I often hear bloggers say, “Google doesn’t like me” when they struggle to gain and maintain rank in search engine results.
There are many reasons why your content may never make it to the top of Google’s search results or may lose rank once it does.
Google Algorithm Changed
Google is continually in the process of updating and perfecting its search algorithm. In 2019, confirmed core updates occurred in March, June, September, & October. There were also several unconfirmed reports of updates, including one in November 2019 that hit a lot of blogs.
You never know when an update may have a negative (or positive) effect on your site.
There is a Manual Action on Your Site
Although rare, a drop in rank could mean that Google has placed a Manual Action on your site. In non-tech words, your site set off alarm bells and required a real, live person to look at the problem. Your site will sit in Google jail until everything is fixed and verified by Google.
The most likely reason for a Manual Action is not using the “rel=nofollow” code on sponsored links. Even then, people who haven’t used the code can go years without Google ever placing a manual action.
However, I have had a handful of clients with Manual Actions on their site. In almost all cases, they had converted from Blogger to a self-hosted WordPress site. The “nofollow” code didn’t convert, so when Google indexed the new site it was hit with all those improperly coded links at one time. This set off the manual action.
To find out if you have a Manual Action on your site, you need to look at Google Search Console.
Your SEO Knowledge is Incomplete
Bloggers tend to acquire their SEO from multiple sources, most of which focus on one piece of SEO rather than presenting the full picture
More often than not, bloggers don’t know all the things they should do for good SEO.
You are Working From Old or Erroneous Information
SEO best practices change frequently, and if you don’t keep up, your site is going to fall in rankings.
Implementing an SEO tactic you heard from another blogger or read on a blogging Facebook group may not be a good idea. Find an SEO expert that you trust and follow their advice. Not only can they tell you what to do, but they will also explain why you should do it.
Google Can’t Figure You Out
Google looks for the highest quality content written by experts. If Google can’t figure out your expertise, you may end up with low or no rank.
A niched-down site will do better than a lifestyle blog that covers a wide range of topics.
You are Posting on a Competitive Topic
You can post all day long about Disney World, but it is still going to be tough to rank on the front page of search results.
Tough, but not impossible.
To rank on a competitive topic, you will need to narrow your focus to answer the questions other sites aren’t addressing.
Your Content Doesn’t Measure Up
Your posts may not rank because your content isn’t good enough.
There is limited space available on the front page of Google search results. Even with excellent SEO, your content may not be worthy of one of those spots.
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