Hurricanes Search Engine Position Changes and Reaction

Over the last few year’s the Hurricane season has brought many an unwelcome storm to the United States. Hurricane Katrina certainly left its mark on the south Florida area and spanked the Gulf States with about a good a thrashing as possible.

As a lifetime Florida resident I’ve watched storms hover off the Florida coast, skirt across the Keys and slam straight ahead with no regard for what property, person or income status laid in its path. In August of 1992 – all pre-internet – I watched as my business (indoor plant nursery) was totally wiped out in a few hours with the winds and fury of Hurricane Andrew – Mother Nature’s imitation of a wrecking crew.

The physical elements of the business were lost, the desire to get back up and running never stopped. In fact, I was positive the whole nursery would be torn apart. I left myself a small opening at a window to view the inevitable destruction – I wasn’t disappointed.

My prediction – Florida will again be hit with a hurricane. When I don’t know but eventually it will. Those prepared will survive and flourish.

On the web – expect change. Recently one of the big Search Engines made some changes to the way they read, interpret, rank, classify or whatever you want to call it – pages. Pages, which held a top position, seem to drop and others went up. I’ve talked to individuals whose traffic dropped by over 90% and others went up. Go figure.

This hasn’t just impacted those depending on natural search but also individuals and companies running pay per click campaigns. Hopefully, you, your sites and income haven’t been affected.

I must admit I’ve spent way too much time asking myself why. However, on the plus side I haven’t stopped doing what I always do – keep adding content. Usually whenever these changes come about, in the long run, it turns out to be a plus. Typically my response is – “Shut up and add more content.”

For many the web is a way to make a few extra bucks. For me it’s a full time business. Any changes which effect your business needs to come with some questions attached.

Here are a few questions to ask…

* Did you hold any control over the changes? The answer can give you a lot of insight into how strong your business is and “who” controls it.
* What processes can be added / removed / changed to reduce any future changes?
* Did you follow your checklist – do you have a checklist?
* Where are the weak spots?
* What solution(s) will fix the weak spots?
* How can I prepare for the future?

When changes happen, as they always will –REACTION – is the most important action you can take.

I learned lots of lessons from Hurricane Andrew. The simplest is probably to take the time to step back, analyze and review, then improve the plan, take smart steps and actions which rewards long term, stay focused. The next is probably – don’t freak out or panic. The slow turtle wins the race.

How will I react to these search engine and PPC changes? I’ll sit back and test a few minor ideas, but basically keep moving forward, continue to look for ways to improve and streamline my processes. I started preparing for these changes months and months ago to survive and flourish.

Hopefully your sites are doing well and making the kind of progress you’re looking for. Don’t forget a hurricane will hit you sooner or later, start now getting prepared for the event. Look at the questions above and put some hard answers to them for yourself. If you’re having problems answering the questions – send me an email – maybe I can help. By taking action now you’ll already be planning your reaction and keep moving forward.

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