A curious incident happened to Search Engine Land recently. For those of you unfamiliar, Search Engine Land (SEL) is a huge authority website and news outlet on SEO topics. We even published a few articles there in the past.
One Friday, out of the blue, Google misidentified the site as being hacked and, as a result, erased it from the face of their SERP entirely.
Just like that. No questions asked, no warning given, and no satisfactory notifications sent.
As big and as highly regarded as they are, that didn’t stop Google’s algorithms from making a false-positive response and removing all of SEL’s millions of links from their search results.
Essentially, an entire website (a huge one at that) vanished from search results because of an error.
It remains unclear why this error occurred and what made Google’s algorithms suddenly classify SEL as a hacked site. And the mystery thickens further, as Google hasn’t actually told SEL if this is a common occurrence or how mistake-prone the hacking detection algorithms actually are.
Naturally, since they’re a very powerful website, they had the attention of Google’s team and managed to resolve the problem very quickly. Because they enjoy a constant stream of daily visitors, they also got notified almost right away when it happened.
But, what about smaller websites? What if you don’t have that SEL clout and power?
The reasons for getting deindexed are plenty. The main ones are: being (falsely or rightfully) penalized, an undetermined symptom of a recent (official or undisclosed) major update, or the result of a false-positive response to being hacked–like with SEL. This can, of course, also happen by actually being hacked.
Either way, you can’t worry about it 24/7 and constantly monitor your websites to personally make sure nothing gets deindexed. Also, as we’ve seen, you can’t rely on Google sending you a notification in a timely manner either.
You need a way to be notified whenever an important ranking change happens, and the sooner the better.
Luckily, Pro Rank Tracker has got you covered!
Since we’re a SERP tracker that updates your ranking data at least once a day, we can pick up on sudden ranking changes any of your terms go through, both positive and negative.
Even if you’re a new user, every term you add to tracking can be set with a trigger. The most relevant triggers in this case are:
- Out of the top #
- Decreased by at least # positions
- Decreased by at least #%
The second one of your terms drops according to the specified triggers, you will be notified.
The faster you respond, the quicker the mess will be resolved and the less time you’ll spend with no organic traffic.
As to how to resolve it in case something like that befalls your ranks, SEL wrote up a few solid suggestions, which you can read about here.
As for other cool uses of our Notification feature, you can read about those right here:
|PRT’s tactical Notifications Tool: Level up your SEO strategy|
Bing to the rescue
One of the suggestions SEL wrote about is to not place all your eggs in one Google basket.
By their own admission, SEL had good Bing visibility to rely on, and thanks to that, they didn’t lose their organic search engine traffic entirely.
They also got alternate traffic, thanks to their social media presence and the ruckus the whole story created in the SEO community.
We also write a lot about not disregarding Bing as a worthy search engine to promote for:
Naturally, we can also fetch your Bing ranks with 100% accuracy at least once a day, and we can notify you if any of them suddenly drop!
Strange partial deindexing based on mobile OS type
While we’re on the subject of deindexing, there’s another phenomenon you must familiarize yourself with. Partial mobile deindexing.
Certain websites have been observed by our system to lose their mobile visibility based on a specific mobile OS:
This has been occurring more and more frequently, and the reason remains unknown. This could be a prelude to a major update that’s brewing, or it could be a temporary symptom that will be resolved.
In any case, this effect often can’t be captured without getting notified, so be sure to track those mobile OS-type ranks and also set notifications for all of your terms, not just a few chosen ones!
We covered this topic more in depth here:
|What Google isn’t telling us about their current (and future) mobile ranking algorithm|
Google’s power to bend any business to their will
Meanwhile, Google more or less abides to their now-deprecated “don’t be evil” slogan. But, before we finish this article, consider how much power they have–that they can remove all traces of a website from their search results with the snap of an A.I. algorithmic finger.
Depending on how the environment changes, Google can make all sorts of power plays to influence the political, economical and social landscape of our world. And the ease that they can accomplish that with is terrifying.
Who knows, they might be already doing it to some extent.
We do our best to bring you the most recent search engine news, plus SEO and marketing tips. We have our own unique take on things that you won’t find anywhere else. For example, check out our extra value series. And please be sure to subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss out on fresh content!
About Pro Rank Tracker
PRT is a powerful 100% white label SERP tracker that offers the widest rank tracking coverage on the market (and you can double check all of our claims with ease). We have the most affordable monthly plans on the market, starting as low as $17 for 300 terms! That’s only $0.056 per tracked term.
We give you SIX rank trackers in a single tool:
- Google – with all known ranking layers for 2019 and with global and local search volume revealed for every keyword that you track
- Bing – all international Bing sites and search volume for all keywords revealed
- Yahoo! – including the international versions
- Amazon – all Amazon local sites and search volume revealed
- YouTube – including search volume
- Yandex.com and .ru
All search engines are tracked with 100% accuracy and ranking data is updated at least once a day.
Take us out for a genuinely free 7-day spin with all our features unlocked, and see for yourself what real, accurate rank tracking is all about. No credit card info is required to activate the trial!
Also, don’t hesitate to schedule our special Skype lesson during your trial. Even though you’re a free user, we still value you as if you were a paid user!
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