UPDATING PAGE = DROP IN SERPS?

13 replies
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I updated a page (added a sentence and an image - nothing much) for a keyword that is pretty competitive...I was above many national fitness magazines and even a newspaper, only behind wikihow that I was confident of overtaking.

Anyway, after updating this page I've gone from 2nd on page 1 to bottom of page 1. It has stayed like this for a few days now, no change. I updated it again. Guess what....2nd page. Crazy.

Any experience / thoughts on this matter? Is this just temporary and rankings will go back to normal?
#drop #page #serps #updating
  • Profile picture of the author drem
    Originally Posted by 3rnald0 View Post

    I updated a page (added a sentence and an image - nothing much) for a keyword that is pretty competitive...I was above many national fitness magazines and even a newspaper, only behind wikihow that I was confident of overtaking.

    Anyway, after updating this page I've gone from 2nd on page 1 to bottom of page 1. It has stayed like this for a few days now, no change. I updated it again. Guess what....2nd page. Crazy.

    Any experience / thoughts on this matter? Is this just temporary and rankings will go back to normal?
    This happened to me too. I went down for maybe 2 weeks and came back higher. I wouldn't worry about it too much. See what happens in a week or two!
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    • Profile picture of the author 3rnald0
      Originally Posted by drem View Post

      This happened to me too. I went down for maybe 2 weeks and came back higher. I wouldn't worry about it too much. See what happens in a week or two!
      Thanks for your reply! I thought this would be unfair of the big G!
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  • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
    It's a loose correlation - it's ultimately impossible to isolate all the variables i.e. to say that the update is what caused the drop. Either way, it's not been long enough to declare it a drop, wait and see for a week or two.

    It may also be a case of query deserves freshness (QDF), it depends on what the keyword is.
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    • Profile picture of the author 3rnald0
      Originally Posted by Gareth Mailer View Post

      It's a loose correlation - it's ultimately impossible to isolate all the variables i.e. to say that the update is what caused the drop. Either way, it's not been long enough to declare it a drop, wait and see for a week or two.

      It may also be a case of query deserves freshness (QDF), it depends on what the keyword is.
      It was definitely the fresh content. The position was very stable and literally the minute I updated it, it changed. Then I tested it a few days later and bang same result. My rankings have never fallen like this before ever, so it would make sense.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
        Originally Posted by 3rnald0 View Post

        It was definitely the fresh content. The position was very stable and literally the minute I updated it, it changed. Then I tested it a few days later and bang same result. My rankings have never fallen like this before ever, so it would make sense.
        The minute? Then it definitely doesn't correlate. Obviously takes the search engine a few days (in most instances) to get round to crawling the page again. The cache will take a few days to update after the crawl, too (Google obviously apportions rankings based in the page in their cache, rather than the live page).

        What do you mean you tested it? How did you test it? From experience conducting tons of tests each year, isolating variables is crucial, and it's not possible to do that with a site which has been live for a significant period of time (needs to be a fresh site, typically).

        It may be QDF, but I'd need to know the query - even then it would be difficult to say. The only other thing I would say is either the above explanation (it will come back) or personalisation (to mitigate against any possibility use AdPreview and search across multiple locations).
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        • Profile picture of the author 3rnald0
          Originally Posted by Gareth Mailer View Post

          The minute? Then it definitely doesn't correlate. Obviously takes the search engine a few days (in most instances) to get round to crawling the page again. The cache will take a few days to update after the crawl, too (Google obviously apportions rankings based in the page in their cache, rather than the live page).

          What do you mean you tested it? How did you test it? From experience conducting tons of tests each year, isolating variables is crucial, and it's not possible to do that with a site which has been live for a significant period of time (needs to be a fresh site, typically).

          It may be QDF, but I'd need to know the query - even then it would be difficult to say. The only other thing I would say is either the above explanation (it will come back) or personalisation (to mitigate against any possibility use AdPreview and search across multiple locations).
          Well Gareth, A few minutes after I updated the content it has moved. I tested it by updating the page. Leaving it for a few days, then doing the same. Same result each time. Before updating it it has never moved in the serps like this.

