Pls Help! Urgent! Ranking dropped by 4 pages! Over-optimization?

by MEF 25 replies
Hello fellow SEO professionals!! This is my first time posting in this forum, and I need some expert help, please!

I am a semi-newbie at on-page optimization.

I just finished the on-page optimizations for the site, Syrmatech.com. The primary keyword for the home page is "electronic manufacturing services". Prior to my on-page optimizations the site was ranking on Google (India) page 5, and is now ranking on page 9!! EEK. This morning, I reviewed the page and eliminated a couple instances where I had inserted "electronic manufacturing", perhaps too many times? I've now cut it back to 3 instances on the page, once in the H1 and twice in the body copy.

MY URGENT QUESTION: since I've now removed the keyword by a couple instances, can my home page ranking go back to where it was if it indeed was hit by a Panda/Penguin penalty?
#search engine optimization #dropped #overoptimization #pages #penalty #pls #ranking #urgent
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    You were not hit by any penalty. Do not worry about it. Ranking on page 5 and ranking on page 9 is really no different. They are both equally irrelevant. Sites bounce around in those regions all of the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author MEF
    Hi Mike! Thanks so much for your quick reply. Do rankings really bounce around by that much? I know on those lower pages rankings can be pretty volatile, but I didn't realize a ranking can drop by that many pages without a penalty involved? I am going to have to explain the drop to my boss and am really worried.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    On lower pages, yes they can often be that volatile. Many times there is not a whole lot separating a site ranking #57 from a site ranking #93. One or two links lost and the site can drop that far. A minor change on the page, same thing.

    The closer to the top you get, the less volatile it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author MEF
    By a minor change on the page -- are you saying that I could have over optimized the page, and that that could be the reason for the drop? I'm a little confused. Thanks so much, Mike, for your help!
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by MEF View Post

      By a minor change on the page -- are you saying that I could have over optimized the page, and that that could be the reason for the drop? I'm a little confused. Thanks so much, Mike, for your help!
      Anything you change on the page could drop rankings.. or boost them.

      I would not worry about "over optimization". It really is not a problem.
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      • Profile picture of the author MEF
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        Anything you change on the page could drop rankings.. or boost them.

        I would not worry about "over optimization". It really is not a problem.
        really? Although I thought keyword stuffing is an issue? I think I may have keyword stuffed the page and that's why it dropped. I had 5 instances (variations) of the keyword on the page --- prior to it dropping it only had 3.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Originally Posted by MEF View Post

          really? Although I thought keyword stuffing is an issue? I think I may have keyword stuffed the page and that's why it dropped. I had 5 instances (variations) of the keyword on the page --- prior to it dropping it only had 3.
          You're being over dramatic (5 instances of a keyword).

          Stop counting.
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          • Profile picture of the author MEF
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            You're being over dramatic (5 instances of a keyword).

            Stop counting.
            OK, gotcha. All I could think was that I over optimized the page and am a little paranoid about Penguin, being somewhat of a newbie at on-page optimization.
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            • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
              Originally Posted by MEF View Post

              OK, gotcha. All I could think was that I over optimized the page and am a little paranoid about Penguin, being somewhat of a newbie at on-page optimization.
              Penguin has nothing to do with what you do on your site.
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              • Profile picture of the author MEF
                Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

                Penguin has nothing to do with what you do on your site.
                Are you saying that you can use a keyword as many times as you like on a page and not get penalized for it? I'm 100% certain that Google will penalize for that.
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  • Profile picture of the author AndresNWD
    If your keywords were relevant in that content, I don't think it's a big problem.
    If you want to discard over optimization as a reason, maybe you should try and substitute those keywords by synonyms or subject related keywords. If it makes sense in the content, of course.
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    • Profile picture of the author MEF
      Originally Posted by AndresNWD View Post

      If your keywords were relevant in that content, I don't think it's a big problem.
      If you want to discard over optimization as a reason, maybe you should try and substitute those keywords by synonyms or subject related keywords. If it makes sense in the content, of course.
      Thank you for your reply! Yes, they were relevant in fact.. maybe I'll try substitution as you suggested and see what happens.

      I need to somehow retrieve the previous ranking -- even though the difference may be negligible, it's not in the eyes of my boss who will see the drop as a major setback, so I'm definitely concerned.
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  • Profile picture of the author hossain18
    Very hard to answer that your site will return on the track or not! But, your Google Webmaster Tools report will show the issue!
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    • Profile picture of the author MEF
      Originally Posted by hossain18 View Post

      Very hard to answer that your site will return on the track or not! But, your Google Webmaster Tools report will show the issue!
      Thank you! How will GWT show the issue exactly?
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by hossain18 View Post

        Very hard to answer that your site will return on the track or not! But, your Google Webmaster Tools report will show the issue!
        Originally Posted by MEF View Post

        Thank you! How will GWT show the issue exactly?
        It won't. He lied or has no idea what he is talking about.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    OP, I only looked at your Home page but you're not even close to optimizing for any specific keyword (Google cache).
    • Six <h1> tags per page with random text.
    • Triple site navigation links in the header per webpage.

