The anniversary of the devastating Google Florida update is upon us. Last year, at this time, Google had a massive update (nicknamed Florida) that rocked the SEO world. Rankings disappeared for so many sites that even the press picked up on it. Many businesses went out of business as their income disappeared overnight. Many people claimed that Google did this right before the Christmas season to force webmasters to spend money on Adwords.
Webmasters who experienced the Florida update are holding their collective breath to see if another massive update will happen again this year. Hopefully, some have learned how to survive even without good Google rankings, and have become less dependent upon them. However, even those with their eggs spread across many baskets would still be hurt if their rankings suddenly disappeared.
So what would you do if it happened to you? How quickly would you be able to determine the cause of the drop, make the necessary changes to your site, and regain your previous rankings?
Anticipation and preparation is key. Right now, while the rankings are relatively stable, make a note of the top 10 or 20 sites that are returned for your keyword phrases. Do a screenshot of the SERPs. If the top 10 or 20 sites suddenly fall out of the SERPs, you won't have to rely on your memory to know what used to be there. You will then be able to compare the old results with the new results. This kind of comparison may make a huge difference in determining what changed. You may be able to easily see the common characteristics of the sites that disappeared and a common thread of those that took their place. You would then be able to make the necessary changes to your whacked site to climb back up in the rankings.
Make those screenshots now before it is too late. If no major shakeup happens, then you will have wasted only a few minutes of your time. If it does happen, though, you may save yourself months of agony.