          Remember that a highly trusted page doesn't take long to crawl (I outrank 2 magazines for this keyphrase)
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          • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
            Originally Posted by 3rnald0 View Post

            Well Gareth, A few minutes after I updated the content it has moved. I tested it by updating the page. Leaving it for a few days, then doing the same. Same result each time. Before updating it it has never moved in the serps like this.

            Remember that a highly trusted page doesn't take long to crawl (I outrank 2 magazines for this keyphrase)
            True, but MUCH longer than "minutes" - unless you're in Google News.
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            • Profile picture of the author 3rnald0
              Originally Posted by Gareth Mailer View Post

              True, but longer than minutes - unless you're in Google News.
              It depends on the quality of the links that point to your site. Many people on warrior build crappy links so it may take a while, sure.
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              • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
                Originally Posted by 3rnald0 View Post

                It depends on the quality of the links that point to your site. Many people on warrior build crappy links so it may take a while, sure.
                No, not really - a crappy forum link may get crawled quicker than a high value authoritative link on a domain with a PR 6+ homepage i.e. stick a link in your signature. The value is non-existent, but it will result in a fast crawl.

                It will take awhile - even Amazon.co.uk only gets re-crawled, on AVERAGE, on an hourly basis, not minutes i.e. last cache was just over an hour ago (22:59)
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                • Profile picture of the author 3rnald0
                  Originally Posted by Gareth Mailer View Post

                  No, not really - a crappy forum link may get crawled quicker than a high value authoritative link on a domain with a PR 6+ homepage i.e. stick a link in your signature. The value is non-existent, but it will result in a fast crawl.

                  It will take awhile - even Amazon.co.uk only gets re-crawled, on AVERAGE, on an hourly basis, not minutes i.e. last cache was just over an hour ago (22:59)
                  I'm just telling you the facts, you draw whatever conclusion you want from it
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        • Profile picture of the author nik0
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          Originally Posted by Gareth Mailer View Post

          The minute? Then it definitely doesn't correlate. Obviously takes the search engine a few days (in most instances) to get round to crawling the page again. The cache will take a few days to update after the crawl, too (Google obviously apportions rankings based in the page in their cache, rather than the live page).
          I can confirm that indeed, I just renamed 95% of my url's and in fact my traffic only increased the last 3 days while when someone clicks the link that Google shows they get redirected to the homepage due to my 404 plugin.

          It kind of amazes me btw how long Google takes non existing pages out of the index. Not even this specific site but I have sites that are repurposed and that now have 0 pages, only an empty WP installation and 5 weeks later all the pages are still indexed in Google.

          Yes there is an option in Webmasters, but this should happen automatically, sure a site can be down 1 or 2 days at most, but not 5 weeks, especially when a site is not down at all.
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          • Profile picture of the author 3rnald0
            Originally Posted by nik0 View Post

            I can confirm that indeed, I just renamed 95% of my url's and in fact my traffic only increased the last 3 days while when someone clicks the link that Google shows they get redirected to the homepage due to my 404 plugin.

            It kind of amazes me btw how long Google takes non existing pages out of the index. Not even this specific site but I have sites that are repurposed and that now have 0 pages, only an empty WP installation and 5 weeks later all the pages are still indexed in Google.

            Yes there is an option in Webmasters, but this should happen automatically, sure a site can be down 1 or 2 days at most, but not 5 weeks.
            I don't doubt that, the higher the trust of the site the faster this process will happen though. I don't mean to sound big headed but my site is very trusted, and so this process will take place faster for me than other sites. Especially for sites that have links from high authority sites such as wikipedia and the likes (including my own).
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  • Profile picture of the author trade4861
    Sometimes I add, delete or edit a sentence(s) to articles and notice an increase or drop in search results right away. Once the sentence or paragraph has been edited, I resubmit the page to Google using the URL submission form in Webmaster tools. So the effects are usually seen within a few hours.

    Then I use seocentro to determine whether the change was beneficial or not and monitor the keyword rank for a few days or weeks. From experience, one sentence can absolutely have an effect in SERP’s, especially if the sentence is in the introduction area.

    Anyway, if you had a newly acquired link then that may have affected the page position.
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