This could have happened for a number of reasons. However, there is good news. Fortunately, most of the problems that led to it may be rectified much more quickly than you might imagine.
To learn how to counter the decline in your rankings, keep reading. Various reports state that 39% of individuals are influenced to purchase when they get relevant search results.
It is possible that a competitor's SEO strategy, such as the release of a new product or an industry upgrade by Google, is the cause for a sudden and inexplicable dip in your search engine rankings. Also, it might be possible that you're failing to fulfill Google's standards for high-quality websites.
Is There a Significant Decline in your Google Ranking?
If your Google ranking drops, it's a good idea to take a closer look at the situation. Before attempting to solve the Google rankings decline issue, it is critical to determine whether or not your ranks have dropped overnight.
Analyze your website's traffic patterns using Google Analytics for at least the last six to twelve months. Google Search Console may also be used to check your Google rankings and organic traffic. If you notice a significant decrease in traffic, you should take action to prevent more traffic losses.
Reasons Why Your Rankings Have Declined Dramatically - And Their Fixes
- Google Penalty for Manual Actions
If you see a significant reduction in your Google SEO ranking of more than ten ranks, a manual action penalty by Google may be the primary cause.
If Google determines that your website's pages do not meet their performance criteria, they will apply this penalty. User-generated spam, website hacking, and artificial backlinks are among the most prevalent reasons for Google penalties.
Finding out what went wrong with your website is the first step in repairing it. It's easy to figure out what triggered an On-page problem because you presumably recognized the risks involved when you tried that grey-hat trick.
Both algorithmic adjustments and incorrect link-building strategies can lead to off-page concerns. We've compiled a list of some of the most common errors that have resulted in Google penalties:
- Negative Off-page SEO:
The goal of negative SEO is to lower a competitor's search engine ranks. Unnatural link-building, content skimming, and even hacking are examples of this type of activity. Negative SEO assaults are extremely unusual, but when they do occur, they may significantly impact a large number of keywords' rankings.
- On-page violations:
On-page infractions may and must be controlled. They often result from poor SEO practices, such as leaving low-quality material, poor user experience, or ambiguous internal connections.
- Content scraping:
Another typical negative SEO tactic is scraped information, which involves republishing a site's content on some other websites. Google may penalize your site if it discovers the "stolen" version first and instead promotes the scraper site.
- Website hacking:
Attackers can breach your site's security through a variety of methods. Passwords, files, and other sensitive information can be exchanged through HTTP on a website that uses this method.
For this reason, Google checks websites for malware to ensure that only trustworthy data appears in search results. Your Google Search Console will alert you if your site has been compromised.
- Your Site Has Been Banned
A drop in organic traffic might indicate that your website has been banned or otherwise hacked by cybercriminals. What causes that to occur? Malware assaults, for example, are only one of many ways hackers might infiltrate your website.
For the sake of its search engine users, Google checks all websites regularly for malware. Your website may be marked as misleading or even suspended from Google's index if it is found to be one of the compromised sites.
Malware on your website should be removed as soon as possible by doing a scan. Using a security plugin like MalCare, you can check and remove malware from your WordPress-based website in just a few simple steps.
- Backlinks Have Vanished
Losing high-quality backlinks might have the same influence on your SERP rankings as gaining new, low-quality connections. If any of your inbound links get broken or disappear, you'll need to identify where they came from and why they became broken.
Afterward, you may delete, replace, or keep them. The best way to figure out your next step is to go through each link one at a time:
- If the links were deleted deliberately, this might imply that they were not organic links and could result in Google flagging and penalizing them if they haven't already been. Go ahead and remove these links.
- When a website is updated, links might become broken or altered. In such instances, you may be able to convince the site's owner to restore them.
- If new connections to a different source have replaced internal links, you can also link to the new source.
- Update to the Google Algorithm
The search engine industry is dominated by Google, with a share of 91.42%. The algorithm used by Google to rank search results has undergone several big and small adjustments throughout the years. The algorithm's performance is enhanced as a result of the improvements.
