I know many of us have heard the term don’t fix it if it isn’t broken. When dealing with the titles tags of your pages for static and or dynamically loading pages, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Sometimes, the titles are just perfect and then, you think, maybe if I add my company name or brand statement, it will work just like an advertisement…WRONG! Other times, it could be an example of getting too lax in contrast to the competition, for each unique situation, there are methods for a true SEO expert to discern. Since everything leaves a trail (or an impression if you will), under the proper scrutiny using SEO tools, common sense and prior knowledge it becomes apparent what the source behind the fluctuation is, which can be resolved with the appropriate counter measures.
Rankings oftentimes are based on the delicate balance that exists when the page was first indexed and the keyword proximity to other pertinent key phrases. Upset that balance and you re-invoke the ranking algorithm the next time it passes through, which in fact may or may not be in favor with the search engine in question (since the algorithms are constantly being tweaked and adjusted to combat spam and improve the quality of search results).
It is not to say that you shouldn’t make adjustments, just make them little by little over time and make a backup before you do. That way, just in case anything goes wrong, you can always upload the version that worked like a charm and recover your prized previous ranking.
Unless you have tons of money to throw at branding, sometimes your better of starting with the keyword-rich topic first, then if you must add your brand statement or company name (if it’s has visibility in search engines) then do so.
We have had our most coveted rankings plummet a page or so as a result of tinkering with the title tag or playing with the keyword density when it was not necessary, naturally it is reversible, but timely as you have to wait for the indexing cycles in search engines to kick in, which is dependent on how popular your website or blog is.
So, what happens if one of your rankings goes south for your main keywords?, give it some time, it could be a new introduction of a ranking formula in the search engine algorithm, a duplicate content filter kicking in if your work is replicated too frequently, addition of links to fast or just the competition closing in on your keywords.
The first and most important thing to do is not to panic if you slip a few rungs, just make sure that you are developing new content to offset any slight penalty, or competitiveness and when it subsides your search engine result pages will return to their prior glory. Also realize that different data centers have different versions of your site and where it fits into the big picture, this could be a case of the Google Dance, or the shuffle as things get sorted.
But, if you did panic, you can at least take action by building links to the base keywords using the search engines to tell you which pages have the strongest relationship with those keywords by using this simple command site:www.yourdomain.com keyword
Look at the results, the chronology will indicate which pages have the strongest affinity with the keyword, so at least you do not have to guess when it comes to which links (with what keywords in the anchor text) should be directed at which pages.
If you tripped a duplicate content filter, then ease off on social bookmarking for a week or so, develop more content from your site or blog and all should be just fine. Otherwise, check your server logs to see when the traffic dropped off, do a comparison of the keywords you had traction on prior to the fall and use that as the basis of your investigation. 9 times out of 10, it’s just the natural flux of the rise and fall of keywords in the SERPs.
You can obsess over one term, or you can build three more to create a safety net just in case, the point about not putting to many eggs in one basket comes to mind, but more importantly not getting tunnel vision with your search terms.