Waking up to a dropped or disappeared search engine rank will have you hoping that you are yet to wake up from a bad nightmare. And that your web page’s standing will be as high as ever once you simply wake up. This is but natural due to the sheer effort that one exerts towards creating a place for themselves in the search engine index. Search Engine Optimisation measures take at least a few months to display results, and this is always a victory earned through hard work and determination.
Thus, is it crucial that you take preventive measures or at least be aware of the reasoning that leads to this occurrence. It can range from being a technical error to a mistake at your end or anything in between. It will serve you well to decide the reason and come up with a solution to improve the situation before panic sets in and things become worse for the wear.
Here are some of the reasons:
- Changes In The Algorithm: This is one of the most commonly recorded causes of ranking fluctuation. Google tends to update or modify their algorithms periodically to increase relevance which often leads to extra work for SEO Service agencies due to rapid drops observed in the index. Here, the best way forward is to observe first for the initial chaos to die down and then work towards understanding the discrepancies that have occurred against the new update, which resulted in the drop and work towards improving it once again.
- Naturally Occurred Changes: This is also likely reasoning; it is possible that it’s not Google’s fault but your own. Such that, it’s you who has neglected your webpage and allowed it to become outdated and irrelevant to the current requirements. For example, a website selling just seasonal clothes would suffer during its off-season. Here, the issue lies with the product and market. It would help if you considered making changes accordingly, such as adjustments to one’s promotion strategy, rebranding, or product updations.
- Google Banned You: One could face dramatic search engine rank dropping due to Google filters and sanctions issues against sites that violate the set rules or guidelines. Google implements manual penalties against such sites; some reasons that strike as reasons to penalise under Google’s purview include non-unique data, hidden redirects, hidden content or links, doorways hinged with low-quality content that redirects to other pages, automatically generated content, improper use of micro-markup, malicious pages or keyword stuffing. However, these incur penalties that come with an expiration date, i.e. they only last for a limited period. Whereas a penalty that is received as a result of algorithm change inaccuracy has an indefinite duration. The best route to real with manual penalties is to realise the issue sighted by Google and work towards fixing it. While for algorithm penalties, the only way back is to start with the basics once again.
- You’re Competitors Improved: It is not wise to lose sight that we live in a highly competitive environment wherein everyone is striving to move upwards; even a slight slowing down on your part is essentially an invitation for the one tagging behind you to overtake you. Hence, it is vital always to keep track of your competitors’ SEO efforts whilst constantly updating yourselves.
- The Server Is Riddled With Issues: The ranking decline in the SERP may be caused due to specific server issues. These can occur due to catching issues, extended server response, or server errors. Catching issues refer to the overloading of the cache that might render the server unable to cope, along with a non-handleable capacity of frequent requests being dumped onto the server. An extended server response alludes to Google’s requirement of server response time not being more than 500 milliseconds, not abiding which the bot might abandon your page. Lastly, server error refers to errors caused by the user (codes “4xx”) or one by itself. For example, ‘403 Forbidden’ signifies that access has been denied by the server. To avoid these circumstances, one must regularly monitor their web pages accordingly.
- New Changes Made To The Website: Any changes made to your website, whether in optimisation or design, tends to affect one’s search engine rank. Some such reasonings include moved pages which induce the bol to reindex the page leading to downgrading, design changes that page loading speed along with usability difference, changes made in the internal links which transfer the link juices causing certain pages to lose their weight, and content updation wherein keyword density increases or onpage text decreases. In such scenarios, it is ideal for monitoring the page for at least a week before making any suitable improvements.
- The On-Page Issue Prevalent On The Website: These include broken links; i.e. including internal links that lead nowhere by mistake (non-existent or incomplete links), links as part of the link exchange theme; i.e. paid links or link exchanges that appear questionable to Google, incorrectly written or absence of meta tags; i.e. lack of Title and Description meta tags along and Alt attribute to the images, along with user-generated spam. The corrective measures would be updating links, making the relevant title and meta descriptions, and proactive measures limiting user-generated spam.
- Technical Issue Related To The Website: Such errors are caused due to the use of wrong tags or configurations of the robot.txt file. These are created to set certain specifications for search robots, but there is a scope for errors when these are configured. For example, one might close a section from being crawling on by mistake. Special consideration must be exerted while setting up an index and follow tags. These are ideal for setting up indexing and transferring link juice. Any mistake here could affect your page’ search engine rank. For example, applying a noindex tag to a page can rely on a robot that the page is not to be indexed, subsequently causing its ranking to drop. Thus, one must be extremely careful not to dig their own grave.
- The Off-Page Negative Effects To SEO: This is a ranking difference caused due to the intentional derogatory actions implemented by one’s competitor. For example, sending several artificial links towards one’s website to penalise you, content scraping; i.e. copying every aspect of your website’s text as it is before your new page is indexed, thus causing your page to look plagiarised and downgraded, along with behavioural factors cheating; i.e. using artificial enhancement measures to show user behaviours like session time, clicks, or page views which are fake. You can take action against these by contacting site owners and warning them or using tools like Google Disavow, which eliminates external links manually. If the matter still stands unresolved, you can file for copyright infringement with the appropriate authorities.
- Due To Lost Backlinks: Link building is supposed to be constant and well-tracked over time. Certain issues that can arise here include: links being removed due to initial acceptance of temporary placement causing you to lose precious credibility, links becoming obsolete having been deleted from your sight or leading to those sites which aren’t relevant any longer, and if the donor site loses domain trust; i.e. links backed through unreliable sites that affect your reputation. Here, it is essential to keep one’s links up-to-date, negotiate permanent links and secure new donors with credible domain trust.
- Fluctuations Observed In Geolocation: Search engine rank relies significantly on region and varies depending on the same. It might be at the top at one location but low at another; this is due to Google’s effort to cater content that is customised to people’s experiences and needs. Thus, to circumvent this issue, one must take measures to create relevant pages using local keywords to attract regional views accordingly.
- Failing To Follow Core Web Vitals: Google has released a new algorithm titled page experience that comes along with a set of Core Web Vitals ranking factors towards the tail end of August 2021. Thus enabling it to draw enhanced focus to usability and page loading. To stay on top of these, one must ensure efficient performance in keeping with these metrics to retain their spot on the index. This can be done by reducing element sizes and cache uploaded images through a lower resolution that does not impact the quality or introduce lazy loading.
- Use Of Old And Generic Keywords: Keep up with relevant keywords, and ensure that the keywords that you use aren’t outdated; for example, date bound keywords ‘Top SEO tips for 2020’ would serve to reduce traffic to your website for 2021 users, or the use of generic keywords like ‘click here’, ‘continue reading’ among such varieties would serve to deplete your ranking, try and avoid these actively. Always exchange the semantic core and research keyword relevancy and rank changes.
- Utilising Low-Quality Content: Avoid using low-quality content since some of the top contenders account for SERP drops. Some such factors that degrade data quality include plagiarised content, compatible title and meta description in contrast to the page content, non-engaged users, lack of information about the content creator, and unverified data along with non-credible backlinks, and content that is filled with unformatted text.
The following were specific pertinent and most commonly reoccurring reasons that might drop your Google search engine rank. To avoid these, strive to understand their vitality and take suitable proactive measures to retain your top spot.