So your client's site, which ranked in the top three for a group of particular keywords, has now dropped to the bottom of the second page of results. What gives? While there are a potential plethora of reasons for such a drop, sometimes pinpointing the specific causes can be difficult, so Ross Dunn offers a detailed plan for diagnosing the problem.
Dunn says to start with retracing your steps for the past three weeks in actions like site updates, design changes and switching hosting providers. Any one of these tweaks could have caused the site to experience some downtime, and if the search engine spiders were unable to crawl the site multiple times in that period, then that's likely a prime reason rankings tanked.
Make sure content is up-to-date, as someone may have overwritten newer, optimized content with older articles or info. Dunn also recommends examining the site headers for any incorrect or unusual server commands, and then using each engine's suite of Webmaster tools to assess the entire site. Google, Yahoo and MSN will all flag your site for errors and possible penalizations. Lastly, check out some SEO forums and explain your situation with a post. You may find a solution in the feedback, or someone willing to do a site review to help out.