Has Your Google Ranking Dropped Dramatically? Check These Points
Months of work on SEO strategy development and implementation should naturally contribute to better website visibility. This may be true, and the results of your hard work are becoming more and more obvious and tangible, but sometimes things do not go as expected, when the Google ranking drops dramatically. The natural question that comes to your mind is: why did this happen?.
There could be millions of reasons, ranging from simple text adjustments on your article to global Google ranking updates. Therefore, in this article we will discuss the most important and common reasons that cause Google search rank to drop. You’ll also learn how to prevent or quickly recover from an SEO ranking drop.
Why Has My Google Ranking Dropped?
If one day after looking at the Google Rank Report you have noticed something suspicious, such as SEO ranking drop, stay calm. There is no need to panic because Google ranking drop may not always be what it seems. It could be that your SEO tool is not working well or there are some server problems. Therefore, you need to check the Google rank report of another SEO tool and wait for some time before taking any action.
In case the problem is obvious and your website has really lost its position on SERP, you need to find out the reasons before acting. By finding out the roots of the Google ranking drop, you will be able to create an effective recovery strategy for the website.
Below you will find the most common and widespread causes of SEO ranking drop.
Businesses in your industry are not resting on their laurels, but are working to develop and promote their websites just as you are. They also implement advanced backlink building strategies, content marketing plans, and competitor monitoring. Their goal is also to rank high for most of the selected keywords and get more traffic. With all these efforts, the competing companies also expect their website to appear high on Google SERP.
If such things have happened, it means that the competitors have managed to use deliberate SEO tactics. Depending on the specifics of your industry, the number of competitors may vary. If your field is highly competitive, then it may happen that Google ranking for your websites may drop significantly in a short period of time due to smart SEO approaches used by other companies.
As a goal for many businesses, gaining backlinks can become an obsession for some webmasters. It has long been believed that more inbound links are good for website rankings and brand reputation. However, low-quality links are usually not known to bring the expected results – on the contrary, they could be harmful.
By low-quality backlinks we mean links that originate from unreliable and suspicious websites. Also, links from online resources with low domain authority won’t benefit your website much. However, thousands of websites neglect this simple rule and prefer any backlinks.
Having discovered this type of backlink workaround, Google began working on algorithms that could easily detect spammy backlinks and block websites that receive them. By the end of 2022, the first version of this spammy link detection algorithm was already adopted by Google. So, if your SEO rankings dropped immediately, it could be the reason for Google to detect bad backlinks associated with your website.
Even if you change a few words in the title or rewrite some parts of the article, Google will have to reindex the web page. After that, the website’s appearance may change forever, as well as in a Google rank drop. If you have recently made some changes to your content, this could be the reason for SEO ranking changes.
To better understand which content improvements caused your website to drop in rank, take a look at the most recent changes made to your website. See exactly which web pages were recently restructured, rewritten, or redesigned, and review the Google rank report over time. Once you determine the cause, roll back to the previous version of the affected page to climb back up the rankings ladder.
Although each website is a separate entity developed and maintained by a specific company, it exists in an online ecosystem where many components interact. Because websites are typically hosted on servers managed by third parties, some things seem out of your control. For example, if there is a power outage on the server side, a hosting provider will have to take care of it. Meanwhile, you won’t be able to access your site during the outage, which could be a problem.
The same goes for security and traffic speed limits set on the server side. This is why you need to be careful when choosing the service provider for your website. Make sure they offer high uptime, security, and the traffic speed you need.
Google Algorithm Update
The most powerful search engine system regularly announces updates for Google Search services. They are related to various aspects that SEO experts use for website promotion. For example, the latest core update was primarily dedicated to the new way of evaluating content on the web. This is necessary to ensure that the most up-to-date and high-quality content appears on the SERP in response to users’ queries.
Recently, Google has also released an announcement that pays much attention not only to the website components and backlinks, but also to reviews. In 2023, there was an update that aimed to evaluate product reviews in any language. This particular update has slightly changed SEO approaches, as product reviews have also become a decisive factor for Google in how it ranks websites. The greater the number of positive reviews associated with a website, the better its SERP ranking. However, it is still unclear what proportion of online reviews is used by Google to determine rankings.
Abrupt SEO ranking drops that happen overnight, rather than gradually, may be the result of manual penalties. While Google’s algorithms use artificial intelligence to review, assess, and penalize websites, manual monitoring is performed by humans. Typically, a site review by Google agents takes place when suspicious activity has been detected once on the site and persists over time.
To see if your site has been penalized, go to the Security & Manual Actions tab in the Google Search Console panel. Here you will find any notifications and warnings about penalties applied to your site. If there are any, it means that your site is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines, but without a clear indication of the specific reason for the penalty. Therefore, you need to review the Google Guidelines again and check your site for any violations.
The online environment is a very vulnerable place, so there are threats to your website everywhere. It could be your competitors who want to take down your website, or other intruders who want to steal some valuable information about your business. That is why sudden drops in SEO rankings could be the reason for such threatening actions against your website.
In order to minimize the risk of website hacking, you need to take all possible preventive measures. First of all, make sure that the hosting provider and the server on which your website would be based implement modern security mechanisms. Also, install an SSL certificate to ensure secure communication with your site.
How to Recover from SEO Ranking Drop?
If the Google rank drop was significant and your site lost dozens of positions, then a meticulous recovery process would take place. Depending on the severity of the penalty, this process can take days, weeks, or even months. Therefore, we would like to provide you with some tips and solutions to shorten this recovery period as much as possible.
Check Google Algorithm Updates
The implementation of Google’s algorithms takes some time due to rollout and further testing. However, as soon as the updated algorithms are in effect, they begin to check websites immediately. If your website does not comply with the new rules, it may be dropped from the SERP. For example, if your article about “10 Best Coffee Places in Berlin” is dated 2016, then the information there might not be very current and Google might consider other similar but more recent articles to rank higher. Therefore, you need to check Google’s algorithm updates immediately to make the necessary adjustments to your website.
Make SEO Audit
Regardless of whether your website complies with the latest Google requirements, the ranking drop may be related to the technical characteristics of the website. Therefore, you need to make a thorough SEO audit with a certified professional who would help you discover issues that caused SEO ranking drop and find solutions to regain positions on SERP.
One of the most common reasons for your website to drop in search results is outdated or poor quality content. Therefore, you need to regularly review your outdated content and decide if it is still relevant. If the content does not really provide answers to modern questions, it needs to be updated or removed.
Examine Backlink Profile
The most common reason for website banning and severe penalties applied to a website are related to the incoming links to it. Use backlink checker SEO tools to check the quality of these incoming links. If you find that some of the source websites are not credible or safe enough, contact the webmaster with a request to remove the backlink.
Explore Google Webmaster Guidelines
While it is assumed that every webmaster is aware of Google’s guidelines, it is necessary to review them from time to time. This way, you will be aware of the most important Google search rank factors and decide how to adjust your SEO strategy.
Decreasing Google search rank would be an undesirable event for any business owner. However, such an event happens to various websites from time to time, so it is necessary to know how to prevent and handle such a situation.
The first thing to do is to check the Google Webmaster Guidelines and the latest Google algorithm updates. This way, you will know exactly what to focus on in your SEO strategy and how to avoid any kind of penalty.
If you have experienced a Google ranking drop, check your Google Search Console profile to see if any manual actions have been taken. Then check your backlink profile to make sure there are no spammy or illegitimate links associated with your site. Review your content to make sure it provides value to readers, and make any necessary updates. In more complicated cases, perform a full site SEO audit to determine the real reason for the penalty and recover from it as soon as possible.
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