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  1. B afraid.. B very afraid!
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    Drop in SERPS but Maintaining CTR


    I find this interesting: Our #1 money keyphrase has recently dropped from the #2 position (behind a Wiki) to position #5 out of 441 million pages. This happened about a week ago. The amazing thing is that it has not affected our CTR or conversions.

    The four sites above our position: A Wiki, a dictionary definition, a university faculty page, and a page of articles on the subject from Entrepreneur Magazine. I am of the mind that the reason dropping to #5 has made no difference in revenue is that the 4 sites above mine only provide descriptions of what we actually do. The searcher reads the top 4 descriptions describing what they need until they get to us (#5) where our description tells them they can actually get what they need by clicking on our link.

    Has anyone else experienced SERP position drops without suffering loss of traffic? Or, is my experience 'different'?
    Last edited by SEO_AM; Nov 18th, 2012 at 10:11 AM.
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    Originally Posted by SEO_AM
    Has anyone else experienced SERP position drops without suffering loss of traffic?
    My e-commerce site (currently #6) has been on page 2 in the past.

    While on page 2 I had the same traffic and better sales.

    This of course goes against conventional wisdom and data that shows you should expect a sharp drop off in traffic and revenue as you move down in the SERPs.

    I'm beginning to think there are other factors at work here involving customer behavior. As you mentioned, the pages above you don't deliver, and your pages does. So no drop in sales.

    Me thinks searching is not a linear activity. I know that when I'm shopping online I look at everything on the first two pages (about 20 sites), narrow down my list to just a few, then go back and look closely at things like price, reputation, shipping cost, etc.

    So when it comes to e-commerce, is it possible that ranking (assuming you're in the top 20) is not as critical as many believe?

    Ed
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    Originally Posted by eddyf
    Me thinks searching is not a linear activity. I know that when I'm shopping online I look at everything on the first two pages (about 20 sites), narrow down my list to just a few, then go back and look closely at things like price, reputation, shipping cost, etc.
    This might be the key consideration, on average true buyers shop deeper into the SERPs prior to clicking on the varlious offerings.
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    CTR? Click-through-RATE?

    Or do you mean the number of clicks?

    Two very, very different concepts, I just want to make sure I'm following you. I'm assuming you mean the latter, not the former.
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    Then again, I don't guess it really makes a difference as you're still making an impression..... brain fart.

    Comments on this post

    • SEO_AM agrees : Yup!
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    Originally Posted by SEO_AM
    I find this interesting: Our #1 money keyphrase has recently dropped from the #2 position (behind a Wiki) to position #5 out of 441 million pages. This happened about a week ago. The amazing thing is that it has not affected our CTR or conversions.
    Are you sure the drop has happened everywhere and not just the data centres you are using. Google results are becoming much more regonlized. i was pretty blown away by the differences using Google.com in the USA when i was just there from those I get using Google.com in HK.

    It may be either regionlized results or results that have not yet spread through most data centres.

    I speculate the drop is being caused by generic link juice to link bait not helping your rankings as much any longer for your targetted terms. This is what I am seeing...
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    I have received basically the same results on Google.com, .ca, .co.uk, .co.in, etc. I think it is a true drop in SERPs after checking for several days.

    The drop from #2 to #5 was sudden and has not moved in a week. I agree that I lost considerable juice somewhere. With over 39,000 backlinks it is very difficult determining what may have occurred within our link profile. I have been searching for a few days.

    The good part is that it has not affected our traffic to any degree and our revenue remains stable for that major money term.
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    Originally Posted by SEO_AM
    I agree that I lost considerable juice somewhere...
    i do not think the changes that people are seeing are necessarily lost juice but more lost juice benefit.

    I think recent changes in Google have seen a greater need for links to go to landing pages and links to link bait pages helping landing pages less. I also speculate that the benefit of specific relevances has changed and links need greater landing page relevance…
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    Thanks for your thought Gaz.

    I hate guessing, but if I were to guess, I think you are likely right. I think I will just hold for now because we have not experienced a drop in conversions from the term because all pages above us in the SERPs are not our competitors in our products commercially... they are competitors for SERP placement only. They are supplying explanatory information while we provide the actual product.
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    I think I'd not do anything either...If your going to have anyone above ya..that's the ones ya want.
    However it's still concerning if you have too many non competitors above ya and I'd say your getting close, people are likely to search a different terms, which isn't good either.

    The four sites above our position: A Wiki, a dictionary definition, a university faculty page, and a page of articles on the subject from Entrepreneur Magazine.
    Did you happen to notice where these sites were when you were #2? were they just below you on page 1 or further back (not on page 1) ?
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    This might be slightly off topic, but that's not crazy at all, IMHO.

    I've had CTR's jump from position 7/8/9 page 1, to going to top of page 2 (11). I saw an increase in clicks. It's very, very interesting the psychology behind a click.
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    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    Did you happen to notice where these sites were when you were #2? were they just below you on page 1 or further back (not on page 1) ?
    All of them were just below us and have been for years. The SERPs for that keyphrase have a lot of 'authority sites' on the first page and are usually very stable.
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    EGOL
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    Maybe this exact keyword or phrase was only delivering a tiny part of the traffic?
    * "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters, it's the size of the fight in the dog." Mark Twain
    * "Free advice isn't worth much. Cheap advice is worth even less." EGOL
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    I'm not surprised at all - I can say that I see the same regularly; even when the results above are relevant to the query and are competitors.

    I hate to say it - but this is actually, IMO, backing up what Google say (oh I hate saying that) about having good <titles> and <descriptions> etc.

    I spend quite some time with customers trying to explain that the best metric is visits to the site and conversions and not simply the ranking postition (though I'll take pos 1 every time of course ).
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    Originally Posted by EGOL
    Maybe this exact keyword or phrase was only delivering a tiny part of the traffic?
    Of all of our keyphrases, the phrase in question is by far our #1 for generating search engine traffic on both Google and Bing/Yahoo. Our Bing/Yahoo rankings have not changed at all, i.e. we are #2-3 all the time.
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