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Whether you are an SEO company or a client, avoiding knee-jerk reactions to ranking changes is crucial to long-term success.  Especially when it comes to search engines other than Google.  While a random change in rankings on Google is obviously something to pay attention to, and other than algorithm updates, dramatic changes are much less likely when compared to search engines like Yahoo and Bing.

We always reaffirm to clients from the very start that search engine optimization usually takes 10 steps forward and 5 back.  You’ll see gains than they will settle back a little.  As long as the trendline points up than 10 steps forward and 5 back is common place.

Random changes on Yahoo and Bing seem to be more frequent lately.  Here is a recent trendline of one client on our daily tracker.

Yahoo rankings

While a drop like that is alarming, more often than not it is temporary.  We’re not sure if Yahoo is playing around with their algorithm formulas, but this seems to happen about once every six weeks.  We tend to not make any changes as long as there is not pattern of decreases for more than about 10 days.  And, what do you know?  Not only did the client come back, but they came back with even higher rankings.  This has been the case every time we see random changes like this.  The important thing to take away from this is by asking yourself…

What would have happened if I reacted and changed the campaign?

Chances are you could end up “fixing” a whole bunch of stuff on your website that is not broken.  By the time the rankings settle back where they should be (like this example) you could end up punishing yourself and then truly dropping in rankings.  All because you had a knee-jerk reaction and didn’t follow momma’s rule.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Let Yahoo test whatever they are testing.  Unless you know that you’re doing something malicious or against search engine guidelines than keep on keepin’ on.