You have finished your keyword research and made sure that they are dispersed throughout your content and website. And finally, you have been able to reap the benefits of your hard work by acquiring one of the top-ranking positions in the Google SERP.
Now while you are riding high on your success, suddenly your Google ranking drops! This is a bummer, and all you want to know is what made it drop? This often happens to businesses, and it is crucial to know the reasons behind this fluctuation so that you can fix or prevent it from happening in the first place.
Remember Rankings Are Temporary
When your ranking drops, this might be hard to remember, but still, you need to keep this in mind that rankings are just a temporary thing. Just because your website was successfully showing up in the Google search results for a couple of months or even years does not mean it’s going to be there forever. The internet is a very dynamic environment, and these types of changes are bound to take place here. So sometimes, when you notice that your ranking keeps fluctuating, there are chances that your website or SEO strategy has got no role to play in it. It might be a temporary result of Google’s algorithm and the impermanent nature of the web.
The Internet and the Way Users Perform Searches Is Ever-Changing
The internet is ever-changing. This has got a lot more to do with common sense and a lot less to do with your website or SEO strategy. Website links can vanish all of a sudden. Your competitors might update their sites. New sites keep popping up daily. Google’s search algorithm needs to consider all of these, which can result in your website ranking to keep shifting.
Besides the internet’s dynamic nature, we also can’t ignore the fact that the way internet users perform web searches also keeps on changing as per the latest trends. Since Google updates its search algorithm based on user behavior, this can again lead to fluctuations in your site rankings. For instance, if a particular topic goes viral or is trending in searches, Google might choose to display the newer content first and push the more static posts down in the search results to make sure the user gets the freshest updates on that specific topic. Now, if your content falls into the latter category, then you will see a drop in your site rankings. That’s why it’s crucial to understand your target audience and make sure that you update the content of your website continually so that it resonates with the audience.
Google’s Algorithm Is Ever-Changing Too
Just the way the internet is constantly developing, Google’s algorithm needs to develop too, which can result in fluctuation in your rankings. Google is always trying to gain a better understanding of the way people use the internet. Most search engines are about understanding the users and web pages and satisfying the users to make sure they get the best user experience. Employ a cross-channel marketing and traffic strategy (including email and social media marketing) to avoid seeing a drop in your Google rankings.
Ways to Prevent Your SEO Rankings From Dropping
- Keep your website updated.
One of the easiest and most effective methods to prevent your site rankings from dropping is to keep your website up-to-date constantly. Add original, relevant, and quality content to your site regularly to engage your target audience and customers. Updating your website consistently, including technical improvements, will help you in delivering the optimum user experience, and the fresh, relevant content will help ensure your Google rankings keep improving.
- Check your website for lost links.
Losing links is another reason why your site rankings can drop. If you notice a drop in your rankings, you can use some online tools to check if your website has lost some links during the last three months or so. If you do find out that it has lost links, you need to check if:
- The loss of links is taking place across your entire website
- There has been a loss in inbound links to the web pages that have seen a drop in SEO rankings
- The lost links are from the same web pages whose rankings have dropped in Google
Ideally, you need to check each and every link on your website to find out if:
- The old links need to be replaced with the new ones that work.
- The links were perhaps broken or changed when you updated your website.
- The links were deleted on purpose. This could mean that those links were not natural, and Google would have flagged them anyway, so you don’t have to worry about losing them.
You might want to invest in a link tracking software that will actively monitor lost links. This will help prevent your Google rankings from dropping abruptly.
- Check your website for broken redirects.
When launching a new site, if you don’t have an appropriate 301 redirect plan in place, it can cause your Google rankings to keep changing often. It can also result in an extreme SEO ranking drop for your site. The 301 redirects work just like informing about the change of address. It tells the search engine to redirect your site visitors to your new website. If you get this right, you won’t notice a sudden drop in your Google ranking, and moreover, search engines won’t penalize you for having duplicate content on your website as they will be indexing both your old and new sites.
- Check your page speed.
Google is soon going to make a page experience a part of their new algorithm, and you must know the page speed is a major contributing factor in forming the page experience, and thus the algorithm will consider it too. The speed at which your page’s content loads impacts the user experience as well as your website ranking. If your page is taking too much time to load than other similar websites, it can cause your rankings to keep fluctuating often. Google has launched a new tool called PageSpeed Insights tool, which contains real user data and ranks your web page as fast, slow, or average on the basis of how much time they take to load.
- Update your metadata.
Meta tags or metadata tells the search engine about the type of information posted on your site. In order to prevent seeing a sudden drop in your rankings, including a title tag on your website is crucial. Be sure to provide specific meta-tag data with the keywords included in all your pages along with meta descriptions and headers, whenever and wherever possible. Inconsistency in the meta tag data can cause your site rankings to drop abruptly.
So by now, you must have got clarity on the reasons that can cause a site ranking drop. Now that you know them, all take the steps mentioned above to avoid experiencing a sudden ranking drop. But if you don’t see improvement after implementing these steps, then don’t stress yourself out. As we discussed in this blog, sometimes site rankings drop due to various other reasons that have nothing to do with your site or SEO strategy and everything to do with the internet’s dynamic nature.