Ranking Fatigue – How to Counter This

This article is the second part on the Ranking Fatigue subject.
If you skipped or missed the first part on detecting and measuring Ranking Fatigue, read it here.

It’s about what Ranking Fatigue is, how to detect it with three different tactics or combined together and how you can measure it at it’s best. Would recommend reading the first part, before commencing this second part of two parts.

How to stop Ranking Fatigue with simple tactics

There are several ways to stop this event from happening.
You can counter this! In steps. With testing several tactics even.
From easy and small steps to bigger and bolder steps.

Change and test your meta title & meta description

If the dwell time is low (see first part), you can do a test with the meta title and meta description of that page. Increasing the click through ratio of that page could increase the dwell time, if the content is good on that page.

This test is not easy to measure because of the lack of updates Google Webmaster Tools gives you to follow this up.
You’ll have to check it manually, day by day:

  • Check when the meta title and or description has changed (hard to predict)
  • Checking the visits per day
  • Checking the ranking per day

If the ranking drops with several places, your test will fail as well.
If you want to be sure Google will absorb your meta tags, you need to add the robots meta noodp, noydir.

Lift other pages

One of the other tactics you can use, is lifting up other pages into that top 10 – top 5 – top 3 to gain more traffic on that particular keyword. Although it is not easy to do this, getting more pages ranked with the same keyword, it can be done.

Pages with tables or overview pages (products, categories, etc.) could rank for the same keyword as well, as those pages have another intent/content lets say, comparing with the homepage or another ordinary content page (text).

Domains with a larger amount of overview pages and/or domain authority, tend to rank easier for the same keyword in the top 10 of Google. But… it can be done as well with newer domains. It depends on keywords and the niche and the search queries itself, how those longer tails are formed.

Tested this some time ago (example below).
Sold the site. Still ranks today.


Need advice or help with this? Let me know.

How to stop Ranking Fatigue with strategical intent

Before I go into some details about bigger brands, lets stay closer to home, for now.

Ranking Fatigue can be countered by customer experience and engagement. If the service of a company is good, their customers will tell people. People just do. They want to tell their experience/story to another. Those potential customers won’t have a small dwell time. They are curious. They want to visit the site. Your meta title, description and content is just an extra marketing factor to convince them to buy or take the service.

If you’re up and running for a few years, check your Analytics for the keywords before the not-provided era.
You will see that long and mid tail keywords tend to decrease in patterns (time or event driven) and the amount of visits on branded keywords and the number of branded searches will go up.

It doesn’t keep rising, but it can be detected in patterns of trends.

This means that brands will benefit the most from all of this possible Ranking Fatigue. They don’t have it. They don’t have to think about it. They are big enough and their product launch cycle takes over the pattern. Heck, they form the pattern. They control the pattern.

That’s the difference.

Small companies have to fight ranking fatigue
(often middle and bottom market focused)

Big companies have to control product cycles
(focused on mass and top market)

Content marketing or Story telling can be a solution for Ranking Fatigue (dwell time). It can convince people to buy, to talk about you to friends and more.

Here are some examples that have a WOW-effect with story telling:

As you can see, these website focus on the product and why it is so great. The SEO part is an extra. They think in terms of acquisition: where can I get this story out to the audience i’m looking for, not the other way around, waiting for them to come to their company.

Quit thinking like that folks.
SEO is an extra. It’s not your core business!

How to stop Ranking Fatigue like a Pro

You could skip the simple tactics and the strategical intended stuff. That means: Go big or go home.

Make an Extreme Good Product & Become a (Love or Cult) Brand

Apple love or cult brand

Apple for instance, is using its last new product on the homepage. They’re using this tactic for a very long time now. And it works. It’s a reason to come back to the site.

To explore the latest products. Every few weeks or months, new stuff happens and they keep pushing their selves too.
Never gets boring. Good products. A cult being build as we speak.

Quality is very high. Engagement on the site is presumably high too. Keywords matter less. Products define keywords. Brand keywords take over.

Don’t think they feel a big impact of Ranking Fatigue.

Back to reality?
Ain’t gonna happen any time soon, building out your company to a cult/love brand.

Solve a REAL BIG Problem and become a Verb

find information

Google for instance, solves anything that has to do with information.

They started of with building a search engine but they managed to claim the word “(find) information” in our minds with their product. A dominant position and delivering extreme good results changed their brand name in a Verb: Let me Google that.

They might have periods of time where different channels may experience a small drop in demands but in the end, the request and hunger for information will only rise in the future. It’s a natural instinct people have. They want to grow. They want to get smarter. Thus, they want more information about that information. Some meta here ;)

The “Ranking Fatigue killer” pyramid

Actually their is a three-layer pyramid that can help you to kill Ranking Fatigue (and many other hurdles in the future).
I make it sound easy, but it isn’t. It’s just a graphical presentation of the layers you have to cross.

  1. Begin with the simple tactics
  2. Shift to a more strategical approach
  3. Move the needle by making unique quality products or services (solve _THE_ problem your customer has)

If you start with number three, in the early days of your company, you’ll still will need to pass those other layers, although, it will make things much easier and even evolve faster if you just start with the tactics.

The Punchline of this? If it ain’t good enough, you’ll need to work even harder.

Get in touch

by simply sending me an e-mail at dries@driesbultynck.com
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