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  • Writer's pictureSasha Matviienko

Why Did My Google Ranking Dropped?

Experiencing a sudden drop in your Google ranking can be frustrating and alarming, especially if you've invested significant time and resources into optimizing your website.


In this post, we will provide insights into why Google rankings can suddenly drop.


Don't hesitate to book a call with one of our experts in case you need professional analysis and repair of your rankings on Google.


However, search engine optimization (SEO) is inherently dynamic, reflecting the constant flux in online content and search engine algorithms. Here, we explore some common reasons why your Google ranking might have dropped and what you can do to address the issue.


Sasha is a Director of Digital and a seasoned SEO & Analytics expert working with clients daily to improve SEO ranking for a variety of local & national brands.


First, keep in mind that Google Search Rankings fluctuate all the time. This can be a temporary change that can last for 2-6 weeks (in our experience).


This may be a fluctuation due to Google Ranking volatility during algorithm updates, or a conflict between experiments that Google runs on it’s system all the time.


Algorithm Updates

Google regularly updates its algorithms to enhance search quality. These updates can be broad or specific, targeting everything from spammy practices to mobile usability.


A major update can significantly shift rankings overnight. Staying informed about these changes can help you understand whether an algorithm update might be responsible for your ranking drop.


However, your SEO agency can help you understand the reasons behind the drop in your rankings and help implement required changes to potentially restore the traffic.


Increased Competition

The internet is an ever-evolving space, and new competitors can emerge at any time. If new websites or pages are being optimized for the same keywords you’ve been targeting, they might start to outrank you.


Conducting competitive analysis can help you identify new competitors and areas where they might be outperforming you, allowing you to adjust your strategy accordingly.


On-Page SEO Issues

On-page elements such as meta tags, header tags, and keyword placement play a crucial role in your ranking.


Any changes or errors in these elements might lead to a drop in rankings. For instance, if you've inadvertently removed or altered important keywords, your relevance for certain search queries may diminish, affecting your rank.


Technical Problems

Technical issues can severely affect your site's SEO. Broken links, slow load times, and server downtimes can all contribute to a poor user experience, which Google likely penalizes.


Some of the simplest technical SEO issues can include accidentally changing URLs of your past pages, migrating to new CMS, deleting pages, etc.

Regularly performing technical audits can help identify and rectify these issues promptly.


To address technical issues, your SEO agency will likely have to crawl your website using a tool like Screaming Frog to find potential website architecture and other SEO issues and recommend a solution.


Backlink Issues

Backlinks are one of the key factors in Google's ranking algorithm. If you’ve recently lost some high-quality backlinks or gained a series of low-quality or spammy backlinks, your ranking may take a hit.


Using tools to monitor your backlink profile can help you keep track of these changes and disavow harmful links if necessary.


Content Quality and Relevance

Google prioritizes high-quality, relevant content. If your content has become outdated, lacks depth, or fails to meet user intent, your ranking may fall.


Regularly updating your content to ensure it's current and valuable can help retain and improve your ranking.


Check what query types you lost rankings for (informational, transactional, navigational, etc), what content types (videos, informational, transactional, etc.) are ranking for the keywords where you lost your position, how fresh is the content?


User Behaviour Signals

Google takes user behaviour—including click-through rates, bounce rates, and dwell time—into account when ranking pages.


If users are not engaging with your content as expected, it might be a signal to Google that your page is not meeting user needs, causing your rank to drop.

Improving user experience and engagement can help mitigate this issue.


 

Manual Penalties



Violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines can result in a manual penalty, which will negatively impact your ranking.


These penalties can be due to various reasons, such as using black-hat SEO tactics or distributing duplicate content.


Receiving a notification from Google Search Console about a manual penalty is a clear sign that corrective action is needed.


Local Search Fluctuations

For businesses that rely on local SEO, factors like reviews, localized content, and your Google My Business profile can play significant roles in ranking.


Changes in these areas, whether due to a policy update or customer feedback, can impact local search rankings.


SERP Feature Changes

Google sometimes restructures its search engine results pages (SERPs) to include more diverse elements such as featured snippets, local packs, and video carousels.


These changes can push organic results further down the page, affecting your visibility and click-through rates even if your ranking hasn't technically changed.


A drop in your Google ranking can result from a multitude of factors, many of which are interrelated.


To identify and address the issue, a comprehensive review covering technical SEO, content quality, backlinks, and user experience is essential. Keeping abreast of Google's algorithm updates and remaining vigilant against SEO pitfalls will also help maintain and potentially improve your ranking over time.


Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Regularly reviewing your strategy and adapting to new trends and practices can help ensure long-term success in search engine rankings.


If you are having trouble finding the reason behind your sudden ranking drop, talk to one of the experts at growth360. We can run an audit of your website to help identify and resolve your ranking issues on Google, Bind, and other search engines.

 

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