Your Google rankings could drop overnight, without a word of warning.
Eversince Google started updating its algorithms almost annually, an immediate drop in Search rankings has been an entire nightmare on its own.
The reasons could vary, of course, from losing legit backlinks, to others plagiarizing your content, or your website facing a developer’s problem and even hackers.
As a digital marketing institute, we realize how crucial it is to keep up high and stable search rankings for any e business, and so you need to stick with us if you want to be saved.
Whatever the reason behind your Google rankings drop- DON’T PANIC. We have what it takes to get you back up and right to the top.
This fundamental SEO guide will help you discover the different scenarios that account for a drop in SER and how to efficiently deal with them for a quick recovery. Just stay tuned.
First things first: you need to understand why your site might be suffering. There are 2 fundamental reasons why this might be the case:
- Google penalized the site
- The site had some internal issues
Next you need to analyse the situation and understand what’s broken on your site. You fix it and ensure it doesn’t happen in the future.
Now, let’s get to the point: the possible reasons behind your fall and the first aid for recovery.
1. Google Penalty Rank Drop
i. Symptoms of a Penalty
A penalty drop can be in the form of a sudden sharp decline in search engine rankings. If your site falls more than 10-20 positions on a variety of keywords and this sharp descent isn’t reciprocated by your position on other search engines, you have a penalty problem to fix.
For distinguishing between algorithmic and manual penalties , know that the former are automatic and usually come along Google Updates, while the latter are manually carried out by Google employees.
Given that Google frequently updates, without a foreword of warning, you need to habitually check for ranking changes.
ii. Identification & Recovery
Your best shot at pinpointing exactly what hit you up would be to immediately check your Google Webmaster Tools account. Here Google will notify you about the manual actions taken against your website. Check in the Site Messages menu in case GoogleBot detected any snags.
Take a deep breath, and then have a look at the Manual Actions in Google Webmaster Tools, to see what Google penalties that have been applied to your site. Make sure your pulse is okay before proceeding further.
If it has to do with on-page issues, you might want to revise your content and backlinks and check for duplicate content. It is characterised by either a big drop in rankings or your site’s inability to grow in spite of all your hardwork.
Use HTML to identify problems related to title-tags, meta-descriptions, broken links, internal linkages and subheads. Moreover, you need to review your website’s architecture, to see if there’s room for improvement.
Always track your site using Google Web Toolkit and enable GWT notifications. If you do this, the odds of your website surviving on-page issues will dramatically improve.
At the same time, try building more Organic and HQ links to your website. Use online tools to track your site’s link velocity and be alerted if there are any issues.
If there are off-page issues, you need to detect and remove the links which Google deems unnatural. You can simply disclaim the ones that keep pointing to your site and can’t be removed. Usually manual penalties go away if you file a reconsideration request.
Lastly, you should know that recovery might take a while. But you can ensure future safety from such penalties by consistently tracking your website using online tools.
2. Google Algorithm Update
i. What does it look like?
Google Updates can induce a drop in either shape: slight or sharp.
The seriousness of the situation might vary, but in either scenario, you can suspect a new Google update if you’re rankings are falling rapidly without any explanation.
ii. Diagnosis and Prevention
This might require a little bit of extra effort on your part. Try to check the following off the list:
- Check the SEO news sites for latest news updates especially at year end, if not frequently.
- Modify and adapt your website according to best SEO practices.
Identify the updates and how your site might be trespassing Google’s guidelines. To improve your website’s credibility in Google’s eyes, make sure it syncs with latest updates.
3. Getting Replaced by a Competitor
i. The Diagnosis
Getting replaced can usually be identified as a slight fall in Google rankings. Your position might be outranked by a competitor while other relevant websites hold their ground.
ii. Identification And Recovery
Constantly monitor and analyse your competitor sites and their social profiles to better understand what they’re doing and try to keep up, if you can not surpass them.
There are tools to help you audit your website and compare it with that of competitors. Do check them out, because they even give suggestions and tips regarding areas of improvement.
4. Google Flux
i. What does it look like?
A drop in rankings due to Google Flux might vary from bearable to insufferable. But it’ll get easier, once you get around to accept that it’s one of those things in life that you have absolutely no control over. Such fluxes are unforeseeable and turbulent, so usually there are no symptoms involved.
ii. Identification and what to do
Everything is apparently working just fine when this happens and so it is harder to pinpoint. You might even feel frustrated when you discover none of the following:
- on-page problems
- backlink complications
- competitor hitches
- recent updates
And yet still your rankings fall.
Unfortunately, there’s no standard procedure for dealing with such an issue. You just need to hold on tight and hope that it will pass on its own in a while.
But in the meantime, rest assured that such fluxes are normal for any site. You’re not alone in this. So many have recovered and you can too!
It’s clear that any website can suffer from a fall in rankings, anytime. But we hope this article provided useful insights for timely identification of the causes so that appropriate action can be taken before it’s too late.