It can be alarming to learn that your SEO or Google ranking dropped dramatically. Because search engines are constantly being updated, your rankings could drop unpredictably.
However, you have many options for recovering from a decline in your SEO rankings. In this article, we will divulge the following topics:
- Reasons why ranking drops happen
- Actions you can take to fix your rankings
- Know what SEO tools you can use
8 Common Reasons for SEO Rankings Drop
Before doing anything to recover your ranking, you have to determine first why it dropped. Here are a few reasons for a dramatic google ranking drop.
1) Recent Changes or Updates On Your Own Site
Your rankings may be impacted by making structural changes to your website. If you don't have the proper 301 redirects, your Google rankings could also suffer significantly.
Google is informed of your page's new address by 301 redirects, instructing it to index the new page rather than the old one. It guarantees that you won't suffer duplicate content penalties.
Make sure to update your XML sitemaps, links, and canonical tags whenever you make changes that call for a 301 redirect.
Your rankings may be impacted by small changes as well. For instance, adding numerous videos and images to a page might slow it down, resulting in users leaving the page before it loads.
This user behavior may result in lower rankings because it informs Google that users didn't find the page helpful.
Using Google's Page Speed Insights tool, you can determine whether changes have slowed down a page and receive suggestions for enhancing your page speed. You'll receive a page speed report from the tool and recommendations.
2) Accidental Changes or Errors
Accidental modifications or technological blunders may be the problem. Someone might have formatted your robots.txt file improperly or accidentally deleted text, preventing Google from indexing certain pages.
Check your server logs for any errors that could be causing your site to become temporarily unavailable or other problems.
These elements might lower your rankings if they result in ongoing or persistent issues. You might have to change your service provider or hosting plan.
3) Lost Links
Since backlinks are one of Google's key ranking factors, you might notice a sharp decline in your Google ranking if you lose a lot of links.
Consult the lost links report in a tool like Ahrefs or Majestic to see if a link decrease is an issue.
These tools also display the lost links and their cause, such as a broken redirect or removal. You must ascertain the reason if you discover that you did lose links to the impacted page.
The logical thing to do if you want to recover lost backlinks is to contact the site owner.
In addition, losing external and internal links can result in a sudden drop in your rankings. Check if you accidentally lose some links while updating pages on your site.
4) Changes Within Competitors
Another reason could be that a rival's website underwent changes that caused it to rank higher than yours.
Analyze the results appearing before you in search results if you think competitor changes are to blame for your decline in rankings.
Update your content to make it even better by observing what they do differently. You can react more quickly and accurately if a competitor surpasses your ranking in search results by keeping an eye on what changes they make.
Monitoring your competition can help you figure out what changes they make.
5) Google Penalty
Check to see if you received a manual penalty if your Google rankings dropped overnight.
Google manually penalizes websites it thinks are using methods that violate its webmaster quality guidelines. Lower ranks or a complete de-indexing of the site may result from these penalties.
Visit the Manual Actions report or the message center in Google Search Console to check if you were subject to a manual penalty. The Manual Actions report will explain the penalty's cause, impacted pages, and the steps to resolve the problem.
6) Google Algorithm Updates
Another possible reason is that Google updated its algorithm to determine search rankings. Google updates regularly and occasionally rolls out more significant updates.
Search for news about recent algorithm updates and Google rankings that dropped overnight. You can check SEO news sources and connect with SEO specialists on social media or elsewhere.
Although Google is rarely transparent about more minor updates, SEO experts around the world keep a close eye on things and have developed tools that can identify significant changes in rankings and attempt to link them to updates.
Barry Schwartz's Was There A Google Update is helpful to determine whether reports of a Google update have surfaced.
Visit the tools below to track ranking volatility over time:
- Advanced Web Ranking
You can also check the SEOLeverage App to see how algorithm updates affect your ranking. Using the Impact Checker feature, you can keep tabs on the latest Google algorithm update and analyze how it affected your rankings.
Update your tactics in light of your research to conform to Google's new standards. If there aren't any obvious SEO issues, you might only need to wait a few weeks for your rankings to improve.
7) Updates on Google SERP
Google also alter the configuration of their search engine result pages (SERPs) by including elements that either push your snippet down or draw more attention than your snippet.
Bear in mind that featured snippets are treated differently by the rank tracker. When a featured snippet shows up for a query, some may disregard it when reporting rankings, while others will.
