How Some Websites Drop in Google Before They Get Better

The primary goal of content writing is to improve the website’s rank in search engines. While there are other benefits, such as improving conversions, building trust, etc., content writing’s main goal is to help a website raise its status in Google search for specific, targeted keywords. To do that, it has to appeal to the Google ranking algorithm.

But the Google algorithm has two goals:

  • Determine which websites to rank higher for specific key terms.
  • Prevent spam.

Content writing is designed to achieve the first goal. But if you’re starting a brand new content writing strategy, you have to also be prepared for the effects of the second Google algorithm goal: preventing spam.

Spam and Content Writing

Google’s algorithm rewards content based not only on quality, but also quantity. But quantity is easily manipulated. A company can hire someone to copy and paste 100 pages from other websites in only a few minutes, or use an article spinner or some other shortcut to add 100 pages in a matter of days.

In order to account for this, Google seems to be dropping websites in search immediately after adding large quantities of content FOR THE FIRST TIME. In my experience, every time we have added at least 10 new pages to a website to a website that has never taken a content approach before, the website nearly always drops in search for about 2 to 4 weeks.

But then, after that time period is over, the website often catapults up several spaces – sometimes even several pages depending on its previous placement – compared to where it was before the content was added.

In other words, it appears that Google takes a very cautious approach to new content, first by decreasing its ranking in order to give it time to see if there are any spam indicators, before it eventually rewards it with the increase in ranking that it deserved.

It’s not entirely clear why this occurs, and I have yet to find any descriptions of this phenomenon, but it has been very consistent. The other day, we wrote a blog post about a case study we’re attempting with a website for Invisalign in Orange County. We are looking to see if we can get this website to show up on page 1 of Google using nothing but weekly blogging.

When we started, it was on page 5 of Google.

After adding the first month of blog posts, it dropped down to page 6 of Google.

Then, about 3 weeks later, it jumped up to page 3.

I had the same experience with two landscaping companies, one in Folsom, and one in Roseville. Each one was on page 2/3. I added 20 pages of content per week for 3 weeks. It dropped all the way to page 5. Then, about a month later, it popped up to page 1, often number 1 – the highest ranking possible in Google search, even beating Yelp.

It stayed there ever since.

I had the same experience with a Long Island psychologist, whose website dropped to page 4 before jumping to pages 1 and 2. It was the same with this website as well, when we were trying out our content blitz strategy.

Whether this is designed to prevent spam, or it serves some other purpose, it does appear that websites go down before they go up. As a business investing in content writing, it’s important to remember not to panic if there is a small decrease. If anything, it may mean that your website is likely to receive a big boost in the future.