened: Last week I was doing some research and figured that our top rankings were gone. In fact, forget the top spot, we were wiped off from the first page itself! Wait, what? Not. On. First Page? I just couldn’t believe it!
The fix: Immediately I went back to the brand owner and intimated. (Yeah, a typical agency doesn’t do that. But then that’s how we work, overly honest :P) The next few minutes we spent figuring out what has changed. Content, no. Strategy, no. Some new competitor, no. Website, yes! We had rolled out a new feature and updated the code. I had written the changes that had to be integrated. The techie, while copy pasting from the document, accidently missed ‘one’ word. And that miss made its way to the site. An important word (or keyword) removed from the site and boom! Our rankings plummeted. Thankfully we had noticed it within a week of the change and immediately got it fixed.
The result: 3 days later, we’re back on Page 1! And hopefully will be back to the top spot in the next couple of weeks!
Inference: Although in cases of the rankings being affected, the SEO/digital marketing agency should be questioned but, do note, the impact is because of a technical error/change. And this is why it becomes important for the SEO team to understand technology. Technical SEO is nothing new, but a lot of people tend to ignore it, make sure you’re not making that mistake.
Have experienced such cases? Do share what happened and how it got corrected, in the comments.