Sudden organic drop after a year of stability

ssjd2000

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
14
Hi,

We have had a turbulent few months from being included in the google de index to our site, to it previously being down for two days from our hosting server being hit. Now we are now having a huge organic ranking drop.

For over a year we have been solid in local search organically until the last two weeks. We fell one spot, then two now we are all the way to four. I am wondering what I can do to get back to where we were in organic and why we might suddenly be, in what feels like a free fall.

We are a local service business.
We have one location.
We have a website that was redeveloped in 2018.
Our site address was est in 2002.

I would be happy to provide any other important information.

Thank you!
 
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ssjd2000

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
14
garagedoorspecialist.net

Garage Door Repair Raleigh , Garage Door installation Raleigh , Garage Door replacement Raleigh, and Garage Door Repair

Started dropping about two weeks ago and this week has constantly fluctuated with the worst placement last night in number four. We were in number one organic spot for almost a year or since we redid our site.
 
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olgov

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2019
Messages
1
Posting links to your website from a good source relevant to the subject matter on your own website helps.
 

ssjd2000

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
14
So much fluctuation. This morning we were back up and in number one, two hours later we are back at two. This morning we had dropped in a surrounding city now back up. What could be causing so much instability? We did run a site check for tech issues and the site was 100% healthy.
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,137
@ssjd2000 are you capturing screenshots of the SERP's when you are up vs down so you can see what else changes other than your site moving around?
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,604
Hey @ssjd2000

Analyzing ranking drops is very difficult without spending hours analyzing things like Search Console & Google Analytics. Without being able to see those and after spending a few minutes looking for some possible issues, I saw two things that *could* be contributing.

It looks like you have a mobile version of your website. This is something that I generally avoid because sometimes the content isn't identical and with mobile-first indexing that can be a problem. This page, for example, is indexed: Garage Door Maintenance Cary, Durham, Wake Forest, Raleigh

It looks like some time between December and now you changed the title tag on your homepage. Although I think your new title is definitely better than the old one, I've found that changing a title tag can sometimes cause a temporary ranking drop.

Your server outage also could be responsible as you mentioned. I would wait a few weeks and if your ranking hasn't come back, I'd consider hiring someone to do an audit for you to see if they can pull up a full list of possible issues. For now, I would avoid doing any major changes and just wait.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,734
Are you saying your ranking fluctuation has been organically from #1 to #2 and now to #4? If so, who replaced you?

This could be a classic case of a) directories passing you up because it looks like Google is really starting to favor them over local businesses or b) you've got competitors doing SEO and you didn't do anything wrong, they may have just passed you up.

If you'll let us know the answers to the first 2 questions above that would help.
 

ssjd2000

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
14
In Raleigh we have been in fluctuation with 3 other local businesses and a yelp listing for spots 1-4. At first we made a few changes and then we began ranking number 1 again, until a week ago where the listing began shuffling with the top 4 only one being a directory. In Cary another area we service we have been in flux with about 5 other local businesses. Last week we were solid 1 or 2 but changed last Saturday and fluctuated between 3 and 5 with home adviser being the only directory.

I did make note of all the ideas given and are taking your expert advise on everything given.
 

ssjd2000

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
14
I am starting to wonder if the de indexing to our site with the google bug, or our server being down for two days last month around (March 23), has anything to do with all of this rank changing. How do I combat that?
Can additional content and rewording or cleaning up some of the content help at all?
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,734
It sounds like you guys may be fighting those other guys and have the same SEO "score" for lack of a better term. I would get on linkbuilding. If Google is seeing you guys as equal and rotating, pushing yourself higher is the only option and backlink building is the easiest way because it's the most powerful.
 

ssjd2000

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
14
I will work on adding links and making other changes recommended. Thank you for your help.
 

CallumS

Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2018
Messages
15
Sounds like you are in heavy competition with your competitors.

That said - Google also changes results all the time based upon hundreds of factors, some within your control, some not. I'd go with the kitchen sink approach where you do everything you can to make sure you are providing better content than those 2 other businesses you are competing with in every way you can. You will likely not manage this with Yelp - yelp seems to come and go based on how much G determines users want to see yelp for different queries.

A solid organic search audit would probably be very useful for you! That said, focusing on local listings might get you better conversions.
 

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