    There's a differance between over optimization & poor quality site/page structure.

    In other words, you're not being penalized by Google because of the webpage, you're simply not doing any on-page SEO or trying to to rank in the SERPs.
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    • Profile picture of the author MEF
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      OP, I only looked at your Home page but you're not even close to optimizing for any specific keyword (Google cache).
      • Six <h1> tags per page with random text.
      • Triple site navigation links in the header per webpage.

      There's a differance between over optimization & poor quality site/page structure.

      In other words, you're not being penalized by Google because of the webpage, you're simply not doing any on-page SEO or trying to to rank in the SERPs.

      hi, thanks so much for checking it out --- I've notified my boss about the 6 H1 tags as being an issue. I've read varying expert opinions on multiple H1 tags, but Matt Cutts says it's not a problem if it makes sense for the page. He also says that a page should not be ALL H1 tags, which our home page is, so I know that needs to change.

      However, the page IS optimized ( or so I believe) for the keyword, electronic manufacturing services --- the keyword is in the title tag, the meta description tag, the first H1 tag, and twice in the body copy.

      QUESTION: where are you seeing (or how) triple site navigation links in the header and what do you mean by that? Can you pls explain a bit more?

      I think the CMS is a poor CMS system to be honest (Squarespace) -- trying to convince my boss to redesign the next site in Wordpress.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Originally Posted by MEF View Post

        hi, thanks so much for checking it out --- I've notified my boss about the 6 H1 tags as being an issue. I've read varying expert opinions on multiple H1 tags, but Matt Cutts says it's not a problem if it makes sense for the page. He also says that a page should not be ALL H1 tags, which our home page is, so I know that needs to change.

        However, the page IS optimized ( or so I believe) for the keyword, electronic manufacturing services --- the keyword is in the title tag, the meta description tag, the first H1 tag, and twice in the body copy.
        Matt C. will never tell you anything that will rank pages, that was never his job.

        An <h1> tag is equivalent to a page <title> on your webpage, easily proven on the SERPs by removing a page <title> from your webpage, reindex the same page. The SERP title will most likely be the same text as the <h1> assuming you optimize the <h1> with the same/similar text as the original page <title> text.

        That's SEO, Matt C. will never tell you small details like that, never in a million years...

        Only have a single <h1> per main keyword on each web page, nothing more.

        If you need to optimize for secondary keywords use <h2> tags as needed but make sure they're needed & no wrapping useless text (ex: Sign In, Login, Tweet this, etc...) or sentences.





        Originally Posted by MEF View Post

        QUESTION: where are you seeing (or how) triple site navigation links in the header and what do you mean by that? Can you pls explain a bit more?.
        I posted a link to the Google Cache (text version) so you could see what I was talking about, here's the link again. Screenshot below with the same triple nav links per page.

        Right now you're wasting about a dozen links on that single page diluting any SEO effort. I haven't looked but imagine it's a site-wide issue.

        Always look at your webpage text version, that's what matters for SEO. Google doesn't care about fluff (ex: theme images, pretty photos, etc...), they care about plain text + links. Get in the habit of looking at the text version of the webpage while you're optimizing.








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  • Profile picture of the author MEF
    Hi Yukon, thank you SO MUCH for your help!! I've needed this! I've been trying to do/learn SEO all on my own, and it helps to much to have expert guidance!

    So here:

    "An <h1> tag is equivalent to a page <title> on your webpage, easily proven on the SERPs by removing a page <title> from your webpage, reindex the same page. The SERP title will most likely be the same text as the <h1> assuming you optimize the <h1> with the same/similar text as the original page <title> text."

    does this mean I should not include my keyword in BOTH the title and H1 tag if they are equivalent? Or is is OK to do this? My understanding is to include the keyword in both.

    Second:

    "Right now you're wasting about a dozen links on that single page diluting any SEO effort. I haven't looked but imagine it's a site-wide issue."

    Yes, it looks like it's a site-wide issue. So how do the triple nav links dilute any SEO effort? Is the repetition confusing to search engines, and that's why? Or is it something else? Can you articulate/explain a little further? What I know is that a page shouldn't have more than 100 links for SEO, but I don't anything about duplication of links and how that effects SEO...

    THANK YOU!!!
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by MEF View Post

      Yes, it looks like it's a site-wide issue. So how do the triple nav links dilute any SEO effort? Is the repetition confusing to search engines, and that's why? Or is it something else? Can you articulate/explain a little further? What I know is that a page shouldn't have more than 100 links for SEO, but I don't anything about duplication of links and how that effects SEO...
      Every link on a page makes all the other links weaker. So all your internal links throughout the site are greatly weakened because you have all those extra nav links.

