Google can be a mystery for many business owners and marketers. It isn’t clear how the rankings in search engine result pages are chosen. Similarly, Google is continually updating its rules and search algorithm, which can instantly affect the ranking of a site website. This situation has led to many circumstances where website owners discover that their site has suddenly dropped in ranking. Google has created a new alert for Google Search Console that lets website owners know when their site has seen a significant change in ranking.
The new notifications were initially noticed in late February. In a Tweet from someone who received a notification showed how they would work. The brief message explains what action was the cause of the alarm as well as a potential cause for the change.
The notification stated, “Search Console analyzed your performance report and found that your site had a substantial drop in clicks last week compared to the previous weeks. This drop is likely due to a drop in clicks for the query “X”.”
From this brief message, it’s possible to ascertain a few things about these new notifications. First, it appears that Google is using the week-over-week data from its Performance reports. If the data shows a significant decline, Google will send a notification to the verified website owners via the Google Search Console.
The notifications are comparing the site clicks, and query clicks as reported in the Google Search Console's performance report. The message also shows the specific search terms where the website is performing worse than in weeks prior. This information is useful because it can alert the website owner to changes in the search behavior of their key demographics. For example, a recent news article about a subject may change the way people are searching for that subject on Google. Keyword research will show how to realign your website's copy to work with the most popular search terms.
Another possibility is that these notifications could warn the business of a new competitor. If there are lower clicks on the site from search, but there are no changes to the keyword research, it may be a sign that people are clicking on a different link in the search results. Doing a little research should show what is catching the attention of your target audience and offer some ideas on how to mitigate the issue.
Search marketers should be aware of these notifications, in case one gets sent to one of their clients. Google has made an effort to make these notifications helpful and informative, so they shouldn’t scare business owners. However, SEO marketers should be ready to explain why there was a drop in clicks for a particular search term as well as offer advice on how to improve things in the near future.
Since many website owners don’t check their Google reports regularly, these notifications can help keep site owners up to date on the most important things happening on their website. And with week-to-week analyses, website owners and marketers will be able to see issues and change course before things get too bad.
For more recent marketing news about Google, read this article on YouTube’s plan to make it easier for everyone to buy space on the masthead ad area of the YouTube home page.