Changes in search engine algorithms might significantly impact the rating of your website. Search engine optimization specialists keep a close eye on Google's algorithm upgrades for changes that might affect their clients' companies.
Use a rank tracker tool to keep track of any significant changes in the search engine rankings for the specialized keywords for your website. Take note of any changes or patterns that occur suddenly. While rankings vary, any keyword that begins to decrease and then continues to decline is the reason for concern.
- Redirect Errors
A comprehensive 301 redirect strategy is essential whether you're starting a new website, moving to a new host, or making structural changes to your current site. Broken redirects are the worst nightmare of every SEO professional.
A 301 redirect necessitates that XML directories, canonical tags, and links be changed as well. A 301 redirect is similar to a web address change notification.
It informs search engines that a page, multiple pages, or your entire domain has been relocated. Visitors to your website will be forwarded to your different address instead of your old one, as you want.
- Competitors are Outranking You
Without breaking any regulations or being neglectful, even the most diligent firms' websites might lose page rank — because competition might be performing their jobs better.
It's possible that your competition may outrank you for some of your most critical keywords because of their superior SEO techniques and keyword research and optimization abilities.
Other significant factors for getting outranked include competitor websites' quicker loading speeds and superior user experience. Another issue is content that isn't relevant. Websites with a lot of information but little value to visitors usually fare poorly over time.
Businesses using high-quality content on their website found that their sales increased by 12%. While Google doesn't penalize websites with poor content, it does honor those with in-depth, well-researched articles.
Website design and simulation tools like SEMrush or SE Ranking may be used to uncover how your competitor's website content ranks higher than yours. Chrome extensions may also be used to do SEO analysis.
If your competition is outranking you on a significant number of keywords, they have likely made some site-wide improvements. See if your competitor has a better backlink profile or better technical optimization than you by running their site through WebSite Auditor or SEO SpyGlass.
- User Intent Modification
The prominent and trending user intent can influence Google's search algorithms, which in turn might alter the search results. Consequently, other websites may get a better rating on Google for the precise phrases that previously brought more traffic to your page.
What may be done to improve a low CTR? User intent should be considered while creating blog names, meta descriptions, and content. Users may have a specific query, and you should ensure that you address it completely.
Your title and description must convey that your article is relevant to the search query. Improved CTR and lower bounce rates may be achieved by using this method.
You should tailor your content based on your audience's interests, pain spots, and other relevant factors. To guarantee that you deliver the greatest possible answer to a question, you should do A/B testing and optimize headlines, photos, videos (if appropriate), and other aspects of the article.
- Discrepancies in Geolocation
Depending on where you search, you may see different results for your keywords. If you only look at your rankings in one place, you'll need to check them in numerous other places to obtain a more realistic picture of your overall position in search results.
Have you ever noticed how varied your search results might be from someone else's location when they conduct the same search? The search results will also vary depending on whether or not the user is already logged in to their Google account.
The explanation for this is that Google will examine and consider prior websites you've visited, your location, and even the device you're using before displaying your search results.
- Page Speed
Not only will the speed at which your pages load affect your search engine results, but it will also impact the whole experience your website users have. People don't want to wait to see what you offer if a website takes a prolonged time to load.
Use Google's new and enhanced PageSpeed Insights to see how fast your site is loading. Real-world user data was included in the tool's re-design. Fast, sluggish, and average pages are graded according to how fast they load on a browser.
- Technical Issues with the Website
Changes in ranking may also occur due to Google's technical difficulties in scanning and indexing your page. If Google cannot reach your website, it might be because of a Google crawl anomaly. So your website won't appear in their search results since they can't find it.
Is there a way to resolve this issue? Do a log file analysis to see if search engine crawlers or impacted URLs have been logged in your website's log files.
