My Google Ranking Has Dropped! What To Analyze & Recover?
It’s a nightmare for SEOs and business owners when their Google search rankings are dropped. It could be just a few top-ranking pages, or it could be a widespread drop.
There are many reasons for a dramatic drop in Google rankings, including content updates, algorithm updates, technical issues, improvements made by competitors, changes to SERP layouts, and Google penalties.
To diagnose the problem and help you recover your rankings fast, we’ve put together a handy checklist!
First of all, do not panic. We all experience this. It is part and parcel of the SEO process. This is the one thing we can be sure of concerning SEO.
In most cases, there is no need to be worried about such problems. There’s a possibility that your rank tracking application is acting up or that Google is tuning their ranking algorithm. Often you will see that things have returned to normal the next day if you recheck the next day.
Did Your Google Rankings Actually Drop?
Having your Google rank drop in such a significant way can be a legitimate cause for concern. However, it may not be the cause you think.
Firstly, it is essential to confirm that you have lost your Google rankings overnight before fixing the Google rankings drop issue. What is the best way to do this?
You can use Google Analytics to find out the average deviation of the weekly traffic over the last six to twelve months. The Google Search Console can be used to verify your Google rankings and your organic search traffic to take the necessary action. If there is a steep decrease in traffic, you should take action because you are likely correct, and preventing further losses should be your priority.
If you are thinking, how come my Google rankings have dropped? We have created seven reasons for the ranking drops along with their fixes.
If you see a sharp drop in your Google SEO ranking (more than ten positions), Google manual action penalty could be the main reason. Google imposes this penalty if they find that your website pages are not compliant with its quality guidelines. Some of the common causes of Google penalties include user-generated spam, your website getting hacked, and unnatural backlinks.
What to fix?
Use Google Search Console to check the “manual actions” list in the “Securities and Manual Actions” tab. If your Google ranking has dropped because of manual actions, you will find the reason listed here.
To resolve the situation, you must remain calm and accept the decision. Your first step should be to identify precisely what caused damage to your site. Content and linking need to be reviewed if it happened on-page. Make sure that there are no duplicate content issues. There are also several off-page factors that you need to identify and remove to do this properly. You can disavow the remaining links pointing to your site that weren’t released but still point to your website. You need to submit a reconsideration request if you want to recover from a manual penalty. There is no doubt that you will need to wait sometime before you begin to regain your position on the SERPs.
Algorithm Update From Google
Google makes regular changes to its search algorithm, major and minor, to keep up with the latest trends. Adding these updates to the algorithm makes it more efficient, allowing for a better search experience for the users in the future. The changes to the algorithms can lead to severe consequences for your website ranking. SEO professionals monitor Google’s updates closely for algorithm changes that could impact the business of their clients.
What to fix?
Check if there are any significant rankings shifts for the niche keywords on your website with a rank tracker tool. Take note of drops and jumps in rankings. Rankings can fluctuate, but whenever a keyword declines and stays down, it is a cause for concern.
Be on the lookout for any significant Google algorithm updates, along with tips on responding to them. Look for news about a possible update on SEO news websites for the period outlined above. Once that has been sorted out, you can apply the findings to your website. You should look for several things concerning the changes in Google’s algorithm and how you may be violating their policies.
It is vital to build a brand from the ground up as organically as possible. Concentrate on product development, community building, and technical issues with your website.
Outranked By Competitors
For the active business owner, it is still possible for your page rank to take a hit – even if you haven’t broken any rules or been negligent – because your competitors may just be doing a better job than you. Your competitor might win the ranking game if they have excellent SEO practices, unique keyword research skills, and outstanding optimization skills.
In addition, the faster loading speeds of competitor websites and a better user experience are also considered significant reasons for outranking.
Another reason for content being thin is its lack of substance. Websites that contain a lot of content but cannot provide value to users are often not successful in the long run. The search engine does not penalize thin content but rewards sites with high-quality, informative, well-written content.
What to fix?
To determine how your competitor’s website content contributes to their rankings, use tools like Rank Tracker, Ahrefs, and SEMrush to analyze their website content. You can also use Chrome extensions such as SEO Meta in 1 click to check their on-page status.
Observe their tactics closely when it comes to content creation and link building. It means they are following something right if they are growing steadily. Recognize this and adjust your strategy accordingly. To differentiate yourself from the competition, you should adopt a variety of creative content marketing strategies.
Website Technical Issues
Google itself may be encountering technical difficulties in crawling and indexing your website, which may also cause your ranking to change. There could be an anomaly in Google’s crawl process that prevents it from accessing your website. Due to this, it will be unable to index your website and rank it in its search results.
What to fix?
Investigate the log files of your website for information about search engine crawlers and affected URLs.
As log file analysis is a technical process, you may find it more effective to use a tool like SEMrush’s Log File Analyzer or Screaming Frog’s Log Analysis. Check your website’s blocks for Google-specific IPs or configure Google Bot as your user agent.
Check whether essential web elements are getting crawled. Alternatively, focus on fixing your core web vital scores as it is considered one of Google’s ranking factors.
Changes Made On Website
It can damage Google rankings if a redesign, migration, or making a website HTTPS enabled happens incorrectly and is not implemented correctly. If someone from your team has made any of the following website changes, make sure you check their actions:
- Your website’s URL has been updated
- Incorrect redirection implementation on old URLs
- Revised and optimized website content, including SEO keywords
- Changes to your web pages will result in their loss of indexing (set them to noindex).
What to fix?
If your site’s changes have increased the volume of errors occurring, check the Google Search Console. Using this tool, you can identify and fix any problems with crawling and indexing your website as Google reports them.
Check the coverage section of Google Search Console to find any error or warning, as Google can detect issues on your website and place them into the coverage section.
Either a small or significant drop has occurred. There will be a sharp increase in link velocity as many inbound links disappear from your link profile. Backlinks remain one of the most critical SEO factors for organic traffic. In addition, link building is one of the main tasks of a search engine marketer. Backlinks of high quality can boost your SEO ranking, whereas low-quality backlinks can have an adverse effect. When a site loses high-quality links, its position in Google’s search engine results usually declines.
In the last 90 days, you should check your website for lost links. There may be a ranking drop if you observe many lost connections. Review each link individually. To increase the visibility of your online presence, you need to build more organic, high-quality links.
What to fix?
Utilize specialized software such as Ahrefs to track your lost links. You will be notified as soon as these things occur. Monitoring the link velocity allows you to identify anomalies and act accordingly. Communicate with the linking website to restore the valuable links.
Change in Search Trend or User Intent
Users’ intent can be modified by Google’s search algorithms based on popular and trending searches. In the future, Google may give a higher ranking to other websites that use the same keyword that Google previously ranked higher for your site.
The Google search engine may decide to change its minds about a search query, or there may be a factor as uncontrollable as a change in trend, altering the websites they consider relevant.
What to fix?
Make your content relevant to the interests, pain points, and demographics of your target audience. You should test and optimize the headlines, images, videos (if applicable), and other elements in the content to make sure that you are providing the best answers to a query and when someone clicks through to your content, that they do not leave immediately after doing so.
There are a couple of minor and straightforward optimizations that you can apply to reverse the trend if your site begins to struggle in the rankings. There are times when a simple optimization is all that’s needed to see your page go from good to great. By following these seven steps, you will likely be alerted to issues you can resolve on the spot.
Observe the rankings, and you will see how they will improve over time. In case if your business website is facing a rank drop issue, we at 1×1 Impression specializes in fixing them and getting back where you want!