This week’s #searchdrop looks into the diagnosis of ranking dips, the impact of internal linking anchor text and Google’s beta testing on combining Search Console and Analytics data.
When rankings changes suddenly and dramatically it’s often a cause for panic as it’s difficult to know immediately exactly what the problem is. Here’s a checklist of things to consider when this happens to you:
Your first port of call when diagnosing the loss of rankings should always be the ‘why’. If you’re able to quickly identify why this has happened you can tailor your approach accordingly. For example, dealing with an algorithm update is completely different to dealing with a de-indexed site.
A loss in rankings can be an isolated page, site section, site, or even an entire market (look at what happened to the payday loans industry). Therefore you need to also understand what areas of your site have been affected.
Finally, you should consider what tools you have to support your research into the drop. There are a variety of tools that can support you in your investigation in this article here.
During one of John Muller’s Webmaster Hangouts a question was posed asking about anchor text. Traditionally SEOs aim to include relevant keywords/synonyms in anchor text for pages they wish to rank. This, however, is apparently having little effect on the performance of a site.
When asked the question related to two pages covering the same topic linking to each other he focused on:
This is important to know as it highlights context as a contributing factor to the ranking of pages based on their internal linking, but it should be noted that anchor text and internal linking are parts of a wider web of ranking factor on a page. As such, in isolation they wouldn’t visibly affect your search efforts. These factors need to be tackled together.
See more about this webmaster hangout here.
Google is currently notifying webmasters of a pending test on the ability to export analytics data and data from a connected search console property.
This sort of integrated report is great for:
There’s still plenty unknown about the test, but on the face of it there can only be positives to come from being able to compare this data more easily. For more on this see here.