      Forget that 100 links on a page thing. You should remove any unnecessary links and have as few as possible per page really.
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      • Profile picture of the author MEF
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        Every link on a page makes all the other links weaker. So all your internal links throughout the site are greatly weakened because you have all those extra nav links.

        Forget that 100 links on a page thing. You should remove any unnecessary links and have as few as possible per page really.
        THANKS, Mike!! I will let my boss know this... I think Squarespace sucks as a CMS, by the way. Rand Fishkin gave it a thumbs up for SEO but we've run into all sorts of problems so far.
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        • Profile picture of the author yukon
          Originally Posted by MEF View Post

          I think Squarespace sucks as a CMS, by the way. Rand Fishkin gave it a thumbs up for SEO but we've run into all sorts of problems so far.
          Dump Squarespace.

          I just looked at their pricing/options & they do suck. They throttle the amount of pages per site which is mental in 2015. Lol, $8 per month for 20 web pages, funny stuff.

          You can get shared hosting anywhere on the net for less than $10 per month & unlimited pages, access to FTP, htaccess file, etc... all the while running your pick of CMS (ex: Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc...).

          You can bet Rand got a kickback by mentioning that product.
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          • Profile picture of the author MEF
            Originally Posted by yukon View Post

            Dump Squarespace.

            I just looked at their pricing/options & they do suck. They throttle the amount of pages per site which is mental in 2015. Lol, $8 per month for 20 web pages, funny stuff.

            You can get shared hosting anywhere on the net for less than $10 per month & unlimited pages, access to FTP, htaccess file, etc... all the while running your pick of CMS (ex: Wordpress, Drupal, Joomla, etc...).

            You can bet Rand got a kickback by mentioning that product.
            I know, right?? My boss wanted it because it was simple to update, but a pain in the butt in terms of SEO. Wordpress is far more superior I believe. Wonder if Rand knows you have to use special coding in order for title and meta description tags to work alongside banner text. Bet he doesn't know that, lol. hehe. I do bow down to him though, as being one of the top experts of all experts in the SEO world.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
      Originally Posted by MEF View Post

      Hi Yukon, thank you SO MUCH for your help!! I've needed this! I've been trying to do/learn SEO all on my own, and it helps to much to have expert guidance!

      So here:

      "An <h1> tag is equivalent to a page <title> on your webpage, easily proven on the SERPs by removing a page <title> from your webpage, reindex the same page. The SERP title will most likely be the same text as the <h1> assuming you optimize the <h1> with the same/similar text as the original page <title> text."

      does this mean I should not include my keyword in BOTH the title and H1 tag if they are equivalent? Or is is OK to do this? My understanding is to include the keyword in both.
      It's not that you have to have the same text in both a <title> & <h1> tag per page, sure you can do that If you really want to go all out targeting a single specific keyword (per page) but you can also slightly modify a page title text & use that for an <h1>.

      Example:


      <title>Electronic Manufacturing Services - Syrma Technology</title>

      <h1>Electronic Manufacturing Checklist</h1>



      <h2>Production Schedule</h2>

      See also: Production Schedule

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non lobortis nulla. Integer non velit turpis. Nullam semper laoreet nisi id ornare. Ut vel tristique leo. Proin eu ligula a massa pulvinar gravida. Aliquam dui diam, maximus a sagittis ac, tincidunt eget orci. Nullam rhoncus risus vitae ornare porta. In tincidunt accumsan tortor et molestie. Fusce purus nisl, bibendum non finibus ut, consequat vel purus. Suspendisse imperdiet tellus augue, in venenatis magna semper efficitur. Sed sollicitudin aliquam lorem nec sodales.



      <h2>Packaging Requirements</h2>

      See also: Packaging Requirements

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non lobortis nulla. Integer non velit turpis. Nullam semper laoreet nisi id ornare. Ut vel tristique leo. Proin eu ligula a massa pulvinar gravida. Aliquam dui diam, maximus a sagittis ac, tincidunt eget orci. Nullam rhoncus risus vitae ornare porta. In tincidunt accumsan tortor et molestie. Fusce purus nisl, bibendum non finibus ut, consequat vel purus. Suspendisse imperdiet tellus augue, in venenatis magna semper efficitur. Sed sollicitudin aliquam lorem nec sodales.



