Larry Linson

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I have a client for whom we have been trying to build authority with more regular blog content, pruning old and no traffic posts, cleaning up orphan links. Getting around 90% on ahrefs site audit. She has been moving up in the SERPs for her key phrase- been 3-5 in lawyers (directories also above her) but in the last week she has fallen dramatically. Like page 3-5 dramatic. She is basically invisible for this important keyword phrase We have done nothing new and dramatic with the site. Is there some flux going on in local search with google? Is it time to panic? If so, what should I be looking at?
 
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Colan Nielsen

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Hey Larry, it sounds like you are referring to the localized organic results, not the 3-pack/Local Finder results, correct?

How much detail can you share?
 

Larry Linson

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Local pack appearance remains very good. yes I am referred to google organic results.
 

carolyn2

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Larry, it's not possible to diagnose from afar but I can tell you what I've seen consistently regardless of updates. And it's likely it's not that "one" thing as you probably already surmised. Google is constantly shifting the weight of importance on on-page factors or likely groups of factors as they determine relevance. Also, it's possible that in the process of pruning content and "cleaning up orphan links" that the off-page authority has in addition shifted. If I were to guess, I'd say that your client's pages for where they used to rank are probably not as relevant as they used to be as determined by the on-page and supported by internal and external backlinks. Not to mention the law niche can be competitive locally. So the question is, and what I would recommend you look at, have the pages shifted in niche relevance or geo relevance or both - and that's something that can only be determined with the "engine pulled apart." I feel your pain. Wish you all best as you figure those parts out.
 

Larry Linson

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Larry, it's not possible to diagnose from afar but I can tell you what I've seen consistently regardless of updates. And it's likely it's not that "one" thing as you probably already surmised. Google is constantly shifting the weight of importance on on-page factors or likely groups of factors as they determine relevance. Also, it's possible that in the process of pruning content and "cleaning up orphan links" that the off-page authority has in addition shifted. If I were to guess, I'd say that your client's pages for where they used to rank are probably not as relevant as they used to be as determined by the on-page and supported by internal and external backlinks. Not to mention the law niche can be competitive locally. So the question is, and what I would recommend you look at, have the pages shifted in niche relevance or geo relevance or both - and that's something that can only be determined with the "engine pulled apart." I feel your pain. Wish you all best as you figure those parts out.
Thanks for your comments. Tis a bit frustrating especially given I have increased referring pages in AHREFS 20% in the month of September!
 

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