Always emulate the search intent behavior. Examine the SERP results for the queries you're attempting to target.
8) Hacked Website
Site hacking is a highly active business. Hackers frequently infiltrate websites with malicious code, spam content, and links. It can be highly damaging to your rankings, so you must rule out the possibility that you were hacked.
Google searches for malicious code and activity on websites. You will receive a notification thru the Google Search Console if your site has been compromised.
While this method is not foolproof, it only takes a few seconds to check if the app is aware of a hack.
What Should You Do to Recover from Google Ranking Drop
Losing rankings is every company's worst nightmare because it frequently results in a loss of traffic, followed by a loss of leads or sales, and it can make or break some companies.
Here's what you can do if your ranking has plummeted.
Step 1: Verify if there is a specific Google rankings drop.
To see if there are any issues, check the website of your rank tracker. The software used by rank trackers frequently needs to be updated when Google modifies the SERPs. The rankings they provide to their users may be inaccurate until updated.
You can check Google Search Console and Google Analytics to confirm that your organic traffic and Google rankings have decreased.
Step 2: Assess the impact of the ranking drop.
A ranking drop's effects on search queries and pages reveal the underlying problem.
To determine the extent of the ranking drop's impact, use the following tools to help you identify the issues.
- rank tracking application
- web analytics data
- Google Search Console data
- Bing Webmaster Tools data
The SEOLeverage App’s Impact Checker is also a useful tool here, as it gives you a quick picture of how the update affected your impressions, clicks, CTR, and position when the update was released and implemented.
Check your rankings over the next few weeks to see if the drop is only apparent in one tool or if it might be temporary. Go to the next step if the decrease appears to be genuine and something you should address.
Look at how long the rankings have been lower than usual. Compare the modification to your typical weekly and daily variations.
Step 3: Determine the cause of the ranking drop.
To resolve the problem, you must first identify the root cause. The reason why your rankings drop is most likely one of the three categories below.
|Changes you made||Google algorithm changes||Changes your competitors made|
|Look into recent changes to your site, including intentional and unintentional changes.||Look for recent changes to Google's algorithm and any manual penalties Google may have imposed on you.||SEO is a never-ending battle for the number one spot. Did a competitor make a recent change that may have significantly improved their rankings?|
Step 4: Make the needed corrections and changes.
You can take action once you've identified all the potential website issues. If it was caused by a change you made, you can most likely undo the change and regain your rankings.
If your rankings have dropped due to a Google update on its algorithm, you'll need to adjust your strategy to match Google's new criteria, or you may need to wait to see if your rankings recover.
You must first address the issue if you have received a Google manual action notice and penalty. Then, using the Google Search Console, you can request that your penalty be removed.
You can make your pages more useful by expanding them. You can improve your site's content to make it more SEO friendly, and you can fix any errors.
To effect these changes, you must employ the most current SEO strategies. These include methods that improve your website's alignment with the most recent search engine algorithms.
Step 5: Monitor your improvements.
After you've taken corrective action, keep a close watch on your rankings to see if they improve over the next few weeks. Be patient, as Google takes time to process website updates.
You can use the Impact Checker on the SEOLeverage App to monitor specific queries and see how they’re faring before and after the update.
If you don't see an improvement, you may need to go back and rethink what caused the rankings to fall.
Remember to keep an eye on your rankings even if you notice an improvement. Continuous monitoring will help you in detecting any future issues.
Step 6: Analyze your website engagement.
Another thing to consider when checking rankings drop is the user engagement on your website.
Even if you get everything perfect on your page in terms of on or off-page SEO and technical SEO, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best page for the job for a user.
Your rankings will suffer if users leave your site quickly because they are bombarded with pop-ups or advertisements. The same is true if your content does not satisfy a user's search queries.
If they don't find what they're looking for and return to the search results page to click another result, Google knows that your response to their search query wasn't entirely satisfactory.
Such factors are becoming increasingly important in Google's algorithms. These issues are not listed in Google Search Console but affect your rankings.
Get helpful data insights about your site by using SEOLeverage app.
Numerous factors could cause your site's rankings to drop. The key is being cool while noting all potential factors that may have contributed to this.
If none of the mentioned factors apply, investigate whether the drop was gradual. If none of the above checks help you find a cause, try to look forward and create a new strategy to rank more valuable pages.