Many website owners and SEOs have seen it happen. Your website is getting going, and Google is responding to your content with decent initial rankings. Everything seems fine, then gradually your ranking starts plummeting with no explanation.

You could time every day checking your rankings watching for this to happen  but that is a waste of time, as Search Engine Journal explains. Checking rankings isn’t an income generating activity, and your time is simply better spent elsewhere, like creating content or networking.

So then what is there to do about this mystery fall in the rankings? First, we have to understand what is happening, which Matt Cutts so helpfully explains in one of his latest YouTube videos.

Cutts uses an analogy of an earthquake to get to the heart of what is occurring. When an earthquake hits, the news about it is pretty broad. We know where it happened, but not many more details. Similarly, when content is posted, Google’s initial read of it is pretty wide. It is a best guess about where your content should rank.

As time goes by after an earthquake, we learn more and more. You will find out how much damage is caused, how many people died, how many aftershocks there were, and much more. As Google learns more about your content, it adjusts rankings. It contextualizes your content within the broader scope and repositions as needed.

So what can be done if you see your site drop in the ratings like this? Change up your practice. Most likely, your content is appearing to be quality at first, but Google is gradually peeling back the facade and seeing what your website really is, and it doesn’t like it.

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