      <h2>Test Requirements</h2>

      See also: Test Requirements

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non lobortis nulla. Integer non velit turpis. Nullam semper laoreet nisi id ornare. Ut vel tristique leo. Proin eu ligula a massa pulvinar gravida. Aliquam dui diam, maximus a sagittis ac, tincidunt eget orci. Nullam rhoncus risus vitae ornare porta. In tincidunt accumsan tortor et molestie. Fusce purus nisl, bibendum non finibus ut, consequat vel purus. Suspendisse imperdiet tellus augue, in venenatis magna semper efficitur. Sed sollicitudin aliquam lorem nec sodales.



      <h2>Assembly Drawings</h2>

      See also: Assembly Drawings

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non lobortis nulla. Integer non velit turpis. Nullam semper laoreet nisi id ornare. Ut vel tristique leo. Proin eu ligula a massa pulvinar gravida. Aliquam dui diam, maximus a sagittis ac, tincidunt eget orci. Nullam rhoncus risus vitae ornare porta. In tincidunt accumsan tortor et molestie. Fusce purus nisl, bibendum non finibus ut, consequat vel purus. Suspendisse imperdiet tellus augue, in venenatis magna semper efficitur. Sed sollicitudin aliquam lorem nec sodales.



      <h2>Product Sample</h2>

      See also: Product Sample

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non lobortis nulla. Integer non velit turpis. Nullam semper laoreet nisi id ornare. Ut vel tristique leo. Proin eu ligula a massa pulvinar gravida. Aliquam dui diam, maximus a sagittis ac, tincidunt eget orci. Nullam rhoncus risus vitae ornare porta. In tincidunt accumsan tortor et molestie. Fusce purus nisl, bibendum non finibus ut, consequat vel purus. Suspendisse imperdiet tellus augue, in venenatis magna semper efficitur. Sed sollicitudin aliquam lorem nec sodales.



      <h2>Shipping Requirements</h2>

      See also: Manufacturing Shipping Requirements

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non lobortis nulla. Integer non velit turpis. Nullam semper laoreet nisi id ornare. Ut vel tristique leo. Proin eu ligula a massa pulvinar gravida. Aliquam dui diam, maximus a sagittis ac, tincidunt eget orci. Nullam rhoncus risus vitae ornare porta. In tincidunt accumsan tortor et molestie. Fusce purus nisl, bibendum non finibus ut, consequat vel purus. Suspendisse imperdiet tellus augue, in venenatis magna semper efficitur. Sed sollicitudin aliquam lorem nec sodales.



      <h2>Quote</h2>

      See also: Electronic Manufacturing Quote

      Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas non lobortis nulla. Integer non velit turpis. Nullam semper laoreet nisi id ornare. Ut vel tristique leo. Proin eu ligula a massa pulvinar gravida. Aliquam dui diam, maximus a sagittis ac, tincidunt eget orci. Nullam rhoncus risus vitae ornare porta. In tincidunt accumsan tortor et molestie. Fusce purus nisl, bibendum non finibus ut, consequat vel purus. Suspendisse imperdiet tellus augue, in venenatis magna semper efficitur. Sed sollicitudin aliquam lorem nec sodales.




      In the example above I tied the page <title> to the <h1> tag text (alternative SERP title) without looking spammy.
      • Electronic Manufacturing Services
      • Electronic Manufacturing Checklist

      Ranking for one of those variations can help rank the 2nd keyword/phrase. Authority trickles down.

      I also tied the <h2> tags/text to relevant internal pages with same/simlar keyword optimized anchor-text that's surrounded by 100% relevant text. Assume the Lorem Ipsum filler text is relevant content/text. The links below each <h2> would each be pointing to a more detailed page on the sub-topic (ex: Manufacturing Shipping Requirements).













      Originally Posted by MEF View Post

      "Right now you're wasting about a dozen links on that single page diluting any SEO effort. I haven't looked but imagine it's a site-wide issue."

      Yes, it looks like it's a site-wide issue. So how do the triple nav links dilute any SEO effort? Is the repetition confusing to search engines, and that's why? Or is it something else? Can you articulate/explain a little further? What I know is that a page shouldn't have more than 100 links for SEO, but I don't anything about duplication of links and how that effects SEO...

      THANK YOU!!!
      The duplicate internal nav links are wasting opportunities to pass any authority to other internal pages that can be ranked. Assumes the web page with the triple nav links has some type of authority to actually pass on to another internal page.

      You need to look at the BIG picture when it comes to internal links, make every link count for something instead of just dropping links all over the place.

      Don't worry about counting links, instead focus on making each link serve a relevant purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author MEF
    Yukon, thank you! This helps to explain a lot.

    I don't really know how to break apart a message and multi quote ---

    I wish they had designed the site with more logical H1s and H2s in mind. Now I need to try to optimize the site after the fact, which is a bit tricky.

    I don't know if we can resolve the triple links, site-wide --- this may be a template issue... I will need to check with Squarespace tech support, and encourage my boss to switch to Wordpress!

    Good to know re: links, etc!
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