Now position 66 isn’t anywhere near the front page, but I was making awesome progress. Then my site dropped to position 98 one day. I was a little nervous. Did I do something wrong? Was I overusing my keywords in the anchor text? I became more convinced that I’d screwed up in some way after my site dropped even further, to a dismal 110. Ouch!
I didn’t need to fret though. The very next day my site was on position 66. I felt like I was back on top again. The next day I checked my ranking again. What I saw seemed absolutely horrifying.
My main page wasn’t ranking anywhere within the top 1000 search results.
Let me reword that: I wasn’t even on page 100.
Google Can Be Crazy Sometimes. Don’t Sweat it.
My heart almost stopped beating. I spent the next day almost catonic. At least my other target keywords were ranking well and my site wasn’t blacklisted. However, I suddenly worried that this might be the overoptimization penalty Matt Cutts warned about a couple of weeks ago. Would I need to totally revamp my SEO strategy?
I checked the Warrior Forum and lots of people said their sites were not ranking well that day. One marketer said all 20 of his sites were not even indexed overnight. Others said they were seeing similar problems and were advised to just wait it out. I did the same.
The next day I checked up on that keyword again to see if things were any better. Behold! My site was suddenly on page 6. That is the highest it has ever been and I think I am on schedule on my quest to nail the front page. What’s strange is that I did nothing whatsoever to try to redeem myself from it.
I was seriously tempted to make some changes. I figured my site was facing a major penalty, which led me to think the best solution would be to remove some of the usage of my keyword on my site and use fewer instances of it in anchored backlinks. I am glad I didn’t act too hastily there.
What did I learn from this? I learned not to stress out over it. Google makes a ton of ranking changes all the time. Rankings are almost like the stock market in a lot of ways. On a micro time scale, they can have big ups and downs. If you track your rankings over time (which I suggest you do several times a week) you can follow the general trend of your rankings to see how you are doing.
Don’t be hasty to make changes to your site because Google bings you on one day. Google may favor the overall direction of your site but accidentally bing you because of some algorithm change. It happens, so just wait it out.
You will have to worry if your site is suddenly headed downhill for a longer period of time. I would guess that if your rankings are dropping for more than a week, then you may need to make a sudden shift in your strategy or assess if you’ve done something to warrant a penalty.
You aren’t going to know what category you fall into if you don’t check your rankings regularly. Had yesterday been the only time I checked my rankings, I would have believed that I was nowhere near making my way to the front page. That’s why I keep a log of my SERP rankings and follow the progress I am making over time.
I would check up on your sites rankings regularly with the NEW SEO SERP page rank checking tool. Do you have any suggestions for monitoring your progress with Google? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.