Recently, for a major keyword, the ranking of my website has changed. There are two pages involved. The first page is the main homepage which has light SEO and focuses on readability and conversion rate. The 2nd page is a search-engine-oriented landing page with heavy SEO and poorer readability for human. Previously, both pages appear in the 2nd page of google search results at similar positions.
A couple of weeks, the landing page moves up to the end of 1st page. However, the homepage completely drops out of the first 10 pages for this keyword.
The homepage does still come up for other keywords. But I am still concerned whether this is due to some kind of penalty since the homepage has much much more external links from relevant websites.
I did have some SEO people build some amount of external links coming back to my website recently. The links they build are all from those irrelevant directories and classifieds websites. I am not sure it has any use at all. If somehow these links are creating damage, I would like to stop using them immediately.
Please kindly advise.