Changes to your website, an update to the Google algorithm, and alterations in the competitive market are all common causes of a dip in Google ranks – but that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
You’re not alone if you’ve observed a decline in your website’s Google rating. With millions of results jostling for the top spot and the ever-enigmatic Google algorithm lurking beneath the surface, maintaining a first-page result may be difficult.
Google Rank Check’s team has put together this handy guide for detecting and repairing your rankings loss to help you return your Google rankings crown.
Let’s get started!
How do you fix ranking drops and fluctuations?
First and foremost, you must determine why your ranks have plummeted. In this part, we’ll look at the various causes of your ranking loss and how you may fix it – and possibly even prevent it from happening again in the future.
1. Google Algorithm Update:
Big Daddy, Penguin, Caffeine, Panda, Pigeon, Payday, Jagger, and Florida are all names.
This isn’t free verse poetry; it’s a list of Google’s most significant algorithm modifications over the previous two decades!
Two categories are commonly recognized for Google algorithm changes: broad core upgrades, which are planned, disclosed updates (sometimes with amusing titles), and surprise updates, which are implemented behind the scenes.
Both categories strive to improve the user experience. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from our SEO experience, it’s that the algorithm operates in strange ways.
If your Google rankings decline as a consequence of an algorithm upgrade, you’ll have to put in some effort to reclaim your position on the results page. Fortunately, we have some fantastic strategies and tools for you to try.
a. Possible Fixes
Give the following long-term, Google-approved strategies a try to improve your SEO performance:
- Create an effective website: Google favors websites that load quickly, are visually appealing, and are simple to use.
- Include valuable links: When you connect to reputable websites and those sites link back to you, you earn authority in Google’s eyes.
- Publish useful material: Instead of reusing content from other websites, inject some personality into your posts and pages. A little creativity goes a long way in terms of rating!
- Improve your website regularly: Because Google’s ranking methods change, so should your website.
b. The E-A-T Model
Google’s machine learning algorithm prefers sites that adhere to the E-A-T model – sites that demonstrate a high degree of experience, authority, and trustworthiness.
Before making significant modifications to your site, consider the following questions to keep focused on the E-A-T perspective:
- Will I continue to recommend this website to my friends and family?
- Do these adjustments increase our industry’s credibility?
- Are these modifications supported by credible research?
c. Core Web Vitals
Google began emphasizing a set of measures known as Core Web Vitals in 2021. CWVs, in essence, assess how simple it is for a user to engage with your website.
If your website has dropped off the main page and you’re not sure why, double-check that your CWVs are in the appropriate position. We’ve encountered occasions when CWVs were the key to resolving a ranking loss, although they weren’t an official Google algorithm change!
And keep in mind that if stratospheric development is desired for your site, an SEO firm should be contacted. Though adopting a long-term SEO plan takes time, Google should reward your efforts with a high-ranking position.
2. Manual Action Notice
A manual action notice is similar to a traffic ticket. It’s essentially a Google Search Console alert that says, “Hey, we observed that your website is violating our criteria. That bothers us. Here’s your punishment.”
There are several reasons why manual action notices may be sent. Here are a few big ones to keep an eye out for:
a. Hacking of a website: If your website is hacked, Google will remove it from a favorable ranking position.
b. Spam: Google does not like spam. If your website has spammy links, whether knowingly or accidentally, you are likely to receive a manual action notice.
c. Structured data misconfiguration: If you Google “apple pie recipes,” you’ll most likely encounter a carousel of recipes with 5-star ratings next to them. Those 5-star ratings are based on something known as “structured data.” If you misuse structured data, for example, by adding 5,000 phony 5-star ratings to your recipe, Google Search Console may issue you a manual action alert.
Fortunately, dealing with a manual action notification is simple! You will be informed by Google about what was done wrong, how you are being penalized, and what needs to be done to rectify it, just like a speeding ticket.
The answer may be easy or complex, depending on why you received the warning. Furthermore, when resolving the issue, be sure to strictly adhere to Google’s instructions – that way, your page will be restored to its former splendor in no time!
3. Website Changes
A website modification might cause a ranking decline in a variety of ways. We could create an entire textbook about it. (Don’t worry, we’d never do it to you.)
Instead, we’ll go over the essentials.
When you make what appears to be a minor modification to your website (for example, switching themes, eliminating pages, or adding a plugin), Google may interpret it as a substantial upgrade.
As a result, Google will reprocess your website, determining its credibility. If it is not convinced that your upgraded site is a good location to send people, your ranking may suffer.
If you’ve recently noticed a significant reduction in your Google ranking, consider whether you’ve recently made any of the following changes to your website:
a. Changes in hosting: Before Google floods your site with traffic, it wants to make sure you can manage it. Your website will not rank as high if it is unstable during organic traffic surges.
b. Changes to the robots.txt file or the robots meta tag: Setting your robots meta tag to “no index” or disabling Google crawlers with a robots.txt file is a proven technique to make Google ignore your website.
c. Updates to plugins or themes: Changing the theme of your website might influence the main pages of your site, prompting Google to go oppositely.
d. Redirections that have been modified: Incoming links boost your website’s “SEO Juice” (also known as PageRank or Domain Authority). If you decide to clean up your .htaccess file by eliminating obsolete redirects, you may unintentionally delete vital inbound links that are assisting your site’s Google ranking.
e. Pages that have been removed: Deleted pages from your website, even if they appear inconsequential, might remove contextual relevance signals, internal links, and authority, resulting in a ranking freefall.
The answer to your ranking decline will, predictably, rely on whatever website modification triggered the dip in the first place.
If you recently deleted a fundamental page from your website, the solution might be as simple as reintroducing that page (or constructing its replacement) into your site. However, if you’ve completely redesigned your website, it will most likely take some time to recoup your lost SEO mojo.
4. Bad Backlinks
The more high-quality backlinks you have, the higher you will (in theory) rank.
You may be enjoying each high-quality connection you’ve landed in the past, you may be unaware that you’ve lost some of them in recent months. This might be because a website that was connecting to you has closed, been punished, or the connection has been withdrawn. You might contact them if they’ve deleted the link. To avoid losing links in the future, just focus on developing stronger relationships with bloggers and websites.
a. Possible Fixes
To fix a ranking loss caused by poor backlinks, make sure that actual, relevant backlinks have a place to rest on your site.
Accomplishing this can be done by either republishing the missing page or diverting visitors from those links to another relevant page on your site.
Getting rid of spam links demands further knowledge, but it is certainly achievable!
If you have an SEO expert on your team, they may compile a complete list of spam links and report it to Google via their link disavow tool. This is a harder task, therefore it’s preferable to delegate it to an SEO professional.
We won’t sugarcoat it: detecting and correcting a Google ranking decline is a difficult task.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re negotiating a moving competitive market, fluctuating user intent, and a developing Google algorithm. We understand. And we have your back.
Google Rank Check relishes the challenge of assisting businesses in increasing organic traffic, especially in today’s ultra-fast internet environment.