8 Reasons From Semalt Why Your Website Dropped In Google Positions
Table of Contents
- Google Ranking Drop: What it Means
- Symptoms of a Drop in Google Position
- 8 Reasons Google Position Drops
- Recovery Tips
Google Positioning is crucial to every business. It determines how much awareness a brand can collate or the number of possible incoming traffic. A good website's rank affects the success or failure of a website - as it impacts the reach, impression, and click-through rate (CTR). All-in-all, without a good website ranking score, a webmaster might as well kiss authority, awareness, and success bye-bye. That is why constantly monitoring your website's Google positioning is not only called for but essential to sustaining the growth of your website and its results.
So what happens when there's a drop? From all that has been detailed above - a drop is certainly not good news. Heck - it would negatively affect a website's score, awareness, visibility, and even sales/views. But what could have caused a drop? From this guide, you'll see that many obvious and unbelievably common practices can lead to a drop. In some cases, your act to raise the bar could do the total opposite. Therefore, find out the factors that can cause a drop in google positions, remedy tips, and how to prevent it in the nearest future.
Google Ranking Drop: What it Means
For the sake of new website owners, Google's ranking is the same as Google's positioning. It is the position used to score a website's placement on search engine result pages (SERPs). Take, for instance, you search for 'website auditing tools'. Within seconds, Google would reveal many resources as a result, one after the other. These results were not randomly arranged but positioned based on their ranking scores. Ranking scores are determined by different factors but mostly by the search engine's requirements/algorithms. When a website fails to meet these requirements, the rank score drops and hence a drop in the position - theoretically.
But what does it mean for the ranking score to drop? How much does it affect a website when its rank score dips? Here are four things Google positioning drop does to a website and the owner:
- SEO is a technical and time-consuming process. It can be frustrating to see that after all your effort, you have been repaid with a dip.
- It takes time to see the results of a fully-optimized page and so it can be daunting if you are already experiencing a drop before the goodies enter.
- Google rank drop can be hurtful if it becomes so dramatic that a website falls from page 1 to page 5.
- A dramatic drop can affect a website's success in a more significant way and for a longer time.
In essence, no one likes when the rankings drop and so all must be done to help resolve that.
Symptoms of a Drop in Google Position
Before going ahead to fixing the problem, you need to be sure there IS a problem to start with. That's why there are some symptoms and signs in place to know whether or not you are experiencing a drop - and even if you are; whether it is a gradual or a dramatic one. In that case, here are the things to look out for to tell your website's positioning state.
- Changes in Traffic: The first thing that would alert you about an alteration to your rank score is the change in how much incoming traffic you get. If you use to have a lot of visitors coming into your site (for instance, about 55,000 views for every blog you post), and then you start to notice a drop to about 20,000 views or worse, four digits - then there is a drop in your rank score. A gradual drop would mean that this decrease takes place within the span of about 3 to 6 months. A dramatic drop could result in a difference of almost 30,000 views overnight.
- Changes in SERP position: If you use to be at the top of the second page and all of a sudden, you start to see your position decline to the middle or bottom of the page, then there is a drop going on. It would be gradual if you dropped to a lower position on the same page and dramatic if the dip moved to a lower page entirely.
- Search Console Warning: If you have signed up for Google search console or any other website tracking system, then you would receive a warning if the metrics are starting to drop. This warning can come as an indicator (if you have an analytics dashboard) or you could receive a mail-in form of a report. The report would also be able to tell you if the drop was sudden or gradual. A gradual drop would have occurred over a while like about 6 to 12 months and the differences would be minor. A sudden drop can occur in a matter of weeks and the differences would be major.
8 Reasons Google Position Drops
The following are 8 things that could have happened and which led to a drop in Google positions:
1. Site Speed
The first thing that can affect your website's Google positioning is your page loading speed. It is no longer only because users hate a website that loads like a snail - even Google is against it. Latest reports share that a website that takes longer than 1.5 seconds to load would lose ranking scores. The longer your site takes to load its content, the more scores you lose, and the more it affects your positioning.
Sometimes, it is not about you, but about your competitors. If you already have a great website and everything seems to be working fine, it doesn't mean that you are safe. Just as you strove to reach where you are, other brands want to do the same. If a lower-ranking website happens to make a change to its website that outweighs yours, it is only normal for your scores to drop and his/her would rise.
Back to your website, the quality of your links could be the reason there is a sudden drop. In some cases, links you have used in the past could become broken and hence affect your total website ranking score. In other cases, your website could have been attacked by harmful links and this too can affect your website's Google positioning.
4. Site Changes
As mentioned at the beginning of this guide, you could have made some changes that will negatively affect the ranking score. Know that these changes are usually made to benefit the site - like changing the header tags, or modifying the website's entire structure. This is not to discourage you from making these changes, but to search engines, it would seem like a new website and so the rankings would drop at first and then begin to organically rise again with time - nothing to worry about.
5. Google Penalty
If you have done something wrong and were served a penalty, this would lead to a sudden, extra dramatic drop. These penalties - also called manual actions; can be caused for numerous reasons including keyword stuffing, unnatural links, hidden redirects, etc. However, if Google has filed a penalty against you; your position will drop significantly.
6. Duplicate Content
This is another reason you could experience a sudden and dramatic drop in Google positions. Google hates thin content/duplicate content. If you have ever or are found copying another person's content over to your website - you will not only be penalized but your website will lose its ranking overnight - drastically.
7. User Behaviour
Sometimes, it might even be your users that affected your scoring. Have they, for some reason stopped viewing your site as much? Do you have a reduction in sales? If your website is old, it could be because your customers are bored and have been arrested by another fresh website - your competitor.
8. Algorithm Changes
Finally, the drop could be a result of some changes made to Google's algorithm. It is only normal that until you start to optimize for the new guidelines, your ranking would drop and so will the positions.
Now that you can identify the major reasons you are experiencing a drop, what are the things you can do to fix the problem as soon as possible?
- Increase your site's speed by working on your website's SEO.
- Constantly check your competitor's page to know what they are doing and how to get ahead of them.
- Frequently analyze your website to search for broken or no-value links.
- Work with an SEO professional when making site changes.
- Check if you have gotten a penalty from Google from Google's webmaster console and rectify what you have been penalized for.
- Delete any duplicate content from your website and outsource your content writing to creative experts that understand SEO and Google rankings.
- Check your CTR rate and conduct a questionnaire to know what your users need that you aren't providing.
- Stay up to date on Google algorithms and take action immediately when a new trend is released.
Despite all the things you can do to solve a drop in Google ranking, it is always better to prevent a case than resolve it. Not only will this be cost-effective in the long run but it would save you the stress and anxiety that the dip will bring. Your website wouldn't also need to go through the traffic loss at all. That is why companies like Semalt exist. They ensure that you don't have to go through that frustrating stage and would help monitor your website's entire components. Immediately there is slack in one area, their team of experts runs in to fix the problem thereby maintaining and growing your business and Google positioning. So if you are ready to take a step towards a successful brand, go on to Semalt and get started.