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    Angry From 1st to 6th Page


    Over the past few years my website has been on page 1 or 2 of Google UK for the main keyword 'Mount Everest'.

    For some reason it has now dropped to page 6.

    How can I find out why it has dropped so many pages?

    Thanks!
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    The following is not a trick question:

    If you put your most objective hat on, would you say Google's results for Mount Everest and Mount Everest related searches are generally better now than they were when you ranked higher?
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    Hi Mallory24,
    What has happened in that time is Google's RankBrain algo. It's function is to try to understand the searcher's intent.

    The problem for G when someone searches for "Mt Everest" is that this is insufficient info for it understand what the searcher really wants.

    Do they want:

    • How much money does it cost to climb Mount Everest?
    • How do you get to climb Mount Everest?
    • How many bodies are on Mount Everest?
    • How many have made it to the top of Mount Everest?
    • mount everest information
    • mount everest facts
    • mount everest map
    • mount everest movie
    • mount everest video
    • what country is mount everest in
    • mount everest deaths
    • mount everest climbers list

    You will see all of these search queries on the SERP page under:

    • People also asked for
    • Searches related to

    When you look at the top 10 pages these days, what you seem to get is a selection of pages that best answer these more defined search queries.

    I interpret these results to be a Google RankBrain modification to the SERPs answers.

    Comments on this post

    • SEOHERO agrees
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    Thank you both for your comments, I will look into it.
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    I'll just put this here for the thread!

    JohnAimit is probably right, this is a natural Google update. However that does not mean it is a good update, I have seen Google regret happen and for them to wind back certain changes but it can take weeks or months before they gather the data to reach this conclusion.

    Google have multiple measures in place to see if their SERPs do better or worse in meeting the needs of users and hence the possibility of resets.

    The issue for webmasters is that they often panic and make lots of changes to the page affected. When the reset happens all the competitors end up back in place but they find they have lost their rankings because of the changes!

    As such if you can take an objective look at the SERPs and truly say "This is worse" then don't touch your page that was ranking but create a new page which might rank better in the current set up, that way you cover your back if Google decides the good old days really were better!
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    1st page to 6th seems excessive to me. I mean, it could be the above - but another thing to consider could maybe be an algorithmic penalty?

    What worked a couple of years ago may not work now, especially in regards to backlinks.
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    Just make sure you have not being penalized because this is a major drop.
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    Hi Mallory24,
    This is still a thought in progress but there appear to be some interesting patterns in G's SERPs for search queries these days.

    1. The List of "People Also Ask" and "Related Search" Queries

    These queries seem to vary slightly on potentially a daily basis and between different Google country SEs.

    The top 10 SERPs look like they could be selected to answer these range of search queries.

    There also seems to be small SERP ranking variations on a daily basis that may follow the patterns of changes in these related search queries.

    Eg. I get two different search categories listed when comparing G Au and G UK SERPs.

    Aust:
    How do you get to climb Mount Everest?
    mount everest climbers list

    UK:
    mount everest location
    mount everest video

    The top 10 SERPs are ever so slightly different between the two G country SEs.


    2. G UK Top 10 SERPs 1 Feb 2018

    I publish this complete list of SERPs for the search query: Mt Everest

    One reason is to give you a point in time benchmark but I also invite you to look at the individual page titles and descriptions and compare them to the 12 x People Also Ask" and "Related Search" Queries listed in the post above. G SERPs also give you the individual page date stamps where G's QDF may be kicking-in.

    1. Mount Everest - Wikipedia
    Mount Everest, known in Nepali as Sagarmatha and in Tibetan as Chomolungma, is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The international border between China (Tibet Autonomous Region) and Nepal runs across its summit point. The current official ...
    ?Mount Everest in 2017 ?George Everest ?List of people who died ?Khumbu Icefall

    2. Mount Everest in 2017 - Wikipedia
    The Mount Everest climbing season of 2017 began in spring with the first climbers reaching the top on May 11, from the north side. The first team on the south side reached the top on May 15. By early June, reports from Nepal indicated that 445 people had made it to the summit from the Nepali side. Reports indicate ...

    3. Nepal to measure Mount Everest to settle debate over tallest peak's ...
    Sep 22, 2017 - Nepal will measure Mount Everest to settle a controversy over the height of the world's tallest peak, after some estimates suggested it became a little shorter in the wake of an earthquake two years ago. The Himalayan country, home to Mount Everest and half of the world's 14 highest mountains, has never ...

    4. You Want to Climb Mount Everest? Here's What It Takes - The New ...
    Dec 18, 2017 - Mount Everest is the tallest and most famous mountain in the world a global beacon and metaphor wrapped in awe and mystery. It is also one of the most accessible big mountains in the world, bringing hundreds of climbers and thousands to its base camp in a typical season.

    5. Mount Everest | World | The Guardian
    Tourist board criticised for new regulations, which also prohibit solo ascents with the aim of reducing the number of accidents. Published: 30 Dec 2017. Nepal bans blind people and double amputees from climbing Everest. August 2017. Indian police sack couple for faking climb to Everest summit. Dinesh and Tarakeshwari ...

    6. Mount Everest | Geology, Height, Exploration, & Deaths | Britannica.com
    Dec 27, 2017 - Mount Everest, Sanskrit and Nepali Sagarmatha, Tibetan Chomolungma, Chinese (Pinyin) Zhumulangma Feng or (Wade-Giles romanization) Chu-mu-lang-ma Feng, also spelled Qomolangma Feng, mountain on the crest of the Great Himalayas of southern Asia that lies on the border between Nepal and ...