A tool like SEMrush's Log File Analyzer or Screaming Frog's Log Analysis tool may be preferable if you are not familiar with FTP, the console command line, and file editors.
- Changes to the Google SERP
Adjustments to Google's search engine results page can have a favorable or unfavorable impact on click-through rates. Google frequently makes these changes.
For instance, they may include highlighted advertisements or code samples, as well as brief Q&A sections. This can significantly impact your website's search engine rankings and organic visitors.
What can be done about this issue? See what comes up when you type your chosen keyword into the search engine. Take notice of any changes. It is possible to see precisely what sorts of SERP characteristics each search creates with the help of several SERP tracking tools.
Sometimes it's as easy as Google downgrading your URL from the highlighted snippets or eliminating featured snippets. You'll get a better result if you can improve your snippet by analyzing your opponents and the search results.
- Recent Changes to the Website
Making a website HTTPS-enabled, relocating, or redesigning it the wrong way may all impact your Google results. Check to see if any members of your team made any of the below website changes:
- Changed the URL of your website.
- Incorrect implementation of 301 redirects from previous URLs.
- Incorporate SEO keywords into your website's rewritten or re-optimized content.
- Implement modifications that will result in losing indexing for your web pages.
See whether there have been any significant increases in error rates due to site updates in Google Search Console. All crawling and indexing difficulties are reported by Google on this tool, making it simple to find the problem and solve it.
- Indexing for Mobile Devices
In 2022, asking if your website is mobile-friendly feels a little out of place. 70% of online traffic is generated by mobile devices, and 80% of the most popular websites are responsive to these devices.
However, we still come across websites designed for desktop browsers but appear terrible on mobile devices. Visitors using smartphones or tablets may find that some of these sites may not operate effectively at all.
Because Google now prioritizes mobile-friendly sites, it will fall in the SERPs if your site isn't mobile-friendly until it disappears altogether. There are various reasons why your website's mobile version may not be mobile-friendly, such as slow loading time, incompatible plugins, oversized and poorly designed graphics, and broad text that cannot be accessed on mobile devices.
What you must do is:
- Make modifications to your website based on the Google PageSpeed Insights tool recommendations to improve its loading performance on mobile devices.
- Make sure your site is optimized for mobile devices by using the "Mobile Usability" function in Google's Search Console and correcting any errors that are identified there.
- Overloading the Server
Sudden surges in traffic might overburden and cause your server to fail if it isn't adequately prepared. A sudden spike in traffic on a shared server might cause it to fall down, putting everyone else on it at risk.
If you go over your bandwidth allotment on your hosting service, your site will be taken offline. This might occur if your site is featured on a prominent website. Your search engine rankings will suffer if your site is frequently unavailable.
To notify search engines about the nature of your site's content, metadata, also known as meta tags, are employed. The title tag is a critical metadata component for improving your SEO rankings. Headers and meta descriptions are two more sorts of meta-information that might enhance your website's search engine results.
Be careful not to be inconsistent in the metadata that you include. The meta description should reflect any changes you make to an article on your site.
You should include your key term in your title tags. Not only do you risk confusing your visitors, but the search engines will also penalize you if you utilize the same title for many pages.
- Content Duplication
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists worldwide ranked the depth and accuracy of the content as essential criteria in determining a website's rank. Google defines "duplicate content" as big blocks of content that occur on several sites that are nearly the same or identically comparable to other content.
Your website will be demoted if it is found to be using apparent content duplication to boost its search engine ranks and generate visitors.
Your pages may be penalized if Google believes they compete for the exact searches and should have more variety. A drop in your search engine ranks, or even a complete exclusion from Google altogether, are all possibilities if you do not act quickly.
Website traffic can only be increased via hard work and dedication. There are no shortcuts. A lot of work and effort must be invested into search engine optimization to see an increase in traffic.
Your Google rating may be suffering for one or more of the reasons indicated above. These suggestions for rectifying the problems should assist you in resolving the dip and returning your ranks to normal.
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