Oct 10, 2015
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Today, I woke up and my ranking for my website Mighty Clean Home dropped 92 spots to position 101 for search term house cleaning roswell.

I have done nothing spammy or anything really. I have not built any backlinks that could cause this. In the last few months I have just disavowing bad backlinks but this should not have caused such a drop. The ranking for other search terms have gone up.

Not sure what the heck is going on.

My site though still ranks in C spot in the 3 pack for House Cleaning Roswell , for now.

Any ideas ?


LocalU Faculty
Jul 18, 2012
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Hey Jim,

I have just disavowing bad backlinks but this should not have caused such a drop

If disavowing was what you were focusing on before the drop I would assume that is what caused it. Bad links do help you rank until you get caught by either Penguin or a manual penalty. So when you You did the right thing by cleaning them up because the penalty you would have received from Penguin would be WAY harder to recover from. What you should focus on now is getting new, good links.

The other thing I would make sure to double-check is that you didn't disavow links that you should have kept. I see people often being a bit paranoid and disavowing everything which can have a seriously negative impact. How many domains were in your disavow file? What % of your overall domains is that? For example, if you disavowed 50% of your links I wouldn't be at all surprised by a ranking drop.

Also here is a good article (I realize you don't have a penalty but the same points apply): http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/ho...alty-was-lifted-but-traffic-has-not-increased


Jul 22, 2012
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I agree with Joy. The good thing about local is one or two quality links can get you right back into the swing of things. While you are looking over your link profile and disavow, it's a good idea to look at a competitors so you can get ideas of ways to replace disavowed links. This type of work will also tell you what kind/quality of link you need to be competitive in your space.


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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EDIT: I just checked and you're back. Was it just a fluke?


Did you drop in the organic website listings or in the local listings?

Assuming it was organic website listings, I'm not sure disavowing would be the culprit. A backlink in local normally doesn't give a 90+ ranking increase or decrease. And since disavowing is technically losing a backlink, that doesn't seem likely to be the issue, unless you disavowed all of your backlinks and you have none left now, not even good ones. 100+ is a deep ranking and even websites that do hardly any SEO rank higher than that depending on competition/location.

It sounds more like a penalty. But honestly, I haven't even seen local sites be penalized the deep either. They're normally in the 30's - 50's area.

It seems more likely that it would just be a fluke that you should give a week or so to see what happens.

A few questions just in case:

1) What's the population of the city you service?
2) Were these main keywords you dropped for?
3) How widespread was the drop? Was it over all of your keywords, just the main keywords (still ranking for long tail), or was it just long tail (still ranking for main keywords)

Assuming it was the local listings I imagine it too was a fluke and you will come back.

A few questions on that end:

1) Did you change NAP lately?
2) Did you cancel any services like Yext lately?
3) Have you had any history of ranking difficulty? Changing locations? Changing names? Changing phone numbers?

Conor Treacy

Feb 25, 2014
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I'm late to the party here, but wanted to also comment that I saw a massive drop on most of the home services websites that we maintain too. This also happened for a 1 day result on November 23rd.

We didn't react to the change, but did question it internally. When we reviewed the other 8 competitors that we track for the locksmith industry and the carpet cleaning industry, we saw that most of them also had a massive drop, and then return to normal the next day.
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