    7. 360: Climbing Mount Everest - YouTube
    Video for mt everest? 1:52
    May 25, 2016 - Uploaded by Caters Clips
    A group of intrepid explorers have documented the summit of Mount Everest using a 360 degree camera. The ...

    8. Deliverance From 27,000 Feet - The New York Times
    Two mountain climbers died near the top of Mount Everest in 2016. Their bodies lay frozen there for a year. Then a journey began to bring them home.

    9. Sherpas: The Invisible Men of Everest
    Taking pride in their moments of glory, Sherpa guides pose for snapshots on the summits of Himalayan giants such as Mount Everest (29,035 feet/8,850 meters), Cho Oyu (26,906 feet/8,201 meters), Ama Dablam (22,493 feet/6,812 meters), and Island Peak (20,210 feet/6,160 meters). Clockwise from left: Tenzing Dorjee ...

    10. 'vegans can do anything' among four dead on Mount Everest
    29,029. That's how many feet in the air the peak of Mount Everest towers in Nepal, and over the world, in its gleaming white brilliance. Since the British first billed it as the highest point on Earth in 1856, that snow-capped tip, where almost no life can survive without mechanical assistance because of oxygen ...

    11. Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest under new rules - BBC ...
    Dec 30, 2017 - Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents. The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers from attempting to reach the summit of the world's highest peak without a valid medical certificate. A tourism official ...

    It would be good if some experienced SEO Chat folk would explore these observations and advise if they also see SERP patterns like these.

    If a theory like this could be turned into "plausible", if not fact, it would seem SEO strategies would need heavy revision and that certain SEO tool functions like DA and PA would become misleading.
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    Hi Doodled.
    Too true!

    It looks like G is now part implementing "query deserves freshness" (QDF) in its results for this search term. Note the inclusion of article dates for some SERPs.

    Was it using this part of its algo a few years ago? QDF can cause dramatic drops in the rankings of old pages.

    There may also be factors associated with G testing and tweaking its new mobile index that is making the SERPs unstable.

    Do you want to/have the time to explore the RankBrain theory, above?
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    Do you want to/have the time to explore the RankBrain theory, above?
    Oh I'd love to(!) but I've got a secret squirrel project going on that will take all of my free time for the next 12 months. Trying .... so trying .... to stay focused!
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    This is normal because if you haven't updated the page, it likely hasn't received any new links and the freshness of the page is a few years old.

    The Google algorithm TYPICALLY rewards newer pages (Think about how Youtube shows the latest videos) for most queries and also rewards newer links. If you haven't received any links in years, then you likely have a negative link velocity to the page which will hinder your rankings. (Because links naturally become less effective / drop off).

    The solution is simple:
    Do a big update on the page and get yourself a fresh new batch of links!
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    Originally Posted by JohnAimit
    Hi Mallory24,
    What has happened in that time is Google's RankBrain algo. It's function is to try to understand the searcher's intent.

    The problem for G when someone searches for "Mt Everest" is that this is insufficient info for it understand what the searcher really wants.

    Do they want:

    • How much money does it cost to climb Mount Everest?
    • How do you get to climb Mount Everest?
    • How many bodies are on Mount Everest?
    • How many have made it to the top of Mount Everest?
    • mount everest information
    • mount everest facts
    • mount everest map
    • mount everest movie
    • mount everest video
    • what country is mount everest in
    • mount everest deaths
    • mount everest climbers list

    You will see all of these search queries on the SERP page under:

    • People also asked for
    • Searches related to

    When you look at the top 10 pages these days, what you seem to get is a selection of pages that best answer these more defined search queries.

    I interpret these results to be a Google RankBrain modification to the SERPs answers.
    Thank you for your reply.

    So.....if I do some articles ......from below, mention them on my home page with a link, will that help? or am I looking at it totally wrong?


    • How much money does it cost to climb Mount Everest?
    • How do you get to climb Mount Everest?
    • How many bodies are on Mount Everest?
    • How many have made it to the top of Mount Everest?
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    Hi Mallory24,
    I'm afraid you have the wrong end of the stick.

    G is telling us that the two-word search query, "Mt Everest" provides it with too little info to provide useful results. There may be millions of school kids searching for geography homework, there could be a few thousand folk looking for adventure holidays or there may be a few score people who really want to scale Mt Everest.

    If you are targeting either of the latter two market segments, do you really want to publish a page about death and bodies on Mt Everest?

    What you are trying to do is rank top of the widest range of search queries relevant to your various potential customer segments as they progress through their purchasing process.

    Start with the search basics that:

    • The average length of a search query is four words long and growing.
    • The more words in a search query the easier it should be to rank top
    • The more words in a search query the higher should be the conversion rate of the searcher
    • Each page should target a range of different but related search queries

    You have not told us what sort of business your website is promoting so it is impossible to offer specific ideas.

    If you are a trekking company, it may be a better starting point to search for: climb Mount Everest

    G then gives you these related search queries:

    how hard is it to climb mount everest
    i want to climb mount everest
    mount everest climbing cost in indian rupees
    how long does it take to climb mt everest
    mount everest climbers list
    how to climb mount everest for free
    mount everest deaths
    how much does it cost to climb k2

    Another important search query may be what you do. Eg: mt everest trekking companies

    G gives you these related queries:

    mount everest tour packages price
    mount everest trip cost
    everest base camp trek company reviews
    trip to mount everest base camp
    i want to climb mount everest
    adventure consultants everest
    adventure consultants 1996
    adventure consultants everest cost

    Hopefully you can see how search patterns and words are starting to emerge as you drill down into better targeted search queries.

    Does this help?
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    Thank you for your reply.

    My website Mount Everest is just an information site, not a expedition/treking company.
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    Now to figure out how to apply this method to my newborn photography site LOLOLOL it’s brilliant!!
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