A sudden drop in your Google rankings can be irritating and worrying. More so if you aren’t quite sure why they seemed to have dropped so suddenly.
But Google has over 200 ranking factors, so there could be multiple reasons as to why the Google ranking of a site can suffer. Not all ranking drops are permanent, either, so these issues can usually be remedied quite quickly with a few adjustments. And plenty of patience.
Common Reasons For A Ranking To Drop
Google gives new websites a great deal of attention just as they also give them a bit of hate. Complicated?
Any website that is new and freshly debuted is unheard of. At least by Google, anyways. Which means that Google also won’t have indexed it and you won’t be able to appear in the results pages of searches.
Since Google’s algorithm momentarily favours newer sites, sometimes an artificial ranking boost is provided upon the initial indexing of your website. Something that can often be misguiding to the head of a company. You may have been given the impression that these are points you earned but it’s just Google trying to help you out a little.
Following that, though, you rankings will likely decline as Google begins to understand you identity more and begins analysing the level of authority your website has.
Host Server Errors
Google is often understanding about momentary server issues on your website. Your ranking shouldn’t be impacted if your site is unavailable or undergoing maintenance for a day or two.
However, when search engines are unable to reach your website for a number of days, that can hurt your ranking. Intentions to shut down your website for maintenance have to be recorded. Server settings should be modified to produce a 503 error code, which informs the search engine that the inaccessibility will only last for a short while.
The webmaster isn’t necessarily to blame for changes to the backlink profile but it is possible for third-party webmasters to delete one or more of your backlinks. Including high-quality connection links.
This isn’t always enough to move your site in the rankings, and especially not if you have a more diversified link profile. But if many of your links deplete, you might easily see a large decline in your ranking as a result.
On the other hand, if a very strong backlink for your website disappears, the authority it transferred would also go. For example, imagine a link earned from a .edu domain. That would have quite a high authority behind it which your site would benefit from greatly.
So if a webmaster made the decision to either make the link a nofollow or outright remove it, the authority with it would also go. In this case, it’s only natural for your rankings to drop as there’s a decline in your website’s DA.
Lost links will always be frustrating but having the effort and patience to earn new, high authority links is important. Links that are lost shouldn’t be replaced as quickly as possible, with whatever you can find. That will have just as much harm to your rankings.
Yes, another reason relating to links. They’re important, alright!?
Broken links, absolutely abysmal for SEO. Why? Because pages with a broken link will produce 404 error codes and once Google notices this, they get removed from the index. So if these are well ranking pages, they won’t be anymore. In fact, they won’t exist as far as Google’s concerned!
Deleting the page isn’t really the best option, though unless it’s absolutely necessary or you’re setting up new pages. The best course of action is just to put a redirect in place – 301 permanent redirects.
This is code jargon, really, but it just means that that page will no longer classify as a 404.
It may be a hard pill to swallow at times, BUT: you are not the only company out there with originality. And definitely not the only one within your industry, neither.
No matter how unique or original your products are branded as, almost every competitor of yours will be branding theirs the same way. And competitors can be sneaky – they launch campaigns and strategies, come up with new initiatives for exposure and awareness.
You’ll have to make changes to your own business in order to keep up with any of your competitors. Sometimes even making changes to how you share your brand and how you advertise it, as well as what you can do going forward. Step up to exceed their efforts or specialise in a different topic so that you can get ahead of them.
Everyone is using mobiles these days. Well, almost everyone.
So websites that aren’t catering toward this demographic of internet users aren’t really helping themselves. Sure, your website can be accessed on the browser of a mobile phone. But how easy it to navigate? To perform actions?
Algorithms that Google has will always assess both desktop and mobile search results but between the two options, Google gives users the mobile-friendly version of the pages its indexed. Of course, all of your web pages will be indexed and crawled, it’s just that pages that aren’t mobile-friendly will be suppressed.
And it can’t be too surprising that Google will suppress non- mobile-friendly pages when the default engine for most devices is Google.
Recovering From Ranking Drops
Small problems require small solutions, vice versa for large problems. So if you notice that your site rankings have suddenly taken the plunge, the key to the solution lies with the problem.
If it’s a problem with keywords, then clean them up. Don’t overuse them, don’t stuff the page with the keyword you want to rank. Place them a few times through the written piece, in the title, the image text, and the meta description. Those are the most important areas.
But if it’s a problem with backlinks, you can use tools to look at them. Using the tools, you can thoroughly check out the links you have, removing spammy or low authority ones. To gain backlinks, sometimes all you have to do is ask to write a guest post. Then they’ll post that on their website with anchor text to your site and voila. A new backlink gained.
And you can use your tools to check the quality of websites before you even ask.
Google penalties, if you receive one, do contribute to ranking declines quite significantly. And recovering from one isn’t quick. It’s certainly not an overnight job.
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